How to take a break and not fall behind

The first few weeks of semester can be overwhelming. Assignment deadlines are coming up fast. Unit readings are piling up. While these things might be happening, taking a break, even for a couple of days, can make a positive difference to your productivity and outlook.

reading by the water

The mid-semester break is an opportune time to decompress and process what you’ve learned so far. By taking a step away from study, you can return with fresh eyes and motivation that will help you through the rest of the semester. A break doesn’t need to cause stress. A break that is planned well can help ensure you don’t fall behind.

Before the mid-semester break, ask yourself, ‘What do I absolutely need to get done this week?’

Prioritise what you need to have completed before the mid-semester break. Is it an assignment? Some research? An assessed activity or quiz? There might be small, niggly things that you could complete in little time. If there are big things, break them up into bite-sized chunks. This will help you focus and work through them.

List 3-5 next steps for yourself for each unit.

Save time reviewing your progress and figuring out where you left off. Do the thinking before you take a break. What are the very next steps you need to take to progress an assignment, revision, tutorial activity, etc? Keep these steps small so you can pick up momentum more easily.

This is what I mean…’research for accounting assignment’ can seem big and daunting. Instead, try breaking it down, like this…

  • Review my assignment task and identify key requirements.
  • Review my reading notes and mind map key concepts and ideas.
  • Identify the resources I need to search. Formulate a plan.

By being more specific about what you need to do next, you can know exactly what you need to get on with when you return from your 303study break.

Catching up on readings? Be strategic about it!

Readings overload? You will rarely need to read every single word. Before you start to read, understand the purpose of why you’re reading something. This will determine the strategy you take.
Are you looking to deepen your understanding? Looking for clarification? Answer a specific question?

For more about how to read more strategically, check out the study skills workshop ‘Read it, note it, recall it’ available on Blackboard. Once logged into Blackboard, either go to the community site directly and click ‘Enrol’, or use ‘Community Finder’ and search with the name ‘Library Back to Study’. You’ll find the workshop materials under ‘Resources’.

It’s okay to take a break! Here are some ideas…

Take a picnic blanket and a book (or your unit readings) and head outside. One of my favourite spots is by the water at Sandgate, easily reached by the Shorncliffe train line. Fish n chips, anyone?

Go explore a part of Brisbane you’ve never been before.

Chill out in the Games Lab at the Kelvin Grove Library. Consoles and controllers can be borrowed from the Library Helpdesk on Level 2.

Did you know there are free fitness classes at Southbank? Why not take a friend?

Have a fabulous break!

What do you do to take time out from study?

Study Hack – Time management to the rescue!

Making a plan and sticking to it is often the hardest part of studying. If we can manage our priorities and commitments we can often get things done quicker and with less stress. With Easter coming up everyone is looking forward to a break. Having a break is just as important as studying, but how can you fit in a bit of R & R while still staying on track with your workload?

Why not look at some of the great time-management tools we have to offer to keep you on track and lower your stress levels.

To minimise cramming at the end of semester download a semester planner and stick it on your door, keeping track of your due dates in a visible place often helps you get things done sooner!

Assignment Calculator is a useful tool which breaks down your assessment into manageable chunks.

And if you manage to have the time for it check out the library’s website for some more quick tips and hints. To get started often simple things are the best. Why not write out a ‘to do’ list and highlight the important things?
StudyBreaks_JB
And finally, take study breaks! Everyone needs a rest every now and then to recharge. It can also unblock your mind and allow you to answer problems you were stuck on or see things in a different way.

Need more help? Come and see us in the Library and make a Study Solutions appointment.

Remember, good time management = less stress so why not give it a try?

 

 

Reading for the holidays

Did you know now that semester is over you can actually read for fun?

QUT Library subscribes to some fantastic online resources which you can read on your mobile device when you take a break from uni. Whether you are jetting-off on an overseas adventure or relaxing by the pool, our ebook and audiobook choices will put you right into holiday mode.

Overdrive and BorrowBox are two options where you can read or listen to books online. You can download books to either your mobile phone, tablet, or desktop computer.

 

Be prepared: Getting the best out of Study Solutions!

