Monkey business encouraged


An argosy of fables; a representative selection from the fable literature of every age and land (1921) By Paul Bransom (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

The 14th of December is Monkey Day.

Monkey Day? Really?

Yeah, I know. There’s a day for pretty much everything now. Some of them raise awareness for genuinely important causes, some of them not so much (that’s right, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I’m looking at you).

The origins of Monkey Day are a bit iffy. Wikipedia tells me it was started in 2000 when an art student scrawled Monkey Day into a friend’s calendar. As the name would suggest, the day is primarily about monkeys, but it also celebrates other (non-human) primates such as apes, lemurs and tarsiers (if you don’t know what a tarsier is look it up, I promise you will not be disappointed).

How does one even celebrate Monkey Day? One of the founders of Monkey Day sends Monkey Day cards to strangers. Others have raised money for primate-related charities with gibbon portrait classes. In 2005, Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong was released on Monkey Day. If that all seems like a bit too much effort, you could always celebrate with a vaguely monkey-related book or movie from the library. There’s Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man, a comic book series in which a mysterious plague kills everything on earth with a Y chromosome, except for an escape artist called Yorick Brown and his pet monkey, Ampersand. If you’re looking for something classic, try out the 16th century Chinese novel, A Journey to the West, which has its roots in Chinese mythology and Taoist and Buddhist philosophy. Or, if you’re after something for the kids, you can’t go wrong with Disney classic, Aladdin.

Human Rights Day

1 November 1949 - United Nations, Lake Success, New York: Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt (USA) holding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a poster in English.

1 November 1949 – United Nations, Lake Success, New York: Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt (USA) holding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a poster in English.

Human Rights Day celebrates the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948. The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and the Nobel Peace Prize are also generally awarded on 10 December.

This video created by the United Nations Development Programme in Rwanda succinctly illustrates the 30 articles of the Universal Deceleration of Human Rights. Check it out if you want to get a handle on human rights but don’t fancy reading the whole document.

[youtube RiPgIUO6jWs]

Connect with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with news and events in the lead up to Human Rights Day.


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.

Rainbow Families Storytime

September is Pride Month in Brisbane and an opportunity to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer culture and community at QUT. To help celebrate, QUT Library is hosting Rainbow Families Storytime, an event for QUT families, students and staff. Rainbow Families Storytime is a QUT Library and Rainbow Families Queensland presentation about the importance of inclusive practice.


Join us for children’s stories about LGBTIQ families read by students from the School of Early Childhood. There will also be kid’s activities, morning tea and balloons!

To be part of the free festivities Register now!

Date: Friday 26 September 2014
Venue: Kelvin Grove Library       Curriculum collection
Time: 10:30am-12:30pm
Cost: No cost
RSVP: By Wednesday 24 September

Everyone is welcome! So feel free to invite your friends and family. We look forward to seeing you there!

Literacy for all

"Tome Reader" by QQ Li (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Tome Reader by QQ Li (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The 8th of September is International Literacy Day. UNESCO proclaimed the 8th of September International Literacy Day in 1965, and it was first celebrated in 1966. International Literacy Day highlights the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and society at large.

This year’s theme is ‘Literacy and Sustainable Development’. Literacy is a key element in promoting sustainable development as it empowers people and communities to make the best choices in regards to economic growth, social development and the environment. Literacy is a human right and is a crucial foundation for sustainable, prosperous and peaceful societies.

Check out this video about UNESCO’s ‘Rewrite the future’ project, a two-year project focusing on literacy which aims to educate about 10,000 girls and women aged between 15 and 55 in seven different regions of Senegal.

Favourite Fictional Fathers

Father's Day Vintage Card -- Color by Beth Gallagher (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Father’s Day Vintage Card — Color by Beth Gallagher (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Celebrate Father’s Day with some of these fictional dads. Some are great, some perhaps not so much. Let us know your favourites in the comments!

