Sibling rivalry in riotous rhyme!

Book cover and puppets

National Simultaneous Storytime book for 2015: The Brothers Quibble by Aaron Blabey

Blog post by Education students, Catherine Ayres and Jessica MacLeod.

Last Wednesday, QUT Kelvin Grove Library held a National Simultaneous Storytime event with enthusiastic attendance from forty children (aged from three to five!) belonging to C&K, Herston Road and C&K, School Street. National Simultaneous Storytime is an annual campaign held nationwide to encourage reading and literacy, with children coming together to listen to an Australian storybook … simultaneously!

Students reading to the children

Student volunteers, Catherine and Aaron – no, not Aaron Blabey, a different Aaron!

The book chosen this year was The Brothers Quibble written and illustrated by Aaron Blabey, a rhyming riot of sibling rivalry which was well received by all our guests. There were lots of giggles!

Children doing activities

Everyone’s involved!

Eighteen student volunteers from the Education Faculty helped the librarians run the day’s program, which involved reading the book at 11am (with the rest of Australia!), discussing it as a group and then breaking off into various activities within the Curriculum Collection (4th floor).

Aside from creating paper crowns, the children coloured in images which were run through an augmented reality app (Quiver –  3D Coloring App). This was a really big hit with young and old alike!. The children could also read other books written by Aaron Blabey or dress up in fun costumes. Although energy levels were depleted by the fun and games, nutritious snacks were provided before the children and their

child reading book

Is there a happy ending?

‘grown up’ supervisors made their journey back to Kindergarten.
It’s debatable who had more fun – the volunteers, the librarians, or the students – but whatever the answer, everyone agrees it was a rousing success, and we cannot wait to have them back in the Library soon!

Many thanks to Education students, Catherine Ayres and Jessica MacLeod, who wrote this post for us.

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.

Reading library ebooks on your smart phone or tablet

If you have an iphone, ipod touch, ipad (iOS) or an android based device (many other smart phones and tablets) then you can borrow and download 1000s of ebooks right on to it from QUT library.

The advantage? You can read the books even if you are offline and they look real good that way – turn the pages, bookmark, search and highlight like it was your own.

How do you do it? A few simple steps.

1.    Download the Bluefire reader app
2.    Register for an Adobe id – very simple, very fast
3.    Use the browser on your device (e.g. safari) to navigate to the ebook in our collection: try searching our green QuickFind box
4.     Connect to the ebook and download the ebook from the tab or button provided
5.    The ebook will be automatically downloaded to the Bluefire reader app where you will find it – downloaded ebooks look just like the ones on the Kindle or iBook apps with similar functionality

However, this only works for ebooks  on EBL and Ebscohost (the main platforms used at QUT library) .  Ebscohost will prompt you to log in. Many publishers will only allow ebooks to be read online so you’ll have to check.
More detailed instructions on how to do this and a comprehensive guide to using ebooks on a variety of devices including Kindles and Kobo are on our amazing subject guide: QUT Library Ebooks and Reading Online/Downloading to Computers/Smartphones/Tablet Devices/Ebook Readers

Photo by jblyberg from

(RSS) Feed Me: How to design journals with the content you want

Aggregators are everywhere to help you very simply bring together and tailor to your needs the blog feeds, web updates, videos, news headlines and fresh information.

Most of us suffer information overload and find it difficult to keep up with all we think we need to read. Aggregators consolidate updates from a variety of sources – portions or whole blogs, websites, database or Google Scholar alerts on relevant searches, even Facebook updates – and bring them together in one spot. It saves you trawling around (or, as I like to call it, interblag procrastination) and tailors your browsing material to your needs and interests.

Most websites, blogs and even databases now provide RSS feeds or Twitter updates to alert subscribers to their latest articles. Long favoured by the technologically savvy, new technologies, such as ipad apps, or browsers provide spaces to bring together your favourite updates and create a journal or magazine populated with the content you’re interested in.

Apps such as Flipboard, Pulse, FLUD and Zite can create a magazine of content from your nominated publication or a curated collection of material on a particular topic ranging from gaming to interior design and presents it for you your ipad, iphone or android device.  See the Flipboard demonstration here:

Email software such as Outlook has a built in RSS feed readers, which deliver feeds as emails. Browsers such as Firefox have a RSS reader built into the toolbar.

Available to anyone with a Google Account, Google Reader is a free online reader and can be used to populate Ipad apps or create displays within the iGoogle homepage. Netvibes is another online aggregator providing a more visual display on the dashboard.

All you ever wanted to know about our 250,000 ebooks

Our new subject guide offers guidance on ebooks and how to access them on a variety of readers.

Tablet PC Computer and book - Digital Library Concept


QUT Library currently has a collection of approximately 250,000 ebook titles and growing.  These range from Dummies guides to Manga or Google Earth, to collected conference proceedings and the latest discussion on climate change. They are a vast resource to support our learning and research.

However, ebooks are a relatively new technology and are published across a range of platforms with differing features, application requirements and appearances. To make this easier we have a new subject guide to help you.  QUT Library Ebooks and Reading Online/Downloading to Computers/Smartphones/Tablet Devices/Ebook Readers is a comprehensive guide to using our ebooks – what software to use, how and what can be downloaded, how to print.

It also offers a guide to various readers – the Kindle, Android and Apple devices such as the iPad, Sony Reader, Kobo and the Nook.
For example, learn about downloading EBL ebooks to your iPad with the Bluefire Reader app and why the Kindle is not an effective ebook reader to buy to access QUT Library’s collection of ebooks.

Your feedback and suggestions are welcomed to ensure this guide remains relevant and useful to your needs.

Three (free) online tools to help get your assignment ready

Dropbox Logo1.Dropbox
Ever needed a document on your home computer while at uni?  Ever wished you could access assignments stored on your laptop through your phone? You can with Dropbox!

Dropbox is a free service that allows you access to all your photos, assignments and videos from a number of places.  The beauty of Dropbox is that any file you save on one device instantly saves to the Dropbox website as well as your phone, tablet, computer, laptop…you get the idea.

With 2GB of free storage (up to 100GB available for a subscription price), you’ll be able to take notes in your lecture with your laptop and access them anytime from the Dropbox website.   You can even share documents with your friends and family.  And, the best thing is, Dropbox is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linus, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
Download           Features              Video
(All information taken from )

Mindmeister logo2. Mindmeister
Do you think in pictures rather than words?  Do you find it easier to brainstorm your ideas and put them into a mind map before you start writing an assignment? We sometimes do, too.

Mindmeister is one tool that will help you stengthen your ideas before you start work on your BSB126 Marketing Plan, your KKB102 case study, your critique… basically whatever it is that you’re working on.  You can create and edit your mind maps and synchronise them with the online service. Doing a group assignment?  Share your mind maps through your device or export and email them in RTF, PDF and PNG formats.  Mindmeister is available for download for iPhone, iPod, iPad and  Android.
Download           Features              Tools
(All information taken from )

TED logo 3. TED
Got a group presentation due soon?  Want to learn how to become a better presenter?  TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) can help you.

TED brings you over 900 videos from fascinating people – from music legends to tech geniuses – all demonstrating how you can capture your audience’s attention and keep them  engaged while they’re learning.  Search for information on your topic and get some presentation tips.  Search by themes and related talks, bookmark or download your favourite videos or share your finds with your friends. Available for Android, iPhone and iPad.
(Information taken from TED)

Do you have any tips for getting organised?  Share them here.