Get started with subject guides

Subject Guide Icon Getting your first words down on paper (or onto the screen) can be the hardest part of an assignment. Never fear, subject guides are here!

A collection of resources grouped by topic, subject guides are a great place to start your research. We have hand-picked and grouped together books, journals, databases, RSS feeds, websites (and more) into one convenient place so that you know where to start looking for information on your assignment topic. We’ve even included videos on how to use a call number to find that book on the shelf and smarter ways to search Google.

Interested in the latest fashion books and DVDs we’ve bought for the Library? Then go to the Fashion subject guide. Need to know about caselaw? We’ve got Justice and Law subject guides. We’ve got Banking and Finance, Chemistry, eBooks for Engineers, Creative Advertising, Dance and many more subject guides.

Check out the subject guide listed for your area of study and come and talk to us at your closest Learning & Research Desk.

Fashion book from QUT Library Accounting book from QUT Library Accounting Dictionary from QUT Library

Looking for a Place to Study? How About Booking a Room…

Sometimes when you’re studying, you need your own space, or you need to be able to make a bit of extra noise when you’re working as a group.  Here at the library, we have two bookable study rooms for students to use. 

Both rooms have tables and whiteboards, and if you’re lucky enough to book B2.25, you’ll also get a data projector, which can make group work and preparing for presentations a little easier.  You can borrow the cables to connect your laptop to the data projector and the data projector remote control from the Learning and Research Desk.

Students can book the rooms for a maximum of two hours per day, and up to one week in advance.  To provide equal access to both TAFE and QUT students, all room bookings must be made through the happy folk at the Learning and Research Desk, rather than online.  You can book in person or call the library on (07) 5316 7420.

Caboolture Library After Dark

Did you know that Caboolture Library is open until 9 pm Wednesday and Thursday nights during the semester? This is very exciting because…

Picture of the moon

Source: Philipp Salzgeber Astrophotography

  • While the library is open, there is a library staff member there to help you with writing your assignments, using  databases, finding resources, tricky referencing questions, sorting out borrowing issues… the list goes on.
  • Assignment Minder is located in the library, so on Wednesday and Thursday nights you get extra time to finalise and submit your assignments.
  • The library is a great place to study, away from the distractions of home.  While there are times during the day when the library can get a little hectic, evenings are calm and peaceful.
  • You will have no problem getting access to a computer, if you venture in after dark.  You will also have your pick of spaces in the library to settle in and study, including the bookable study rooms, which are so popular during the day.
  • And last, but not least, we guarantee you will have no problems finding a car park!!

So, next time you have an assignment due, or you just want a quiet place to study, come on into the Caboolture library on a Wednesday or Thursday night.  You’ll enjoy the serenity.

Banned Books Week: September 24−October 1, 2011

From 24 September until 1 October, the American Library Association (ALA) recognises Banned Books Week in the United States. Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the right to read and the importance of the First Amendment (the right to freedom of expression), while highlighting the problems of censorship and bringing attention to actual or attempted banning of books across the United States.

Australia’s sister organisation to ALA, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), also rejects censorship and promotes free access to information, drawing attention to the problems that can arise when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

Take a look at these examples of classic books frequently challenged – which ones have you read?

Book cover of Animal Farm

The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding – a challenge by an American high school in 1981 states the book is “demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal.”

 Animal Farm, by George Orwell – challenged in Florida in 1981 because Orwell’s novel is “pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter.”

 The Lord of the Ringsby J.R.R. Tolkienburned in New Mexico as recently as 2001 outside Christ Community Church along with other Tolkien novels, for being “satanic”.

 The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger – removed from reading lists by a school board member in South Carolina in 2001 for being “a filthy, filthy book.”

But guess again if you think book challenges and bannings are a thing of the past. Current literature that frequently tops the ‘most challenged’ lists include the Twilight series, the Harry Potter series, And Tango Makes Three, and The Kite Runner.

There are plenty more, perhaps you could read one during the mid-semester break! See a comprehensive listing of banned and/or challenged classics and the reasons cited at the ALA website.

Extra! Extra! Online newspapers at QUT Library

Whether you read them at home, on the bus, in the tearoom, stretched out with a print copy or scrolling through the app on your gadget, newspapers are a part of our everyday lives.

Did you know that QUT Library gives you access to over 500 newspapers from all over the world?
Here are some special electronic newspaper resources you might be interested in:

  • Library Press Display – on trial until the end of 2011, Press Display is a full-colour, full-page collection of today’s newspapers from around the world, with a 60 day archive.
  • Factiva – an interdisciplinary news, current affairs and research database providing access to nearly 8000 publications – 5 users at a time only.
  • The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985 – 200 years of The Times (London)! Full image of every page published is available and is fully searchable.

Or if you’re looking for Australian newspapers, try

But if you prefer the rustling pages of a broadsheet (or tabloid), print copies of major daily Australian newspapers are available in the newspaper reading area of each QUT campus library. Gardens Point library also receives copies of many major international newspapers.

