Time to get your spook on!

Happy Halloween TC Library" by  Twin Cities Library (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Happy Halloween TC Library” by Twin Cities Library
(CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In the midst of your knuckling down and commitment to exam preparation, schedule some light hearted fun and celebrate Halloween on Friday October 31! Ghouls, ghosts and lollies and chocolates galore – what’s not to love?!

Here’s a selection of spooky, horror themed movies and books you can borrow or stream from QUT Library to scare yourself silly and get into the Halloween spirit.


Paranormal Activity When a young couple move to their new house they might find some unwanted visitors. This haunting thriller was filmed on a hand-held video camera for authenticity. For such low production costs, this classic scream-fest is one of the most profitable movies ever made. Reports stated that viewers were left terrified in the cinema

Halloween Michael Meyers escaped from a state mental hospital after 15 years treatment for the brutal murder of his sister. He has returned to relive his crime. A classic film of the horror genre from 1978.

Funny Games When Anna, George and their son Schorschi arrive at their lakeside villa for a week’s holiday, their idyllic break doesn’t last long. While father and son sail the lake in their yacht, Anna is asked by a neighbour’s houseguests for a handful of eggs. But the neat, educated appearance of these young men betrays their sinister intentions, and Anna starts to realise they play games. Cat-and-mouse games. Director Michael Haneke’s harrowing vision of emotional terror and psychopathic violence is one of the most chilling ever made. Not for the fainthearted!


The Shining / Stephen King Published in 1977 The Shining centers on the life of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of the historic Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. His family accompanies him on this job, including his young son Danny. Danny possesses “the shining,” an array of psychic abilities that allow Danny to see the horrific past of the hotel. Soon, after a winter storm leaves them snowbound, the supernatural forces inhabiting the hotel influence Jack’s sanity, leaving his wife and son in incredible danger. The Shining was adapted into a feature film in 1980 by director Stanley Kubrick.

The turn of the screw / Henry James. Originally published in 1898, The turn of the Screw is a gothic ghost story centering around a governess who, when put in charge of two young children, begins to see the ghost of her dead predecessor with tragic results.

Frankenstein / Mary Shelley Written when Mary Shelley was only nineteen-years old, this chilling tale of a young scientist’s desire to create life still resonates today. Victor Frankenstein’s monster is stitched together from the stolen limbs of the dead, and the result is a grotesque being who, rejected by his maker, sets out on a journey to reek his revenge.

For the small ones

Coraline / Neil Gaiman ; with illustrations by Dave McKean. Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.

The worst witch / Jill Murphy The adventures of Mildred Huble, the worst trainee witch in Miss Cackle’s Academy.

Let’s find out about Halloween / Paulette Cooper All about the historical background of Halloween and describes its celebration today.

Let us know your favorite scary movie or book in the comments below. Happy Halloween!

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!

Access all areas with Open Access Week

lib_webad_openaccessevents_v1_20141014Get involved in International Open Access Week

 Join QUT Library to celebrate Open Access Week, a global event that runs from 20–26 October. Now in its eighth year, Open Access Week promotes free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research and the right to use and reuse those results. Universities around the world are holding events to celebrate this and to draw attention to the many benefits that arise from ‘open access’ research outputs. QUT Library will be running three events — please come along to one or more of these events and participate in the celebrations.

Accelerating Research with Open Access

On Monday 20 October, join a panel of three QUT academics talking about why they support open access. Panellists are Dr Nic Suzor (Faculty of Law); Professor Marilyn Campbell (Faculty of Education); and Professor Debra Anderson (Faculty of Health). The session will include an afternoon tea in celebration of International Open Access Week. V714, Library, Gardens Point, 2.00–3.00pm  Please RSVP here. 

How to Get Published

On Wednesday 22 October, the session will be aimed at HDR students and early career researchers and will cover the process of publishing in academic journals and things to consider when choosing where to publish. The session will also include a discussion about the trend towards open access publishing in academia. What are the benefits? What are the pitfalls that early career researchers need to watch out for? The session will include a morning tea in celebration of International Open Access Week.                              OJ Wordsworth Room, Level 12, S Block, Gardens Point, 9.30–10.30am  Please RSVP here. 

Distinguish Yourself as a Researcher — Get an ORCID

At the session on Thursday 23 October, find out what an ORCID is, why all researchers need one and how it will save you time in the future. The session will show you how to register for an ORCID and what to do with it. Be ahead of your peer group and get up to speed with ORCID now. The session will include a morning tea in celebration of International Open Access Week.                                                                                      IHBI Seminar Room, Kelvin Grove, 9.30–10.30am  Please RSVP here. 

We look forward to seeing you there. Questions? Contact your Liaison Librarian.


Finding Female Role Models in STEM

Ada Lovelace, 1836 by Margaret Sarah Carpenter (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Ada Lovelace, 1836 by Margaret Sarah Carpenter (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

The 14th of October is Ada Lovelace day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The day also aims to raise the profile of women in STEM and in doing so, hopefully create new role models within these fields.

Who was Ada?