" Day133: Flickr keeps you studying!" By Abdulrahman AlZe3bi. CC BY-NC 2.0

” Day133: Flickr keeps you studying!” By Abdulrahman AlZe3bi. CC BY-NC 2.0

At the Library, there really is no such thing as a stupid question. Did you know that the most common question we get asked is, “Where are the bathrooms?” Helping you to find the bathroom is just one of the many ways we can help in the Library.

Many students get stuck with pesky research, writing and referencing questions over the course of the semester. At every branch Library, you can have your researching and referencing questions answered straight away at the Library Helpdesk. Our staff are trained to help you get started and point you in the right direction to get your assignments started.

If you have a longer or more complicated question, the Library can provide support for your studies through a Study Solutions appointment. By booking a Study Solutions appointment, you can get a 25 minute face to face appointment for help with your study, research and assignments. From understanding your assignment question, providing feedback on a draft, to working in groups, or organising your work/study load, we are here to help.

You can book a 25 minute consultation from Week 3. Bookings open a week in advance and fill up quickly – so be prepared and book early.

If you miss out on an appointment, never fear! Drop-in sessions are available at both Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove libraries from 12pm-2pm, Tuesday to Thursday. The time of your consultation will depend on how many students are waiting – so be prepared and have your burning question ready and waiting to maximise your time.

So! You’ve booked a consultation or you’re planning on coming to a drop-in session…. what can you do to prepare yourself to get the best out of your Study Solutions session?

1. Be on time! Make sure to note the date, time, and location of your consultation. Write it in your phone, diary, or the back of your hand. Remember you can keep track of your bookings online.

2. Come to your consultation with something specific to work on. Whether it be your assignment question, your draft, a particular study issue you’ve been having, or a question about a resource – this helps us to tailor the support specifically to your needs. Please remember that library staff cannot proofread assignments for you, we can give you tips and strategies so you can proofread yourself (hint: read your assignment out loud to the mirror!).

3. Check our online study resources and see if your question is answered there. If you familiar yourself with resources such as Cite Write, Studywell, and Studysmart, you’ll be well on your way to being a top student on your own!

4. If you’re looking for specific academic language and learning support you can get in touch with Academic Language and Learning Services (ALLS) to arrange an appointment. Language and Learning Educators are specially trained to help students and staff who need help with speaking and writing.

 

Goodbye Mad Men

10eHave you ever loved a television program so much that you cried when it ended? There were more than a few sad faces in the library when the season finale of Mad Men rolled around. We even had a tribute magnetic scrabble game on our staff message-board.

Mad Men ran for 7 seasons and reintroduced the modern world to the fashion, politics, and home-life of 1960’s America. We saw a glimpse of what life was like for the ad-men (and women!) of New York in a sometimes romanticised and sometimes no-holds-barred kind of way. The series grew to be a cultural phenomenon not only for the nostalgic value but for the social commentaries on gender, race equality, and of course, advertising.

Do you want to live in the world of 1960’s Madison Avenue for a little longer? Why not check out some of the awesome titles we have in our collection.

Books

Mad men unbuttoned : a romp through 1960s America / Natasha Vargas-Cooper.
Mad men and philosophy : nothing is as it seems / edited by Rod Carveth and James B. South.
Mid-century ads : advertising from the Mad Men era / edited by Jim Heimann ; introduction by Steven Heller.

E-Books

Mad Men and Politics [electronic resource] : Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America / Lilly J. Goren.
Mad Men, Mad World [electronic resource] : Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s. / Lauren M.E. Goodlad.
Analyzing Mad Men [electronic resource] : Critical Essays on the Television Series. / Scott F. Stoddart.

DVDs

Nineteen Sixties Drama

Blind date with a book!

Book Swap - Located Level 3 Kelvin Grove Library.

Book Swap – Located Level 3 Kelvin Grove Library.

When Valentine’s Day comes around some people are thinking about flowers or chocolates while others are rolling their eyes. How about ditching the chocolate and putting your eyes to good use by … reading a book!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ and what better way to put the idiom to literal use than by going on a blind date with a book?

The Book Swap located on Level 3 at Kelvin Grove Library has a number of titles waiting to be picked up and read – all you need to do is swap it with a book of your own. Make it a little bit interesting by wrapping your book in brown paper and writing a few hints on the front.

