O’Reilly Learning Platform

The O’Reilly Learning Platform is one of the Library’s online resources that provides access to a massive amount of resources. On it you can find over over thirty-five thousand different e-books and over thirty thousand hours of videos that are constantly being updated.

Up until now logging into O’Reilly has been a slightly roundabout process where you had to follow several links to be able to read a book Also, if you wanted O’Reilly to remember where you had got to in a book you would need to create an account, using your College email, and logging into this would another couple of steps to the login process.

Now the Library has made the process of accessing O’Reilly much easier, all you need to do is use the link below and enter your standard College username and password. This will also automatically link you to an account rather than you having to set up your own.


Once you have logged in you will be able to explore all the resources available to you.

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Once you’ve installed the App to login all you need to is put in your College email.

Say that you’re with Bradford College and want to sign in with SSO.

After you have entered your College username and password you will be able to access and download all of O’Reilly’s content.

on the fifth day of Quizmas the Library asked of me …

more trivial things.

21)  Which country is believed to have started the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree?
A) Italy
B) Portugal
C) Germany
D) Greece

22)  Who did the robins on the first Christmas cards represent?

A) The Army
B) The Police
C) The Postmen
D) The Government

23)  How many things did my true love give to me over the 12 days of Christmas?
A) 12
B) 104
C) 222
D) 364

24)  When did Tom Smith create the first Christmas cracker?

A) 1747
B) 1797
C) 1847
D) 1897

25)  Why is an X used in Xmas?
A) Crucifixion cross
B) inability to write
C) Greek for Christ
D) It is a kiss

A Not So Popular Christmas

by Ashley Choudry

Can you believe it? It’s that time of year already… Christmas time!! And with the festive season comes all those wonderful films you automatically think of at Christmas time; Die Hard, Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, The Santa Clause etc. This month however, we won’t be looking at those well-known Christmas films., we will instead be looking at four less admired holiday films throughout December’s piece. These may not be your first choices when it comes to your festive watchlist, but with almost as much charm as the usual’s, they are worth a look nonetheless.

Where better to start than with a classic of decades gone by, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989).

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The third installment of the comedy franchise starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, based upon the popular (but not well-known outside of the U.S.)  National Lampoon’s humour magazines of the 1970’s – 90’s. This particular installment has a festive setting as lead character Clark Griswold (Chase), endeavours to have a great Christmas with his entire family (as he views it) present.

From the beginning, in true Lampoon’s fashion, everything starts to go wrong from the planning stage. Decorations fall apart, uninvited guests (Clarks cousin’s-in law) descend to create even more chaos, not to mention an unruly neighbour who does not even try to hide her disdain for the Griswold’s. Despite the constant disruptions however, the family patriarch persists in trying to create the perfect Christmas, which ultimately results in even more hilarious shenanigans.

While it received mixed views initially (compared to the previous two entries in the franchise anyway), it has since become a growing cult classic among a certain demographic. Written by John Hughes (director of timeless 80’s comedies such as The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) Christmas Vacation has that same family magic and relatability within the story as his other works. In fact, it was his work on this film that happened to get his script for one of the most famous Christmas movies of all-time greenlit, can you guess what it was? If you enjoy classic humour and seeing someone get hurt in hilarious ways, this one’s for you. Get a glimpse of some of the hilarious action in the clip below:

From a classic to a much more modern entry, our second film of the month is the romantic comedy, The Holiday (2006).

The Holiday

It mainly focuses on two recently single women played by seasoned actresses Kate Winslet (Titanic, Sense & Sensibility) & Cameron Diaz (There’s Something About Mary, Shrek), as their paths intertwine around the festive time. After finding her cheating ex is now engaged, Iris (Winslet, a newspaper columnist living in London) decides to advertise her house on a home swap website (which enables you to swap houses with someone else on the site, anywhere in the world, for a period of time) in order to take a break from her normal life. Amanda (Diaz, a movie trailer producer from Los Angeles), who coincidently has just dumped her own boyfriend; notices the listing which leads to the two into agreeing to swap places for two weeks.

The two women encounter very different experiences at first. Iris is pleasantly surprised by Amanda’s house and lifestyle, while Amanda wants nothing more than to return home after discovering Iris’ downsized lifestyle. Things start to change however, when Amanda happens upon Iris’ brother Graham (Jude Law). Soon after Iris herself meets Miles (Jack Black), a friend of Amanda’s and colleague of her ex, who is having relationship troubles himself.

