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.

The Brisbane Cultural Precinct gets magical with the Out of the Box Festival – monsters will be sighted

The end of exams can’t come soon enough. Let’s celebrate – the Out of the Box Festival starts June 25th!

Out of the Box is a biennial festival of theatre, music, circus and art – all for the under 8s. Older children (and adults) love it too, though! Started in 1992, it is a national leader in programming for kids. QUT students and staff have been involved over the years both as participants as well as writing and thinking about this unique festival.

For eight days, the area round QPAC (and the museums and galleries) will be full of colour and energy, art and theatre, music and dance. Some highlights include:

You will need to purchase tickets for some events, but there are many free activities as well. Check the event schedule for the full details.

More on the festival from Brendan Ross, the OOTB director:


Learn coding with the world’s best

As of June, 2014 C and Java are the two most popular programming languages in the world. With Java alone used by 9 million developers and many people trying to tap into the booming app market, there is no denying that learning programming languages is worth the challenge. Luckily, tech gurus (and coding newbies) love to share. It’s all about learning new tricks and remembering all the bits we’ve not used for months.There are tons of free, easy to access and learn-at-your-own-pace sites that make it possible for you to get started coding.

The Stack Overflow landing page:

  • Stack Overflow – This is the place to ask the world your programming questions. It is in effect the greatest interactive programming FAQ. With over 7 million questions asked, if you can conceive of it, it’s probably been asked, answered, and curated by a community that rivals Wikipedia. Everything from conceptual understanding, to the most obscure and complex piece of code you’re ever likely to come across. Best bit? It’s 100% free. No strings.

The following are a bunch of great resources you can, and should, call upon when you embark upon your coding journey.

  • Code Academy is a great place to kick things off. It’s interactive and playful; learning while doing.
  • Khan Academy is one of the original non-profit MOOC’s for budding learners, made popular by their philosophy and expansive high quality content.
  • Code School is a marvellous site devoted to teaching a few specific languages. The pathways offered by Code School allow you to jump around and they link well with the more interactive Khan Academy lessons.
  • is a huge database available for QUT students and staff (others will need to pay to join) that provides a large array of videos for training. The section on coding offers hundreds of hours of content.
  • Coder Dojo is an international network of free coding schools for people of all ages. There is one in Brisbane – it’s the first in Australia!
  • HSBNE (Hacker Space Brisbane) is a wonderful conglomeration of interested parties with disparate skills but often overlapping interests. It’s a great place to tinker, bring your ideas to life and be part of a well-established social group that meets at regular events to learn new skills. This group is heavily focused on prototyping and engineering.

And in case you aren’t quite ready to lay down some code but are interested in how all this internet stuff works, then this video is for you: The Web Is Not The Net.

What’s a sanction and how do I deal with it?

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) By Sir John Tenniel (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

You thought everything this semester was done and dusted – but wait, what is that you see in your email inbox? A sanction! In all the rush to meet deadlines you may have forgotten to return some items to the Library. We’d like to make sure everything is available and ready for interested users.

So, what is a sanction?

  • When a Library item becomes 28 days overdue an academic sanction will be applied to your student record.
  • Sanctions prevent you from receiving examination results, graduating and obtaining academic transcripts.

What should I do?

  • To remove the sanction you need to either return the item or pay a replacement cost.
  • Replacement costs can be paid online by credit card via QUTPay, or in person at any QUT Branch Library, excluding the Law Library.

QUT Library is committed to ensuring equitable access to resources and we ask that you return or renew your items by their due date. You can renew them yourself by logging on to your My Library Profile on the QUT Library Website.

Full details about overdues, penalties and sanctions are available via the QUT Library website.


Discover Dr Michio Kaku in the Library

Theoretical physicist, renowned futurist and science commentator, Dr Michio Kaku is currently spending some time in Australia and recently spoke at a QUT sponsored event in Brisbane. Dr Kaku, the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York, is a celebrated science communicator and popularizer of science. He is renowned for his ability to make complex scientific concepts understandable by the lay person.

If you weren’t able to attend Dr Kaku’s talk but want to know more about this exciting thinker or if you were a lucky attendee and were blown away and ready for more, you can catch up on all things Kaku at QUT Library.

The Library holds quite a range of Prof Kaku’s work, plus a few collected writings that he has edited. Recent titles such as Future of the mind (2014), Physics of the future (2011) and Physics of the impossible (2009) are available as well as some of his earlier work on strings, superstrings and M-theory.

You can also delve into his Visions of the Future BBC series on the future of computers, medicine, and quantum physics. Watch on DVD or streaming video (for QUT authenticated users only).

There are many great videos online as well.

Time to dust off the humble pen and paper – taking notes by hand is better for your memory!

