It’s Christmas time, and there’s no need to be afraid…

Around the world and across Australia the Christian celebration of Christmas is in the air (and on our screens, in our ears and along our streets).

For many it’s a time to catch up with friends and family, to have some time off work or study, to go to the beach, and to relax with a good book.

With such a vibrant international staff and student community at QUT we thought we’d provide a quick guide to Aussie Christmas protocols to help those who aren’t so familiar with the Aussie yule time traditions.

  • Do the Brisbane City Council Christmas lights tour –  wandering through the suburbs and strangers’ backyards to see the houses and streets decorated for Christmas
  • Eat a hot roast lunch with heavy puddings served in scorching temperatures (you can replace with seafood and salads, but many don’t)
  • Play a  backyard cricket match after lunch (over the fence is six and out, and you can’t get out on the first ball). Alternatively, collapse into a chair and vow never to eat again.
  • Head to the beach– possibly the best way to spend the day.
  • Watch on as uncles and father’s make their way to the hospital emergency department on Christmas afternoon after “demonstrating” how to ride a child’s new skateboard.

We know for many, having Christmas in Summer is just plain weird, but whatever you get up to over the  break you can still access all of our QUT Library resources online, including  a range of Christmas-themed books, eBooks and videos from children’s literature to Christmas cooking, to streaming Christmas movies.

All campus libraries will be closed from Saturday 21st December until Tuesday 2nd January. Have a safe and relaxing break – we’ll see you in the new year.

Brisbane City Council Christmas parade

 

Time to get out of here?

The Library has plenty of travel guides to plan your well deserved break 

Whether you are heading off on a road trip, flying interstate or internationally we have got you covered.  There are loads of guides at the Kelvin Grove Library as well as online that you can access from anywhere.

Here are some quick links for some travel guides: 

Or just type in the destination of your choice and add the words ‘travel guide’ here on our Library homepage

If you are on campus you can also browse the collection at the Kelvin Grove Library on the 3rd floor in the 915 call number area.

Whatever you do we wish you well for a safe holiday break!

 

Open access week on tour at QUT

Guest blog by Ginny Barbour, Director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group & Professor at the Division of Research and Commercialisation,
Office of Research Ethics & Integrity QUT

Roadshow flyerAs we head towards the end of October – we turn our focus to a week dedicated to open access (OA). Now in its 10th year, OA week has grown into a truly national and global celebration. It is an opportunity for everyone working in OA to reflect on successes and recent developments, announce new initiatives, and to consider the future.

What is the week about, and what does it mean for QUT staff and academics? This year signals a return to a core purpose of open access; to reduce inequity in access to information. The year’s theme is: “designing the equitable foundations for open knowledge”. The theme indicates a need for purposeful thinking about the next steps for OA, to ensure that everyone benefits – authors, readers, the wider academic community and beyond. Open access is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end – that of an equitable, efficient and FAIR means of sharing scholarly information.

QUT has had a truly momentous year with its repository passing 25 million downloads. QUT’s ePrints repository is the most successful repository in Australia. It has more than 86,000 items, more than 70% of which are full text. Depositing records and full text is the most important way that QUT researchers can comply with QUT’s open access policy and that of the two big Australian funders — all for free.  But more than that, QUT’s repository allows anyone anywhere to access its research. The 25th millionth download highlights the equitable theme of OA Week, with the download coming from Namibia.

QUT also supports the work of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG), a group which QUT co-founded and which works for national strategies on OA as well as supporting the OA community in Australasia.

For academics who publish openly the benefits are concrete. A better readership for open articles is not surprising, but the benefit of increased academic usage are also becoming clearer through more citations. Critically, depositing in an OA repository such as QUT’s ePrints, is demonstrated to be the best way to boost citations. Furthermore, open articles are better connected into global systems for sharing information, which means that ultimately they can have wider societal impact.

QUT Library will be taking a roadshow around the QUT campuses in OA week to spread the word. Find out when the Open Access Bike will be coming to a campus near you!

What the world needs now…

The Brisbane Writers Festival begins this month with a plethora of events and activities happening around the city.

This year’s theme is What the world needs now and in keeping with that, QUT Library wants to celebrate with a little bit of understanding and history.

We thought we’d put the spotlight on some of our own Brisbane authors, and showcase what it was like growing up here in Brisvegas. If you didn’t start your life here, get a great picture  by reading some of our top Brisbane author picks:

Rebecca Sparrow (2003) The Girl most Likely: A Novel

Nick Earls (1996) Zigzag Street

David Malouf (1975) Johnno

Nicole Watson (2011) The Boundary

If fashion is your passion, don’t miss out on seeing QUT’s Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) Professor Suzi Darbyshire who will be chairing an ‘in conversation’ Brisbane Writers Festival event at the State Library with author of The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger on Friday 7th September.