Will love blossom between these two unlikely pairs? Well you’ll just have to watch it to find out. I can tell you that though critics gave it mixed reviews, they were mostly positive, praising the acting despite describing the plot as a bit mundane. Despite its run of the mill romcom tendencies, it is found to be quite sweet and a bit different from a lot of them, in some ways it is a slightly smaller version of Love Actually. If you love soppy, romantic Christmas films and pleasant scenery, this one’s for you. Watch a clip of one of this entries most famous scenes, Amanda and Grahams first meeting, by clicking the link below:

Next, we travel back to the wonderful 1980’s and to our earliest entry, the sometimes-overlooked Trading Places (1983).

Trading Places

An often-forgotten gem of a timeless comedy movie era, it stars three legends of the genre; Eddie Murphy (in only his second feature film), Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis (whose casting Paramount were against due to her association with horror films at the time). The feature itself is generally labelled as a sort of screwball comedy (a type of comedy mostly seen in the 1930’s and 40’s), focused on managing director Louis (Aykroyd) and street hustler Billy (Murphy) both situated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When the two heads (The Duke brothers) of the commodities brokerage firm that Louis works for witness him and Billy fighting in the street (Louis believing Billy was trying to mug him), they decide to use the two in their own secret wager, pitting them against each other in a battle of wills to conduct their experiment based around the famous ‘nature vs nurture’ argument.

The brothers begin by switching the two’s lives around, by framing Louis for drug dealing, stealing and more; which results in him being fired and his bank accounts frozen, not to mention dumped by his fiance; and hiring Billy in his place (even letting him stay in Louis’ house). Louis is released on bail and meets a street worker named Ophelia (Curtis) who helps him adapt to life on the streets. The real fun begins when sometime later, the Dukes agree to settle their wager but neglect to return everything completely to how it is before. Billy realises their plan and tips Louis off, leading the two to try and turn the tables… evidently mad hijinks ensue.

At the time of release Trading Places received positive reviews from critics, focused mainly on the performances of it’s cast, it did however receive a little backlash over it’s use of a few racial jokes and for promoting the accumulation of wealth. It worked wonders for the  main three cast members; either catapulting (in Murphy’s case, he became a household name and one of the most in demand comedic actors) or revitalizing their careers; with all three going on to feature in even bigger blockbusters of the decade (for example, Ghostbusters I & II, Beverly Hills Cop I & II, Coming to America, A Fish Called Wanda). Despite it’s obvious misgivings, it is as of today still praised, both as one of the greatest comedy and Christmas films ever made. You can start to experience some of that greatness by clicking the link below, to view a clip of one of Billy’s most humorous scenes:

Having gone all American for my first three entries of the month, I decided to finish with the only fully British production, Nativity! (2009). Suitably the most modern of our Christmas features, this one is also much more of a family film to watch with the children; in fact, most of its main focus is on an institution of children!


One of the most common events to see at this time of year is a Nativity (a production retelling the story of Jesus Christ birth, the true meaning of Christmas in some religions), which rather appropriately happens to be what this movie is all about, or more accurately TWO Nativity productions. The story is set at St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School in Coventry, with new teacher Paul Maddens (played by the delightful Martin Freeman: The Hobbit, Sherlock) the main focal point. Every year St. Bernadette’s competes against Protestant private school Oakmoor; led by Gordon Shakespeare (who steals every scene he’s in, thanks to the hilarious Jason Watkins who plays him); to see who can produce the better Nativity and usually face defeat.

When Mr. Maddens is tasked with producing the performance for the upcoming festive season, things go start to go more wayward than usual. Paul once harboured vibrant ambitions to be a big film actor, director or producer that were never realised; and when riled by Shakespeare boasting about his production ideas, these ambitions rear their head once more. Paul lies to his rival that his Hollywood producer ex-girlfriend will be coming to view his school’s production with the possibility of adapting it into a big-screen Hollywood film. The chaos begins, when Maddens teaching assistant (the over-zealous Mr. Poppy) overhears this false declaration and unable to contain his excitement, leaks the information to the local press. As a result, the lie very quickly begins to spread to every corner and hastily get out of hand, as Mr’s Maddens and Poppy try to achieve victory with a group of pupils with somewhat limited talent. It’s up to Paul to save the day and make amends for his brashness, but can he?                                                                      With an underlying theme of reigniting the joy and passion for Christmas in those who have lost it, Nativity!  Is a somewhat generic yet delightfully sweet festive film; with enough nice comedic moments to make you glad you’ve seen it. It even went on to spawn a franchise (the first sequel is probably the best by far) and a stage musical in 2017. You can see an extract of it now, by clicking the link below:

AS the holidays draw ever closer (Hooray!!), grab your cups of hot chocolate (or Egg Nog), plates of mince pies and huddle up by the fire ready to watch any and all of these underrated Christmas films to get you in the mood for the festive season. Worried about borrowing DVD’s over the holiday period? No need! All four of these seasonal flicks are available exclusively on Planet e-stream (as are many more), meaning you’ll be able to watch them wherever and whenever you like while you’re away from College! Thanks to the Library Services (with a little help from Technology & Media). So, get watching and enjoying, and have some very Happy Holidays!!