Sometimes going analogue is the only way to go by Tobias Vemmenby (CC BY 2.0)

Sometimes going analogue is the only way to go by Tobias Vemmenby (CC BY 2.0)

Research recently published in Psychological Science * has found that students who took notes by hand,  as opposed to a laptop, performed better when asked questions about the factual content and concepts they had been taught.

Students watched a TED talk in a lecture environment and then took notes the way they normally would – some on a laptop and others with a paper and pen. Those using a laptop wrote more but when quizzed 30 minutes later they had understood less than those who took notes by hand. Those taking notes by hand also out-performed the others in both factual recall and concept understanding a full week later when quizzed on the topic again!

So taking notes by hand appears to encourage both more concise note-taking and encourage conceptual processing of the information at the time to assist you to understand and recall the information – in both the short and long-term.

With exams coming up, now might be the time to make a switch and try some old-fashioned pencraft.

* QUT students and staff can access the full text here:  Mueller, P. A., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014). The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking. Psychological Science, 25, 1159-1168. doi: 10.1177/0956797614524581

Building work in the Kelvin Grove Library Curriculum Collection

While you are smashing your exams and then taking a well-deserved break after an awesome first semester, we are working hard to improve the Library building and facilities. This coming week some of that work will be happening in the Curriculum Collection area on level 4 at Kelvin Grove.

This means that the Curriculum Collection at KG Library will be closed to students until Wednesday 11 June. Don’t worry though – if you need something from the collection during this time, just ask at the Library Helpdesk on level 2 and staff will retrieve the item for you.

(Unfortunately, moving our books won’t be as magical as in this video.)

Go wild for World Environment Day, June 5th

Harnessing nature

Harnessing Nature by Tommy Clark (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Thursday, 5th of June 2014 is World Environment Day (WED) as designated by the United Nations to encourage awareness and action. The focus this year is on Small Islands which bear much of the brunt of climate change impact.

Here are 5 ways on the 5th to get engaged:

  1. Take on one of the WED challenges – purge plastics, cut food waste, reduce power and connect communities.
  2. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report is now available freely online. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, the Climate Council website has a neat summary of the findings, particularly for Australia.

    Renewable Power of Destruction

    Renewable Power of Destruction by Stéfan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

  3. Celebrate with The Wilderness Society at a pub party in Brisbane –  Networking for Nature.
  4. Find out why QUT’s Science and Engineering Centre (Gardens Point – P Block) has a 5 star rating: Sustainable technologies and outdoor spaces.
  5. Cli-Fi (Climate Change Fiction) is a thing. Check out some of the greats at QUT Library:

Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam – The award-winning trilogy by Margaret Atwood
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Solar by Ian McEwan
Back to the Garden by Clara Hume

Teaching and learning with webinar


Image via

Interested in using technology to enhance your teaching practice? Not sure where to start?

Join education consultant Laurie Burruss for a webinar that will help you achieve learning outcomes for your students through blending of online and in-person instruction. Explore how to enhance curricula with by:

  • Referencing best practices in digital presentations and data visualizations
  • Designing a project or lesson based on a playlist of tutorials
  • Supplementing textbooks with course playlists
  • Providing academic divisions or departments with custom learning paths
  • Establishing rubrics to assess, teach and share in successes

Webinar details:

If you cannot attend the live webinar, you will be able to access a recorded version later.

Preparing for exams

16.LaidBack1.Dupont.WDC.23jul06 by Elvert Barnes (CC by 2.0)

16.LaidBack1.Dupont.WDC.23jul06 by Elvert Barnes (CC by 2.0)

Grab the lifeboats, exams ahead! Some tips to help you weather the storm during exam period.

Find a comfy and study-appropriate spot

I get easily distracted by daytime TV. So if I need to concentrate, I turn off the TV and go to a place that tells my brain and body it’s time to get to work. All campus libraries have a heap of study spaces to get you in the right frame of mind:

  • There are lounges, booths, study carrels and other nooks suitable for working with your mates or reading by yourself at all the branch libraries.
  • Individual and group study rooms can be booked online.
  • The Researchers’ Centres are where postgrads can escape for a quiet spot
  • Run off to the Botanic Gardens at Gardens Point or the oval at Kelvin Grove for some fresh air – and grass between the toes. How comfy is that?

Know where to get help

  • Not sure where to start? Studywell has tons of links for strategies to tackle your exams and what to expect in different types of exams.
  • Ask the Librarians at the Library Helpdesk for help with finding textbooks, your course readings and planning your study time.
  • During exam period Study Solutions appointments are not bookable but you can still get one-to-one help. Just ask at the Library Helpdesk and we will arrange it for you. A Study Solutions staff member will be available from 9-5 Monday to Friday.

Look after yourself

Get some sleep, don’t forget your pencil and good luck!