Ada Lovelace was born Ada Gordon in 1815, the only child of Romantic poet Lord Byron and his wife Annabella Milbanke. She is considered by many to be the world’s first computer programmer, having written the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine – Charles Babbage’s analytical engine. Charles Babbage called her “the Enchantress of Numbers”. Find out more about Ada Lovelace here.

Some ideas on how to find out more and get involved:

In March this year as part of an NPR special series on women in tech, women innovators across the globe live tweeted their days using #NPRWIT. Some women involved included a master inventor from IBM and a technology executive from American Express. Check out what they had to say.

Glamour magazine recently profiled 35 women under 35 who are changing the tech industry. Have a read and get inspired.

As part of Ada Lovelace Day 2012, Wikimedia UK held a Women in Science themed Wikipedia edit-a-thon. Why not have your own edit-a-thon? Have a look at the Women in technology and Women scientists categories on Wikipedia and see if there are any articles you think need editing, or even any you think are missing and want to add.

Share a story about a woman, or women in STEM whose achievements you admire, and read other people’s stories.

And, why not leave us a comment? We’d love to hear about the women in STEM who inspire you.

Get help with your assignments without leaving your couch!


For the times when you aren’t able to visit our Library Helpdesk on campus, we offer an online chat service, Chat to a Librarian.

You can use Chat to a Librarian during semester at these times:

  • Monday – Friday: 10am – 9.45pm
  • Weekends and Public Holidays: 12pm – 4.45pm

To get started, just hit the chat button on the QUT Library home page and fill in some basic information. One of our friendly librarians will be ready and waiting to answer your question.

You can use the chat service to get help with finding information for your assignment, assistance using databases, and advice on referencing.

If you need help outside the times the chat service is open (but you still want to stay at home in your pajamas), we have loads of information to help you anytime that you need it:

  • To find the answers to some common library questions, try the AskQUT Library FAQ.
  • For help with referencing, try QUT cite|write
  • There are some great tips on assignment research and writing available on Studywell.

We look forward to chatting with you soon.

#lifehack your exams


If you’re looking at this picture then you’re prepping for exams as we speak! Who knew?!         “Newborn baby Alpaca” by TC Morgan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

It goes without saying that good old fashioned reviewing, revising and throughout-the-semester planning will leave you in the best place regarding exam performance. QUT Library’s Studywell has some fantastic resources including an Exam Study Planner, advice on tackling exam anxiety and emergency exam preparation to get you on your way.

However, in addition to this, Jackson Chung of website MakeUseOf’s has come up with 18 Unexpected Lifehacking Tips To Improve Your Exam Scores which are worth a look. He gives top tips for what to do one month before your exam, one day before and on the day. Here are my favourites.

One month before:

  • Work for 25 minutes without disruption and then take a 5 minute break. Do this 4 time and then take a 15 minute break. This structure breaks the daunting task of studying up into manageable and not-so-daunting segments. This isn’t far from standard exam prep advice so is worth repeating.
  • Use some restriction apps to block your access to the places that most suck your time. ‘Self control’ blocks specific websites for up to 24 hours; ‘Cold Turkey’ blocks specific websites at certain times and ‘Freedom’ prevents you using the internet at all – this one is not so good if you are needing to access your QUT Blackboard unit page or download articles from the Library!

One day before:

  • Sleep on it. Sleeping increases alertness and decreases stress and also improves memory and cognitive function, i.e. essential exam skills.
  • Watch cute videos. Yes, you heard me. Apparently a recent Japanese study found that participants who viewed cute images improved their ability to perform fine motor dexterity-based tasks. Chung recommends searching for ‘sneezing baby panda’, ‘scottie pinwheel’ and ‘hamster eating a tiny burrito’ and I’d add ‘Four laughing babies’ to that list for maximum cuteness.

On the day of the exam:

  • Chew gum. Apparently studies have shown that chewing gum improves reaction time and accuracy
  • Formulate an answer first. In multiple choice exams, think of an answer yourself before viewing the choices available.
  • Sit up straight in the exam room. Apparently a study at Harvard Business School found that how you sit and stand can affect your confidence.

For even more exam preparation advice Ask a Librarian.

Share the love and follow us!

This is probably over the top, just subscribing or following us in fine.                                        Skywriting by  Nan Palmero (CC BY 2.0)

This is probably over the top, just subscribing or following us is fine. Skywriting by Nan Palmero
(CC BY 2.0)

Today, in case you may not know, is International #followaLibrary day.

Now, in the days before social media, that sentence would have been quite alarming for us librarians and we might have been nervously checking over our shoulders. However in 2010, October 1 was christened ‘Follow a Library Day’ by some enterprising librarians and following us (and perhaps declaring your love) is what it’s all about!

Primarily a Twitter campaign, #followalibrary  gives everyone a chance to connect with  their favorite library through social media and to learn of new, previously unknown Library spaces, places and happenings.

So today is the day folks – don’t be shy – if you’re on Twitter follow us @qutlibrary

In addition, you can participate in #followalibrary day by:

  • Adding #followalibrary to your tweets
  • Following @followalibrary for discussion topics and questions
  • Watch the stream by searching #followalibrary

Or if this QUT Library Blog is more your style, then follow us by subscribing via email (at the bottom of the page) and never miss a blog post again!