But don’t forget to come back in the new year to learn about many more films in the Library’s growing collection…

on the fourth day of Quizmas the Library asked of me …

Where you may have heard these quotes at the movies or on tv?

16) “I am a cotton-headed ninny-muggins“?
A)  Nativity! (2009)
B)  Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
C)  Elf (2003)
D)  A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

17) “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings“?
A)  White Christmas (1954)
B)  It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
C)  Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
D)  A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

18) “Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind“?
A)  Trading Places (1983)
B)  Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
C)  Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
D)  It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

19) “No matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs, never feed him after midnight“?
A)  Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
B)  The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
C)  Trading Places (1983)
D)  Gremlins (1984)

20) “Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back“?
A)  Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
B)  Home Alone (1990)
C)  Die Hard (1988)
D)  Bad Santa (2003)

on the third day of Quizmas the Libraray asked of me …

To solve the puzzle of these questions literary.

11) How many children does Bob Cratchit have in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”?

A) 1
B) 2
C) 3
D) 4

12)  Which Dr Seuss character “stole Christmas”?
A) Grinch
B) Horton
C) Lorax
D) Thing Two

13)  In “A Visit from St. Nicholas“, how many of Santa’s reindeer have names begin with the letter D?

A) 1
B) 2
C) 3
D) 4

14)  In the Harry Potter series, what does Molly Weasley give her children as a present every Christmas?
A) A wand
B) An owl
C) A jumper
D) A chocolate frog

15)  In how many of William Shakespeare’s plays is Christmas mentioned?
A) 1
B) 2
C) 3
D) 4

on the second day of Quizmas the Library asked of me …

What are the answers to these musical quandaries.

6) “Stay Another Day” was a 1994 hit for who?
A) Bros
B) East 17
C) Wham
D) Enya

7) “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday“ was a hit for which group?
A) The Wombles
B) Wizzard
C) Queen
D) Slade

8) Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas” was kept from the UK no. 1 spot by which group?

A) The Wombles
B) Wizzard
C) Queen
D) Slade

9) Who released the 1973 classic “Merry Xmas Everybody”?
A) The Wombles
B) Wizzard
C) Queen
D) Slade

10) What year did “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey reached number 1 in the UK charts?

A) 1994
B) 2004
C) 2014
D) 2020

on the first day of Quizmas the Library asked of me …

To give the answers to this festive trivia.

1) Which British city is believed to have celebrated the first Christmas in 521AD?
A) Canterbury
B) Exeter
C) York
D) Worcester

2) Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer was added to Christmas in which year?

A) 1919
B) 1929
C) 1939
D) 1949

3) “Feliz Navidad” is Merry Christmas is which language?
A) German
B) Spanish
C) Italian
D) Welsh

4) Which country traditionally has The Yule Goat?

A) Ireland
B) Italy
C) Sweden
D) Ukraine

5) Who donates the Christmas tree which stands in Trafalgar Square to the United Kingdom?
A) Norway
B) Finland
C) Sweden
D) Denmark

‘Tis the season to get quizing

Between Monday 6th and Friday 10th December the library will be posting 25 festive multiple choice questions.

Five questions will be posted daily at 9am.

The questions will be Christmas themed and cover trivia, music, books and films.

Answers will be posted on Monday 13th December 2021.

Merry Quizmas, everyone.

Bradford College Library: a place of diversity, equality and inclusion

By Asif Rashid, Library Assistant

The role of the academic library is to create a place of study where students and staff can work independently to achieve their academic goals. Bradford College Library is playing an important role to achieve these goals by collaborating with different departments, and supporting the vision and mission of Bradford college towards its commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

How we are helping out?

1.Library Induction

Our Library induction programme supports students and staff to build up their confidence, and contributes to retention and achievement, especially for students attending Bradford College for the first time.

2.Inclusive Learning

The Library team is keen to ensure that all students have equal access to Library resources. There are two Library sites; one is situated at 2nd Floor in David Hockney Building which is the main Library, and there is a second library at Trinity Green.

