Library

23 October 2017

Matheson Library extended hours during exams

Burning the midnight oil as you prepare for exams? Get more study done, with late night opening at Matheson Library. But remember to balance your study time with ample sleep and exercise!


From 23rd October to 16th November, the Matheson Library at Clayton campus offers extended exam study time.

Matheson is open till 2am (Monday-Thursday) while Fridays and weekends operate on normal hours. There is security and a security bus in operation until 2.30am on the days the Library is operating on extended hours.

Caulfield Library is open until midnight Monday-Friday and 10am-9pm on weekends.

Both libraries have been recently refurbished and offer excellent amenities for students as they prepare for exams, such as bookable study rooms for group work or quiet areas for individual study.

Group study areas are also equipped with AV facilities. Find out more here.

Should you need sustenance or caffeine, both Matheson and Caulfield libraries have a cafe within the building. Please check the opening hours for Flipside and Swifts.

More information on the opening hours for all libraries can be found here.

Check out great tips for exam preparation and how to succeed on exam day from expert Library staff.



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Remembering the Reformation

Five hundred years ago, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted the 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg. This month we celebrate or remember that event as a starting point of the German Reformation and as a key event in the Reformation across Europe. Stephen Herrin (Rare Books Librarian), writes about this important movement in European history.

The Reformation was a religious movement that profoundly changed the face of Europe and established a religious alternative to the dominant Catholicism that had been in place for centuries. The widespread cultural change brought on by the Reformation affected not only the spirituality and devotional practices of Europe's inhabitants but also reverberated into the fields of politics, music, art and architecture.

The most iconic figure of the Reformation was Martin Luther, a German priest and scholar. Through his studies in theology and history at the University of Wittenberg, he formed ideas that gradually brought his beliefs into conflict with the established Church. One of Luther's key criticisms of the Vatican was the sale of indulgences, a document which could be purchased to ensure the forgiveness of sins. The proceeds, which were used to rebuild St.Peter's Basilica, in Rome prompted Luther to write in Thesis 86: "Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?" Read the entire 95 theses in English here


The Reformation and Print Culture 

The Reformation's great success was due in part to the new technology of printing. The printed word was not only important to Luther's development as a thinker but to the Reformation as a movement. The development of the printing press allowed for the rapid dissemination of reformers' ideas in the form of pamphlets and printed books.

A central tenet of the Reformation was the individual study of the Bible rather than reliance on the Church for guidance. This was achieved by translating the Bible into the languages spoken by lay people. Once again, printing was a key means of distributing these new vernacular translations of the Bible to a wider audience. 


The Geneva Bible at Monash

Monash's Special Collections includes a 16th-century copy of the Geneva Bible, one of the early translations of the Bible into English. The Geneva Bible was unique in that it contained illustrations, summaries of the books of the Bible, as well as cross-references and explanatory notes. All these features indicate that it was designed to function as a text for individual study. The Geneva Bible at Monash is heavily annotated, signifying that its owner or successive owners considered this Bible to be a personal possession as well as a tool for study.



Reformation items at Monash Rare Books

The Rare Books Collection aims to collect and make available the history of ideas through print. We hold many representations of the writers Luther would have consulted. The holdings are especially strong in primary source material relating to the Reformation in Great Britain, mainly involving the later developments regarding the Restoration and the Popish Plot.

For more information on Reformation related items in Monash's Special Collections, please contact us at rbinfo@monash.edu.




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17 October 2017

Where To Study for Exams - Your Library-by-Library Guide!

It’s Week 12, and exams are just around the corner! The good news is, you’ve still got time to get into a great revision routine before October 30th. And the even better news is, the libraries here at Monash have plenty of space for you to use. Subject librarian Romney Adams has put together your guide to exam revision spaces at Monash, library-by-library!

Caulfield



The refurbishment works at Caulfield have come to an end, and the seating capacity has doubled - which means plenty of spots across the four floors for you to knuckle down and hit the books, including seven bookable group study rooms! Those familiar with the old library will have memories of grey walls and artificial light - these have been replaced by a bright and airy space, with many examples of intriguing artwork...see if you can spot my favourite, Jeff Gibson’s Double or Nothing!


