Staff Views: Avril Gray – Programme Leader of Publishing & University Lead on the Big Read

Welcome to Staff Views! Here, you’ll meet key figures from Edinburgh Napier Big Read staff. This week, we turn the spotlight on Avril Gray, Associate Professor and Programme Leader of MSc Publishing. Avril is the University Lead on the #NapierBigRead and head of the team.

What excites you about the Big Read? 

Everything! I’ve been working at Edinburgh Napier University for some time and what continually strikes me is how this University really celebrates the work and achievements of our students. This year the #NapierBigRead is actually a book our students produced! Other students are getting the chance to read it, to discuss it, and to use it to shout about the great work they are doing. I’ve loved making new connections with other staff and students, and finding out about what students on other programmes are achieving.

Why do you think the benefits of the Big Read scheme are for all students and staff, not just those who are already book lovers or studying literature? 

We are all lifelong learners. Learning means reading. Whether you are studying a physical text or downloading a book for pleasure (did you know our library has 122,000 eBooks?), we are reading all the time. I’ve conducted some research into the claim that people are reading less, but this is not true. We are just reading differently, accessing a variety of resources, digital and physical. And I don’t agree that we should put barriers up to reading, or say that one type of reading is better than another. (And I know I started that last sentence with “and” – my point is, don’t judge, as this can create a barrier to connection.) Continue reading “Staff Views: Avril Gray – Programme Leader of Publishing & University Lead on the Big Read”