A stack of newspapers

Read & Relax during the mid-semester break

With the mid-semester break starting today, why not take a few hours of well-deserved time-out from your studies to curl up and relax with a good book!

The Library is continually getting in the latest and greatest fiction and non-fiction for your reading pleasure. Visit the 820s section of your campus Library and browse the shelves, or pick up one of these new arrivals:

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

Richard Steele, Irish-born essayist and dramatist (1710).

Book cover of Before I go to sleep.

Writing. Writing. Writing.

It’s the time of semester when everyone is writing an assignment (if not several). These are our favourite free web resources for getting words on the page.

1.  Writing Structure Overview: there’s a reason this is one of the most downloaded resources on Studywell. It includes a clear visualisation of how to structure academic writing as well as a colour-coded example with explanatory notes.

2.  Thesis Generator: An online tool if you are stuck with a hypothesis for a persuasive paper/augmentative essay. Results vary – but it’s not bad for brainstorming what to include in your thesis statement.

3. What is a literature review?  Although not usually a fan of online tutorials, this guide to writing a literature review from the University of Sydney Library, covers everything I wish I had known before I wrote my first lit review. (There’s more lit review info on QUT Cite|Write as well).

4. Grammar and Punctuation: if you need to quickly check if your apostrophes are in the right places, Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) has comprehensive punctuation and grammar guides as well as exercises. (Or for a laugh, check out the guide to apostrophes provided by the Oatmeal).


What have you found useful on the web for writing?

Hobbit Day – 22 September

Most of us have read the books or seen the movies, but the J.R.R. Tolkien fanatics amongst us will have already pencilled this one into the calendar. The date is September 22, also known as “Hobbit Day” – the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, popular characters from Tolkien’s famous fantasies The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings.

There is however, some debate in deep Tolkien fandom, about September 22 as the actual birth date. Purists argue that the dates mentioned in Tolkien’s stories refer to the Shire Calendar, which differs significantly from the Gregorian Calendar which many fans observe. An alternative date of September 14 has been suggested.

Whichever day you choose to observe Hobbit Day, many suggestions are available for how to celebrate:

  • Go barefoot all day (not in the Library though please :))
  • Organise a big feast emulating a typical Hobbit party that includes sausages, cider, cake and many dishes featuring mushrooms, a hobbit’s favourite food (as a child, Frodo was caught stealing a farmer’s mushrooms)
  • Wear a costume and in true hobbit tradition, give out gifts (toys, trinkets and small musical instruments apparently make good authentic gifts) –

Want to read or watch some Tolkien? Borrow the books and films from the Library!

The book jacket of Tolkein's The Hobbit

The Hobbit at QUT Library

The Lord of the Rings at QUT Library 

Hobbit Day also falls within the middle of Tolkien Week. Find out more about both these events from the American Tolkien Society.

Peer Advisers at Caboolture Library

Peer AdvisersPeer Advisers are experienced, current students who assist you with the skills and strategies for successful academic study, research and writing.

Caboolture’s peer advisers are Melissa, Sharon & Lauren. They are all third year students who have a wide range of skills to help you with finding journal articles and information for assignments, improving your academic writing, and learning how to reference and cite information.

Look out for them in their bright green shirts next time you are in the Library. They understand what you’re going through!

Are you interested in joining the Library crew as a Peer Advisor in 2012? Check out Career Hub now. Applications close October 7.

Top tips for group assignments

Group assignments can be a stressful part of the semester. These are our top tips to get stuff done and avoid any major conflicts.

1. Get Together. Meeting on campus is usually the most convenient for all group members. Coffee can be a nice way to bond early in a project; a library study room can be more practical for computer access and completing a project. Avoid wasting time looking for a free space, by booking a study room in advance online or through the QUT iPhone app.

2. Divide and Record. Sharing the workload is the advantage of group work, but miscommunication about who is doing what by when is a cause of problems. Writing down and circulating your planning, means that everyone is on the same page, literally. There are even templates to make this simple.

3.  Keep in touch. Being proactive about communication helps avoid blow ups, which is often a better solution than resolving conflict.  Proactive steps include: swapping contact details at the beginning of project; deciding in advance how issues will be resolved (compromise, majority, consensus); and maintaining open communication outside the group, e.g. with lecturers and tutors. For more effective teamwork strategies, check out Studywell.

4. Share. A lot can happen between weekly group meetings (and not necessarily the project). Sharing documents online, where everyone can monitor changes and contribute can save time. As well as cut down on email confusion and multiple versions.  We’ve used Google docs, wikis, and experimented with zoho, but there are lots of alternatives freely available on the web.

We’d like to hear what other solutions you have for working with group documents online. Do you use wiki spaces? Do you find Google docs easier to use?
Or have you got everything in a shared Dropbox folder?

students working at QUT Library