Caulfield Library


Sir Louis Matheson





With all the news about Caulfield, you may have forgotten the Matheson has been refurbished too. There are a multitude of bookable study spaces - some students like to add their personal touch to take the edge off of studying! - but you’ll need to get in early. If the rooms are all booked, there are no less than five levels comprising the behemoth that is Matheson, and there is seating available on each. What’s more, the Library will be open until 2am from Monday-Thursday during Swot Vac and the exam period, for all you night owls! If you need some sustenance, or perhaps just prefer to take a more relaxed approach to studying, you can relax with coffee and a sweet treat at Swift’s on the ground floor.


Group study rooms at the Matheson


Hargrave-Andrew





The Hargrave-Andrew can be a bit of a mysterious beast for those who aren’t familiar with its hallowed halls, and much attention seems to be focussed around the entrance: Why is it up a flight of stairs? What’s the story behind the babies halfway up the stairs? What’s this secret ‘basement’ level I’ve heard so much about? Some things will forever remain unknown, but to find out which areas of HAL are least busy, look no further than the snazzy Digital Wayfinders. And if a teaching space isn’t being used to run a class, you’re more than welcome to use it to study.


Hargrave-Andrew Library





Law



Traditional, compliant, and judicial - the Law Library may not sound exciting, but it really is a beautiful space. And what’s more, there are plenty of areas for study! Levels 2-4 are designated as Quiet Study areas, which is good if you’re going it alone. If you prefer to study as a group, there are four bookable discussion rooms - so all your bases are covered. When you’ve hit the study wall and need a well-deserved break, sink into one of the comfortable chesterfield couches...if you’re lucky, you might even get to meet Boof!


Law Library


Peninsula




Down by the seaside (well, almost), the Library at Peninsula has a variety of rooms available for you to notch up some hours of quiet study. Downstairs, there are large tables you can work at alone, or as a group. Known as a bit of a zen space, spaces on the first floor also boast sea views...on a clear day...if you squint…just don’t study too late into the night - you might be joined by one of the resident skeletons!


Peninsula Library


Parkville





It’s true - despite having the longest name, the CL Butchers Pharmacy Library is smaller than most - but thanks to some minor works earlier this year, it’s bigger than ever before! Out at 'The Pharm’, the quiet study area has increased in size by 42%, thanks to the addition of 16 private study carrels. The opportunity to hit the books has never been better!
Group study area at the Pharmacy Library.











Berwick



And last but not least, Berwick! It’s smaller and shares space with Federation University until the end of the year when we'll have to move out, but we’ve got lots to offer our students until then. We have plenty of quiet study carrels for you to make your own, and there’s also a separate group study room available for you to book. There’s also a beautiful courtyard space if you’d like to follow Isaac Newton’s lead and study under the shade of a tree - watch out for falling acorns!


Berwick Library Courtyard


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10 October 2017

Law Library services after semester 2 exams

With the scheduled closure of the Law Building over summer, the Library has made alternate arrangements to ensure Law Library users will continue to have access to materials.



The entire Law building will be closed for major construction works from 30 November 2017 through to mid-February 2018.

During this period, Law staff and students can:


  • use Search to request items held in the Law Library for pick-up at Hargrave-Andrew Library or Matheson Library at Clayton campus. Library staff will run a retrieval service once daily so please allow for some delay.
  • return items due at any library; after-hours returns available at Hargrave-Andrew Library.
  • access Summer Law unit texts on reading lists at Hargrave-Andrew Library.
  • find study spaces at the two other libraries on campus. Hargrave-Andrew Library will now be open until 9pm on Mondays and Tuesdays and 1pm-5pm on Sundays over summer.
  • get advice and ask questions at an Information point at any other library, through ask.monash or by telephone (03 9905 5054). Law Library research and learning skills staff can be contacted by email on lib-lawteam-l@monash.edu.


Due to the temporary closure, 'Law' will not be available as a pick-up location for inter-campus loans.

If you have any comments or concerns about Law Library services during this period, email Law Library staff on lib-lawteam-l@monash.edu.




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9 October 2017

China Reconstructs: A resource for researchers of 20th century China

The Matheson Library has an amazing collection of Chinese periodicals dating to the 1950s. Xiaoju Liu, subject librarian for Chinese studies, writes about how researchers can use this collection as an English language primary source to gain further insight into 20th century China. 

What is China Reconstructs?


China Reconstructs is an English language periodical, first published in China in January 1952. Although the first issues were in English the publication gradually expanded to Spanish, French, Arabic, German, and Portuguese between 1960 and 1980. The Chinese version was added in October 1980.