On a side note – 14 February has been adopted by librarians in Australia as Library Lovers Day! Show your appreciation for your local librarian by popping in and saying hi.

Happy Australia Day!

Australia Day Sign by Feeeeeeee  (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“Australia Day Sign” by Feeeeeeee (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In contemporary Australia, 26 January is a day to grab your thongs, throw some sausages on the barbeque, turn up the radio, and celebrate everything about being Australian.

It is a time to reflect on our history and on our future and celebrate any way you see fit!

At QUT Library we have a wonderful range of resources to help get you into the Australia Day spirit.

My brilliant career / Miles Franklin; edited by Bruce K. Martin. Published in 1901, this is a coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in rural Australia.

Mullumbimby / Melissa Lucashenko. Born in Brisbane, Melissa Lucashenko writes a novel about cultural warfare and disputes over native title land in Northern New South Wales.

The slap / Christos Tsiolkas. A man slapping a child not his own at an Australian backyard barbeque tests the relationships of those who witnessed it.

The aboriginal tent embassy: sovereignty, black power, land rights and the state / edited by Gary Foley, Andrew Schaap and Edwina Howell. On Australia Day 1972, four Aboriginal men set up a tent embassy outside Parliament House in Canberra to bring political attention to Aboriginal rights.

Triple J’s hottest 100. Volume 21. A tradition for many on Australia Day – listen to the 100 best songs of 2013 as voted by the Australian public.

For those in the mood for a little culture, the Gardens Theatre will be hosting a play aptly named ‘Australia Day’ on 25 and 26 January. Check it out!

Let us know what you will be doing this Australia Day in the comments below and don’t forget to use the hashtag #AustraliaDay when using social media.

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!

Summer Library lovin’

'Dead Sea, man reading' by  Arian Zwegers (CC BY 2.0)

‘Dead Sea, man reading’ by Arian Zwegers (CC BY 2.0)

End of Semester has officially arrived – huzzah! Of course  Summer Semester has begun so whether you’re studying through the coming months, or have easy days stretching before you, the QUT Library is here for you.

  •  Throughout Summer Semester (17 November to 20 February) the staff on the QUT Library Helpdesks will be available to help you with all your researching and study inquiries – check each Branch for specific dates and Summer Semester times.
  • Staff and HDR Students, your Liaison Librarians can also be contacted for assistance over the Summer months.

Now apart for the obvious selling point of coming  into the Library over Summer – hello air-con – we also have lots to offer in the way of downtime and relaxation as well as our usual student study and research support. Perhaps you have been so focused on your coursework this Semester/year that the existence of these fun and frivolous library offerings may surprise you?! Over the coming weeks we’ll be blogging a ‘Summer series’ about these,perhaps unexpected, offerings of the QUT Library for you to enjoy so stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you read the book or see the movie first?

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

The release of the film adaptation of John Green’s super popular The Fault in Our Stars has reignited the always controversial debate – is it better to read the book or see the film first? We have a bunch of books and their film adaptations at the Library, so which ever way round you do it why not read the book and see the movie during the mid-year holiday? We have something to suit most tastes.

Carrie book / movie
Carrie, a shy high school girl uses her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who bully her. A horror classic.

Trainspotting book / movie
Follows the antics of group of heroin addicts in an economically depressed area of Edinburgh – sometimes funny, frequently horrifying. 

The Virgin Suicides book / movie
The dreamy and haunting tale of the enigmatic Lisbon sisters. The five girls fascinate their community, especially a group of adolescent boys who attempt to piece together their story.

The Hunger Games book / movie
In a dystopian North America, children are forced to participate in an annual televised death match known as The Hunger Games. Great for dystopian YA aficionados.  

The Silence of the Lambs book / movie
FBI trainee Clarice Starling seeks the help of brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer, Hannibal Lecter to track down and apprehend another serial killer known as Buffalo Bill.

Fight Club book / movie
An unnamed insomniac protagonist meets a mysterious man named Tyler Durden and starts an underground fighting club. Great for when you’re feeling disaffected. 

Atonement book / movie
Explores the consequences of a young upper-class girl’s half-innocent but ultimately life ruining mistake. Great if you feel like having a bit of a cry.

So what do you think? Let us know your preference in the comments.