  • King Lear – Lear definitely falls into the not so great category. Deciding he wants to retire from power Lear declares he will split his kingdom among his three daughters, awarding the largest share to the daughter who loves him the most. Let’s just say it doesn’t end well.
  • Bicycle Thieves – In postwar, poverty stricken Rome a man’s bicycle – his only mode of transport to work – is stolen. He sets out with his son to track down the thief.
  • Finding Nemo – Clownfish and (slightly overprotective) single dad Marlin embarks on an epic journey from the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney Harbour to rescue his son Nemo.
  • Paris, Texas – After wandering out into the desert, Travis Henderson attempts to revive his relationship with his brother and seven-year old son Hunter and track down his estranged wife.
  • Emma – Mr Woodhouse is a bit of a hypochondriac. He doesn’t approve of cake, going outside or marriage, on the grounds that they might be damaging to one’s health.  He’s very attached to his daughters Emma and Isabella, with the former pretty much taking on the role of his carer. Emma’s love for her father is her main redeeming feature.
  • Where’s My Cow? – If you’re a fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series you’ll be familiar with Sam Vimes, commander of the City Watch and notorious workaholic. Since becoming a father, Vimes has vowed to always be home in time to read his son, young Sam a bedtime story.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – No list of fictional dads would be complete without mentioning the great Atticus Finch. For bonus points check out Gregory Peck’s iconic performance in the 1962 film adaptation.



Celebrate your right to be left-handed

Yearbook photo of the Left-Hand club, 1926 by North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Yearbook photo of the Left-Hand club, 1926 by North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Are you a southpaw? Celebrate your ‘sinisterness’ this Left-Handers Day on the 13th of August.

History hasn’t been too kind to the left-handed among us. Until pretty recently being left-handed carried a lot of negative connotations. Historically, left-handed people were forced from childhood to use their right-hands for tasks such as writing and eating. In many European languages, including English, the word for the direction “right” also means “correct” or “proper” where as “left” can be associated with awkwardness or clumsiness such as in the idiom to have “two left feet”. The Latin word “sinister” means “left” and also “unlucky”. And to top it all off many every day tools, such as scissors and can openers, are designed for use by right-handed people making their use by left-handers difficult, painful or even unsafe.

Despite this many of history’s great minds and great leaders have been lefties. Three out of the last four US presidents have been left-handed – Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush. Napoleon Bonaparte, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Jimi Hendricks and of course, Ned Flanders, were also all left-handed. So if you’re part of the 9-15% of the population that is a leftie you’re in pretty good company.

If you’re left-handed, right-handed or even ambidextrous here are some ways to celebrate this Left-Handers day:

#MentalHealthMatters this International Youth Day

YouthInfographics_MentalHealth_F copyUnited Nations International Youth Day happens every year on the 12th of August with the aim of highlighting and addressing issues facing the world’s youth – and if you’re a uni student there’s a pretty good chance that includes you.

The theme of International Youth Day 2014 is ‘Mental Health Matters’, to draw awareness to the importance of reducing stigma surrounding youth with mental health conditions. Help raise awareness and reduce the shame by jumping on facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram. Use the hashtags #MentalHealthMatters and #UN4Youth to join the campaign!

And most importantly, if you’re struggling don’t be afraid to ask for help. Uni can be stressful for everyone but if you’re experiencing mental health difficulties there are people who can help. You don’t need to tough it out alone, get in touch with QUT Counselling Services for a private and confidential counselling session.

Be inspired at TEDxQUT 2014


TEDxQUT 2014 is happening Saturday 2 August at Gardens Point Campus. TEDxQUT is an independently organised TED event which aims to start conversations, propagate ideas and nurture storytelling and creativity to enact positive change in the world. The theme of TEDxQUT 2014 is ‘Spark: finding inspiration, turning inspiration into action and sparking a change in others’.This year’s speakers include actor and unicyclist Samuel Johnson, and writer, film maker and current QUT student Freya Wright Brough.

Why not get into the spirit of TEDxQUT 2014 by reliving TEDxQUT 2013. Join us at Kelvin Grove Library where we’ll be showing screenings from TEDxQUT 2013.

Daily from 28 July – 1 August
Time: 12-1pm
Where: Kelvin Grove Library, level 3

Bring your lunch along, we’ll have coffee and refreshments. See you there!

Level 6 of Gardens Point Library is getting a makeover

Berry Hard Work by JD Hancock (CC by 2.0)

Berry Hard Work by JD Hancock (CC by 2.0)

There are some changes happening on level 6 of Gardens Point Library.

Individual study spaces will replace group study spaces, and there will be more power outlets for your laptops and other mobile devices making it easier for you to study solo.

Work will begin on the new space soon. From the 14th of July you will no longer be able to book the group study rooms on level 6. If you’re after a book, the collection on this level will still be accessible while work is happening.