This is the only multi-language publication that was issued by the Chinese government during that time. It was published by the China Welfare Institute (funded in 1938 by Soong Ching Ling, the wife of Sun Yat-sen). The idea was initiated by a conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and Soong Qing Ling, as they were both looking for a way to introduce the achievements of modern China to the world. Soong Qing Ling named the journal China Reconstructs (中国建设) in memory of Sun Yat-sen, who started a short-lived periodical called Constructs (建设) in 1919.

What sort of information does this publication contain? 

This richly illustrated periodical covers various aspects of modern China, from economy and technology to social life, arts, sport, minorities, tourism, archaeology, infrastructure, and stories. Its special columns include Postbag, School life, International Notes, In the New Society, Language Corner and others. 

Language Corner was designed for foreigners who wanted to learn Chinese. It consisted of a short article with Chinese characters, pinyin (romanisation) and English. The column included explanatory notes on the use of key Chinese words and phrases as well as exercises.

International Notes reported on China's standpoint concerning international affairs. For example, in an article titled The Afro-Americans are fighting, the author noted that "Chairman Mao was voicing the mighty support of the 700 million Chinese people to the Afro-Americans. The world's people struggling against U.S. imperialism also saw in his statement the direction forward and were tremendously inspired."

School Life reported on what was taking place in China's schools particularly about how Mao Tsetung's principles were being implemented in education.

Why is this collection significant?


The variety of information present in this collection makes it a rich trove of material that can enhance research and teaching on various aspects of Modern China. In January 1990, the periodical was renamed as China Today (今日中国) and continues to function as a gateway into contemporary China. Researchers working on social and cultural life in the second half of 20th century China will benefit significantly from this great collection. For example, a special issue in February 1970 focuses on the Peking Opera Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, contains English scripts and various discussions about how proletarian heroes were created and how negative characters were depicted. 

How do I access this collection?

The Matheson Library holds copies of China Reconstructs issued in 1953, 1955-1956, 1961-1989 in the closed Asian Special Collection area. If you're interested in using China Reconstructs (中国建设) contact Xiaoju Liu (Chinese Studies Subject Librarian) or Hueimin Chen (Information Officer) for access to this collection.  

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5 October 2017

Getting to Grips with Citing & Referencing

Academic integrity is one of the key skills you need to develop during your university studies. This includes acknowledging the work of others and disclosing the sources of your research. Bei-En Zou, a learning skills adviser, writes about the importance of citing and referencing and offers some tips to mastering this skill. 

Before we talk about the importance of citing and referencing, we need a few definitions! Most people often use these terms interchangeably, but they do in fact refer to two different things.

Citations are sources that you mention within your research. They're accompanied by a footnote or an in-text reference. A citation can be a key piece of information that you've drawn from someone else's work or a direct quote from a text. 

Referencing, on the other hand, refers to a list of all the resources you've used in your research at the end of an essay or article. This is also known as a bibliography.

Why do we need to cite and reference?


You probably know that it's a requirement to cite and reference properly in your assignments, but why is it important? Citing and Referencing is important because universities want to train you in thinking originally, and to contribute your own ideas about your subject areas and to produce original work. It's therefore important to distinguish which is your work, and which is the work of others. 

Acknowledging the sources that you have used in your work highlights where you have contributed your own ideas and research. 

Citing and referencing have other important roles too! Referencing is a way of providing evidence to support the claims that you are making in your essay. You can use the work of experts in your field to lend weight to your own research, to show how your work is built upon previous intellectual endeavours or how your work challenges and deviates from the traditional understanding in your field. An essay or report with appropriate and accurate references is always more convincing and persuasive than one without any!

A good set of citations and references also enables your marker to track down all the material you used and get a sense of how widely you've researched. You are showing your marker that you are aware of the breadth and depth of your field. Referencing also gives you a chance to acknowledge the hard work of others before you. 

Using different citing and referencing styles. 


Harvard, Chicago, IEEE, APA... there are at least a dozen citing and referencing styles that are used at Monash. Each faculty has their own preferences, and even within the one course, you might find yourself using different styles for each of your subjects! You can usually find all the information you need about citing and referencing styles in the Unit Guide for your subject, or by asking your tutor, demonstrator or lecturer. The key is to maintain consistency and watch out for the finicky little details in the commas, italics and ampersands. 