The Library team support students both studying at the college or from home. There is a team of specialist Librarians and dedicated Library assistants to help out with their information needs.

If students don’t visit Library regularly, there are many ways they can access library material and support for their studies online. Students can contact us on askalibrarian@bradfordcollege.ac.uk, through Teams or via our Library Chat service. More information on ways to contact us can be found here  library.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/contactus

For up to date information about the Library Service you can visit our Library News page where you can find latest information about our Library.

Bradford College Library seeks to ensure that it complies with the Bradford College Statement on Equality of Opportunity and Diversity in all areas of its operations, through good practice, anticipation and practical adjustments.

3.Library’s displays

The Library supports events promoting equality of opportunity and diversity. Examples include displays on Windrush, Black and Ethnic Minority authors, famous Black people, support for learning difficulties, mental health issues and celebrations of cultural and religious events. There is a dedicated page on our Library Online page which provides links to resources supporting events in the Library, College and the wider environment. You can access this page via the link https://library.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/unitedvalues

4.Great selection of Physical and Online Resources

We offer a great and diverse selection of physical and online resources in the form of books, e-books, online journals, and databases. All these are available via our Library Online pages  https://library.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/homepage

5. One-to-one Support

Passionate Academic Liaison Librarians are always willing to welcome any student to help and identify relevant resources, offer refresher or advanced sessions on using library catalogue, databases or e-books, help using journals, and help with study skills. You can email them at askalibrarian@bradfordcollege.ac.uk or phone on (01274) 08 8257 to book a one-to-one session or group session for any help.

6.Best selection of Entry Readers

In collaboration with ESOL tutors, the ESOL Librarian has procured a great selection of easy read books for Entry 1 through to Level 2. These are in the form of physical books and also a good selection is available online via Moodle. Dedicated Library Assistants are helping ESOL students in their reading to improve their reading skills through reading groups, either online or in college.


At the end, the Head of ALS, SEND and Library Chris Thornton, and Senior Academic Librarian Laksh, our dedicated Academic Liaison Librarians, Senior Library Assistant and Library Assistants are very passionate to increase the literacy rate at Bradford college and are always willing to help student and staff to achieve their teaching and learning goals.

Perfectly Adaptable

by Ashley Choudry

Hello and welcome to November’s Library film blog. If you haven’t guessed it yet (by the title alone), this month’s focus is on adaptations. We won’t be looking at just any adaptations however, we’ll be focusing on four films, all of which have been noted as some of the most faithful book-to-screen adaptations of all time. From a historical drama and fantasy fiction, to a Romantic period tale, we have everything in this month’s collection.

First up we have 80’s gem Stand by Me (1986), directed by Rob Reiner (The Princess Bride, A Few Good Men) and based on the acclaimed Stephen King’s novel, The Body (1982).

Cover of Stand by Me DVD

Far from being King’s most famous novella, it was adapted into one of the more famous films based upon his literary works. It stars a range of young actors of the time including Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: TNG, The Big Bang Theory), Corey Feldman (The Goonies), Kiefer Sutherland (Young Guns, 24) and the late River Phoenix (Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade); its title is derived from the world-famous Ben E. King song of the same name.

While prone to dramatic moments, it is more of a coming-of-age film, a tale of a group of friends as they grow together (in age and intelligence). The narrative is told from the perspective of Gordon ‘Gordie’ Lachance (Wheaton) in his adult years, throughout the film as he recounts his and his friends’ journey for a memoir he is writing. The aforementioned journey begins in Oregon, in September 1959. On one particular weekend of this month, Geordie and his group of three friends decide to set out on a hike in search of the body of a missing teenage boy (presumed dead due to his prolonged absence from society), in the vain hope they would be rewarded if they were to find him. What follows is a daring adventure that will test the groups friendship, plus both their physical & mental strength.

The film was a prodigious success with critics (with a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although not as such with audiences at the time, but it has since become a cult classic), and King himself considered it the first successful transition to film of any of his works. So, discover one of the early most impressive adaptations of a book into film only on Planet e-stream now, and watch a clip from the beginning of the story to entice you further in the link below:

This month I have decide to list the films in chronological order in terms of release, so for our next entry we move on a decade and turn our attention to the seminal, Sense & Sensibility (1995).

Cover of Sense and Sensibility DVD

A period drama, directed by Ang Lee and adapted from Jane Austen’s renowned 1811 novel, it is seen by many as one of the quintessential book-to-film adaptations of all time. The story sees the Dashwood sisters, Eleanor & Marianne – played by Dame Emma Thompson (Much Ado About Nothing, Nanny McPhee) and Kate Winslet (Titanic) respectively – thrust from their home and bestowed with sudden destitution (cut off from their inheritance), after their half-brother John disobeys his father’s dying wish for him to take care of them.