Relax & catch your breath between exams

You know when the words stop making sense on the page and you’re re-reading the same sentence again and again – it’s unlikely you’re taking anything in… your brain’s fried, it’s time to take a break….   White sneakers on green grass

QUT has some great distractions from the real world – so here are some ways to have a quick refresh, so you can get back to the books.

  • Have a game of table tennis – there’s a table in the courtyard on level 2 (entry level) at the KG Library
  • Take a walk around the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, just a hop skip and jump from the GP library
  • Head halfway across the Goodwill Bridge, have a coffee, and sit and watch as cyclists wreak havoc on pedestrians
  • Head up to the garden level of P Block (level 6,The Cube) at GP and stretch out on a bench for a power nap
  • Take a walk around the QUT Art Museum, a new exhibition begins on Saturday 16 June – Abstraction: Celebrating Australian Women Abstract Artists.
  • Get to the Games Lab at KG library and play a retro classic
  • Have a walk around the bookshops at either campus and pick up something great to enjoy over the break.
  • Go for an indoor swim – one-off rates are available at campus fitness centres.
  • If you’ve got a great spot and can’t bear to leave the library we have some great video streaming options (EduTV & Kanopy)

 

 

Don’t keep history a mystery

This month we celebrate National Reconciliation Week. 

The theme for 2018 is Don’t keep history a mystery, and aims to highlight some of the lesser known aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, histories, cultures, and achievements.  It’s calling on all Australians to ask the question:  What are some of the things I don’t know about our shared history?

On Thursday 31 May there’ll be a free screening of the movie, We Don’t Need a Map on level 2 of the Library/HiQ, R Block, KG.  Everyone’s welcome, and popcorn will be provided!

We Don’t Need a Map is a thought provoking look at Australia’s relationship with the Southern Cross, from its significance to indigenous Australians to its adoption as a national symbol.

There are a number of other activities happening around campus including the Inter-uni Reconciliation Cup against Griffith Uni,  and the first Vice-Chancellor’s Forum for the year with guest speaker, Stan Grant.

Check out more QUT Reconciliation Week activities here and find other community and national Reconciliation Week events here.

Summer Series Two – Summer reading

'2012-205 Reading' by Denise Krebs (CC BY 2.0)

‘2012-205 Reading’ by Denise Krebs (CC BY 2.0)

The QUT Library is ready and willing to enable a Summer spent reading in the hammock or by the pool.

You may be unaware of QUT Library’s extensive holdings of recreational reading material — both fiction and non-fiction — that is yours to borrow. So come and stock up so you can simply move from one book to the next without leaving your comfy spot. Whether it be literary classics, latest award winners or easy reads then the QUT Library has something to suit everyone.

Here are some classic summer-themed books to get you started:

To kill a mockingbird / Harper Lee. A young girl growing up in an Alabama town in the 1930s learns of injustice and violence when her father, a widowed lawyer, defends a black man falsely accused of rape —  from Worldcat. Deceptively simple, this is one of my all time favourite books that I re-read every year!

The great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald which follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession for the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchana. — from Wikipedia.

Let the great world spin / Colum McCann. Award-winner Let the Great World Spin is a novel laced together by several different narratives, spanning from a waspy Park Avenue wife of a judge to a hooker to an Irish immigrant. The common thread? All characters are centered in New York City, summer blazing, while the Vietnam War rages on abroad. Despite the chaos abroad and on US soil, the city comes to a standstill when onlookers spot a man begin to walk on a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers. — from flavourwire

Atonement / Ian McEwan. In 1935, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis and her family live a life of wealth and privilege in their enormous mansion. On the warmest day of the year, the country estate takes on an unsettling hothouse atmosphere, stoking Briony’s vivid imagination. Robbie Turner, the educated son of the family’s housekeeper, carries a torch for Briony’s headstrong older sister Cecilia. He hopes that Cecilia has comparable feelings. All it will take is one spark for this relationship to combust. When it does, Briony — who has a crush on Robbie — is compelled to interfere. She goes so far as to accuse Robbie of a crime he did not commit. Cecilia and Robbie declare their love for each other, but, ultimately, he is arrested. Briony bears false witness and the course of three lives is changed forever. — from Wikipedia

Come and browse the shelves or search for particular titles using the Library catalogue.