Resources to help you.


Referencing can be a fiddly and frustrating process, as you come to grips with all the intricacies and variations among different styles. The library has created a number of excellent resources to help you navigate all elements of citing and referencing. 

Here are our top links:

This is your go-to place for all things citing and referencing. Bookmark it on your computer and refer to it frequently for all examples and explanations of all the referencing conventions for you to follow. 

If you're feeling a little unsure about citing and referencing, this is a great tutorial that will explain the basic principles, and you can test out your knowledge at the end with quizzes.

One of the most common citing and referencing styles used at Monash is APA (American Psychological Association). If that's you, APA Central is a great resource. It contains videos, quizzes, templates and quick guides for you to get on top of APA style. 

  • Research and learning point - drop-in sessions
Drop in without an appointment to see a librarian or learning skills advisor for some advice on researching for your assignment, including citing and referencing. You can find a list of session times here. 

(*) Please use either Firefox or Internet Explorer to complete this tutorial. 

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2 October 2017

#PhDshelfie: Encountering remarkable medieval women in the Matheson

Inspired by the #PhDshelfie movement, we asked a few Monash PhD students to share their 'shelfies' and reflect on the books that have become most meaningful to them during their candidature. The second piece in our #PhDshelfie series is written by Jennifer Lord, a doctoral candidate researching religious communities of lay women in 13th century Marseille. 


I have to admit, in response to Basil's article, that the books I borrow from the library aren’t like family! They are more like promising new acquaintances whom I enthusiastically embrace in the hope that we’ll soon get to know each other. This quickly morphs into guilt as they sit neglected on my desk because I haven’t made enough time for them in my schedule. 

Still, there are books on my topic that I have definitely enjoyed coming to know well, not least my main primary source. I’m researching a Beguine community established in Marseilles in the late thirteenth century. (Beguines were women who aimed to lead a celibate life of prayer and charitable work without permanently withdrawing from the world into a nunnery.) My community is described in a work written in old Occitan (Provençal) in the late 1200s, a work that was forgotten until the 1870s when its only known manuscript was translated into French. In 2001, it was published in English as The Life of Saint Douceline, A Beguine of Provence, and I was able to discover it in the Matheson. Trying to unlock the cultural and historical meanings of this text is at the heart of my research. 


To understand the heightened emotional and somatic spirituality of women like Douceline, I’ve also been exploring the Matheson’s collection of the Lives of other celebrated thirteenth-century women mystics, such as Lutgard, Margaret of Ypres and Christina ‘the Astonishing’. I’ve felt, though, that behind this handful of exceptional women must have stood many hundreds of ordinary laywomen/beguines whose deep piety was expressed in less remarkable ways. So I’ve really enjoyed discovering Partners in Spirit,  a collection of essays by Fiona Griffith and Julie Hotchins which shed light on numerous communities of less notable religious women in twelfth-century Germany, while also revealing the co-operation and collaboration of male clerics with these women, thereby challenging some received ideas about the workings of gender in medieval religious culture. 

The text I’ve found most useful for overall historical background on the beguines is Walter Simons’ Cities of Ladies, which puts northern Europe’s beguine communities into a social, economic as well as religious context. However, the stand-out, most rewarding encounter in my reading so far has been with Caroline Walker Bynum’s essay collection Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the Middle Ages, particularly her discussions of medieval religious conceptions of community and the individual. I’ve even bought my own copy because I know it will repay multiple readings.

And when I needed light relief but felt nervous about wasting time, I visited my topic as a tourist, via Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. Against the backdrop of the conflict between Empire and Papacy, Eco takes the anxieties of the men* of faith about the outcomes of reason, the desire of the men of reason to hold on to faith, the world of the scriptorium and the library, of scrolls and codices, and rolls them all together in a murder mystery in the early fourteenth century. Great tour guide!


*Sadly, yes. There is only one woman in the entire book, and she is there as voiceless object-of-desire/occasion-of-sin.


Jennifer Lord is a PhD candidate in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies (SOPHIS). Her research topic is Les Dames de Roubaud: Contextualising a community of lay religious women in thirteenth-century Marseille. She also has a Masters degree in sociolinguistics and is  a professional editor and writer of many years’ standing, with publishing and communications experience in the community, public and private sectors. 



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