Despite being members of wealthy English family of landed gentry, they find themselves with nothing due to their gender (a very hindering disadvantage of those times) rendering unable to receive any inheritance from their dead father, and the innate greed of John’s wife. In order to overcome this obstacle, the sisters decide to seek financial security through marriage (a method much more acceptable in those times). The majority of the feature details their search for potential suitors, and showcases a near perfect blend of romance and comedy.

Also starring Alan Rickman (Harry Potter, Die Hard) and Hugh Grant (Love Actually, Bridget Jones Diary) among others, it is the third adaptation of this particular Austen novel, yet possibly the most influential one of all. For in addition to receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews (from critics and public audiences alike), it became something of a phenomenon, sparking a renaissance in interest in Austen’s works and a slew of new productions focused on the period drama genre.  Sense & Sensibility is available now on e-stream and can also be found on DVD in the Library. Catch a snippet of both the comedic and romantic sides of this film in the link below:

We now move on a further decade, to the so called “noughties,” switching our attention to the romantic fantasy Stardust (2007).

Cover of Stardust DVD

Based upon Neil Gaiman’s 1999 novel of the same name, it follows a young man called Tristan who sets out on a dangerous quest of the heart (which has a sudden change throughout the course of his journey). As laid out by her terms, Tristan enters the magical kingdom of Stormhold in order to collect what he simply believes to be a fallen star, to give to his love Victoria in exchange for her hand in marriage.  The star itself however, is revealed to be so much more, and he must risk his life to protect it from both witches and the princes of the kingdom; all while desperately endearing to reach his beloved before her birthday (also part of her terms for marriage).

Known even more for its illustrious theme song, Take That’s ‘Rule The World’ (their second biggest selling single ever), than its impressive cast (featuring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Mark Strong, Ricky Gervais and more), Stardust received mostly positive reviews yet is still overlooked by most audiences to this day. As for its adaptation of the source material, it was seen as ultimately faithful by a consensus of critics. Packed full of heartfelt moments, fantastical action and wonderous visionary moments, it is certainly not something to be missed. You can ‘Ride on a star’ all the way to Stormhold yourself only on DVD, available now in the Library. Enjoy some of the unexpected humour you will find throughout, in this teasing scene in the link below:

At long last we reach the 2010’s, as we look to conclude this month’s blog. As this month is primarily known as a month of remembrance for those who lost their lives in war, I considered it rather appropriate that we end with a WWI influenced film, War Horse (2011).

Cover of War Horse DVD

Adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s highly acclaimed novel of the same name (also turned into an award-winning play), it tells the story of Joey, a young mare raised by British teenager Albert, and his journey before and during World War I. Told from Joey’s unique perspective his story begins in the year 1912, with his birth and then being bought at auction by Albert’s father. After successfully helping to plough the fields of the family’s farm, Joey is bought by the British Army after war is declared in 1914 (and heavy rain ruins the crops on the family’s farm), and shipped abroad to serve as a ‘War Horse’.

The film continues to display Joey’s encounters with numerous individuals and his abundant amount of new owners (one of whom is portrayed by the dashing Tom Hiddleston himself), all while he endures the rigorous tragedies of war. Meanwhile, Albert perilously tries his best to be reunited with Joey, eventually signing up to join the war effort himself. It’s a truly remarkable tale of a boy (then man) and his love for a horse, brought to life on screen with stunning imagery, courtesy of the magnificent vision of director Steven Spielberg.

Like the other entries in this blog, it was seen as an almost flawless adaptation of the book and play and even invoked quite the emotional response in its own right. As Richard Corliss, a critic for TIME Magazine said, “War Horse will leave only the stoniest hearts untouched.” War Horse is available to watch now on both DVD and e-stream. Enjoy a small portion of the epic adventure by clicking the link below to view the official teaser trailer:

Adaptations of famous books usually work out one of two ways, they are either a big success or a big failure (a few do manage to fit somewhere in the middle of the scale). These four films however, are all at the top of scale in terms of authenticity. In addition, they’re also great features in their own right, a terrific watch even if you haven’t read or don’t know about the books that came before. They may not contain nearly as much content as the paper they come from, but they entertain just the same. So, try one or all of them out today through the Library Services collection, be it on DVD or Planet e-stream. If for some reason adaptations of books aren’t your thing don’t worry, just remember;

Christmas time is just around the corner…

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