And if an eBook reader is on your Christmas list, then you’ll be pleased to know that many titles are available for loan as eBooks, or audiobooks,  downloadable from the Library website. So you don’t even have to interrupt your lolling to restock your reading material!

Let us know your favourite summer-themed book or a book you re-read every year!

Summer Series One – Movies & TV

Movies on the beach anyone? 'Sunbathing?' by  david reid (CC BY 2.0)

Movies on the beach anyone?
‘Sunbathing?’ by david reid (CC BY 2.0)

Welcome to the first post in our Summer Series highlighting the fun and frivolous offerings of the QUT Library for you to utilise this summer!

Summer and catching up on movies you’ve missed throughout the year or finally getting around to seeing some classics from your ‘one day’ list go hand-in-hand. So come on in (in person or online) and check out the QUT Library’s extensive movie collection.

Browse the movie collection in person at Kelvin Grove Level  4 at call number range 791.43 or search for a particular film you’re after in the Catalogue or in Quickfind.

New titles of 2014 releases include The secret life of Walter Mitty; The Railway man; and Kill your darlings. As well as the DVDs, many titles are streamed online  so you don’t even have to leave home! These streaming films are available to all staff and students.

If you’re not sure where to start or what to watch – how about a summer themed classic such as GreaseJaws; Endless Summer; or Dirty Dancing?

In addition to feature films, the QUT Library also has TV series for loan. TV Marathon here you come! Recent award winning series such as Game of Thrones; True Detective and House of Cards can be found alongside classics such as the The Sopranos and Buffy on the shelves of Level 4, Kelvin Grove Library.  As well as shows for the grown-ups, the Library also has Children’s Television Programs for loan as well.

And remember, if you can’t get to Kelvin Grove campus where most of these are located, you can place a Hold and get items sent to your home campus at Caboolture or Gardens Point to pick up there!

Let us know your favourite Summer-themed movie in the comments below!

Bloom of doom

Exams! by  Jan Smith (CC BY 2.0)

Exams! by Jan Smith
(CC BY 2.0)

Poor Jacarandas. In Queensland they’re a signal that end of year exams are upon us and as such, the blooms strike fear, panic and desperation in students’ hearts and their beauty largely goes unappreciated.

So, what can you do once the mass of purple fills the skies – and carpets the paths – to survive exam madness?

  • Firstly, know your enemy. There are many different types of exams: multiple choice; short answer; and open book just to name a few. Each has different performance requirements and therefore, a different preparation strategy. Studywell has lots of exam advice including how to identify what you’re facing and how to prepare for each different exam type.
  • Double check the basics. Well before the day, check the exam timetable and then check it again. Know where you’re going, what time and work out how you’re going to get there. Exam rooms are usually in different places than your lectures so check the campus map and familiarise yourself with where you need to go.
  • Formulate a plan of attack. Put in place strategies to organise your time and organise your notes. Gather all the information you need together – lecture notes, recordings of lectures, textbooks, readings, quizzes, lab reports – before you start studying to make sure you have all the information at hand.
  • Phone a friend. Study with a buddy or form a study group. You’ll help keep each other motivated and can quiz each other and share techniques for revising.
  • Eat and Sleep. Good nutrition and staying hydrated are key to performing at your best  – as easy as it would be to fall into the trap of takeaway and caffeine. Plan to get adequate sleep in your study schedule as your brain’s retention and retrieval performance will be hampered by inadequate zzz’s.
  • Don’t panic. It’s easy to start to feel overwhelmed, even if you have a good study plan in place. Here’s some strategies to combat exam anxiety and don’t be afraid to talk to someone if it all starts getting too much.

Wishing you all the best of luck  this exam period  and be assured, one day you will be able to gaze upon the Jacarandas with fondness rather than loathing.

Light! End of the tunnel!

You're nearly there minifig! 'Small Climb' by  Black Zack (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

You’re nearly there minifig! ‘Small Climb’ by Black Zack
(CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The weather’s warming up, and all that sunshine is like a beacon of hope – it’s almost the end of semester! You’ve already handed in a few assignments and things are rolling along. To make sure you keep the momentum going, here are a few tips:

  • Use the Assignment Calculator to help manage your time on these last assessments.
  • Set some time aside for each of your assessment pieces. A weekly planner is available here.
  • If you aren’t sure about your assignment task, talk to your tutor or lecturer about what is required.
  • Ask someone at the Library Helpdesk to show you our online learning resources and help you find information.
  • Book a Study Solutions appointment for a 25 minute one-on-one appointment to talk about your assignment.
  • Check out your faculty’s peer assistance program to talk to another student about your study.

Time can slip away quickly. For best results with less stress, start early, work consistently and finish strong!