Library

20 February 2017

First-day memories

Are you excited for your first day of university? Or perhaps nervous? Believe it or not, once upon a time all our librarians were freshers too! This week, four staff  - Romney Adams, Clinton Bell, Roland Clements and Romany Manuell - share their memories from when they started uni.



Clinton:

The main thing I remember about my first day at uni is getting lost. I went to the University of Melbourne, where there were three nearby buildings called the Richard Berry, Redmond Barry and Raymond Priestly Buildings. I had lectures in both the “Lowe Theatre, Redmond Barry Building” and “Love Theatre, Richard Berry Building” - and of course, on my first day I ended up at the wrong one.

The other thing I remember is that at orientation there was a company handing out free cans of their new super-strong iced coffee, which they were trying to promote as an energy drink. It was basically a can of really awful, cold espresso. Not only did it taste terrible, anyone who actually finished one ended up with a headache from caffeine overload. Don’t drink weird things just because they’re free!

Romany:

I was from the country, and I didn’t know anyone! The city kids seemed so cool, and I was wearing beige cargo pants (hey, it was the 1990s!). But I struck up a conversation with the other conscientious students who were WAY too early for First Year Anthropology and we all went to see Frenzel Rhomb together. It was the best of days, it was the blurst of days.

I don’t think I found the library until week 6… Go to the library early, and go often!

Roland:

My first day at a tertiary institution was a very long time ago, and what I remember was not the best at first. I felt lost, bewildered, beguiled and bedevilled. I remember it was a very, very hot day and I walked on to the campus grounds and all I saw was a mass of people heading somewhere, I had no idea. I saw a conga line and decided to just join the queue not knowing what the line was for and when I reached the table they were handing out lollies and a pen, “big deal”.


So, I turned around and saw a big sign saying “Library”. I expected to be told that you needed some sort of ID to get in but it wasn’t the case and found it to be the ‘coolest’ place on campus...as in ‘cold’. The librarians in there looked the way I felt. I found a nice spot and watched the madness outside. I saw a lot of students sitting in the sun to get a tan and that is one problem I sure did not have. So, I hung around for a while and then decided to see what tomorrow would bring. Things changed for the better as time went by and I met other students in my Psychology and other classes. You quickly settle into a routine and happy times follow!

Romney:


My most vivid memory was having a free can of Red Bull thrust into my hand by an overly-enthusiastic salesperson (who was probably some second-year marketing student trying to make ends meet) wheeling around a cart full of the stuff. I would love to write an emotional tale of spiral into addiction and eventual triumph through my rise from rock-bottom, but the reality is that Red Bull tastes vile. Seriously, if you haven’t tried it already…just don’t. I had to rely on a more traditional route - coffee - to maintain stimulation through the wee hours while desperately finishing off assignments.

What would have been more beneficial was visiting the library, and speaking to staff to find out how I could research effectively, so I didn’t have to rush everything in a mad panic three days before my essays were due. But I was young! Nobody told me! I didn’t know! But now that you’ve read this, you can’t use that excuse. Come visit, we’re here to work with you so you can get the most out of your time with us at Monash!



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Caulfield Library reopens


Caulfield Library has reopened today via a temporary entrance from the arcade level 1 tunnel between Buildings A and B. 




A bank of brand-new Macintosh computers
Following a three-month closure over summer, Caulfield Library has reopened via a temporary entrance at street level, across from Monash Connect. A temporary ramp is available for wheelchair access.

Approximately half the total space is now open for use, including 500 seats and open access to collections.

When completed, the library will have a total of 1500 seats.

Study and teaching spaces


Wireless is available on levels 1, 3 and 4 so students can use their devices. The computers on levels 3 and 4 can be used beginning Thursday 23 February, including a large number of brand new Macintosh computers.

There are five discussion rooms for group work and these rooms will be bookable after they have been fitted with 'plug and play' technology (coming soon). Two more discussion rooms will be added when the rest of the library is opened.

Three large teaching rooms are located on level 1 and will be available from Monday 27 February. Initially, these rooms will only be accessible via a separate entrance from the Ian Potter Sculpture courtyard on the south end of Building A. Students should note that there will be no access to the rest of the library spaces from this area due to construction hoardings while builders complete the remaining works.

Borrowing


Staff and students can again request items from other campuses via Search and choose Caulfield Library as the pick-up location. Holds are now located on level 1 where the temporary entrance is. Please note: items on shelf at Caulfield cannot be requested for pick-up at the same library. Users should retrieve the items and borrow them at the Information point. From Tuesday 21 February, users can use the self-loan machines with their Monash ID.


Printing

Student printing will be available from Tuesday 21 February, as part of the roll out of the new Monash-wide M-Pass system. All students can release their print jobs / copy at the multi-function devices by using their Monash user name and password. Check 'how to print' instructions via the posters in the library or visit the website.



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Matheson Library reopens


The Sir Louis Matheson Library at Clayton has reopened via the temporary entrance in the Performing Arts courtyard from Scenic Boulevard. A new path is now in place from the Menzies Building area through the north end of the library to the Robert Blackwood Hall and the courtyard.



The Matheson Library has reopened on Monday 20 February after a summer-long closure. Its opening hours are 8am - 9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am - 5pm on Saturdays and Sunday. 

Staff and students can again request items from other campuses via Search and choose Matheson Library as the pick-up location. Holds are now located on the ground floor (up one level from the temporary entrance). Please note: items on shelf at Matheson cannot be requested for pick-up at the same library.


Study spaces and teaching rooms

Study spaces are available, including on the upper floors occupied by the General Collection. Discussion rooms can be booked by students for group work. The three teaching rooms can also be used by students when they are not being used for Library teaching programs.

More areas will be opened up as these are completed and handed over by the contractors to the Library. In the next few days, the new level 1 area on the southern end will house the Music, Multimedia and Teaching Materials Collections, including the Japanese language materials. This area will also have a large number of brand new Macintosh computers and two bookable discussion rooms.

Special Collections Reading Room

The Special Collections Reading Room located on the ground floor has also reopened. This room is designed for the exclusive purpose of viewing restricted special use items from the Special Collections. It is open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays.

To arrange to see a rare or fragile item from our Rare Books, Asian or Music and Multimedia Collections, please contact staff by email special.collections@monash.edu or telephone (03) 9905 2689 to request the item/s in advance. Pre-requested items will be retrieved twice a day, at 10am and 1pm. Staff will also be on hand at the Reading Room.


Toilet amenities

Currently, the available toilets are all located on the lower ground level but more toilets will progressively be completed in the following weeks.


Final stage

Work is progressing well on the remaining areas, including the new and visually striking entrance, a large learning space on the ground floor with more computers, and a cafe inside the library.

Library users can look forward to a more transparent building, with great views to the west spanning the landscaped Library plaza, the future Jazz Lounge (currently the Rotunda), the Menzies Building and the Campus Centre. The transparency goes from end to end, with a view to the Performing Arts courtyard to the east.

Final touches and installations will ensure that the Matheson Library will truly have been dramatically transformed.


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14 February 2017

Are you a Library lover?


Did you know February 14 is also Library Lovers’ Day? Declared so by the Australian Library and Information Association, it is a day of spreading library love.


Having a healthy relationship with your library while studying means you're significantly more likely to achieve higher grades. A healthy relationship means that while you engage with the Library by using information resources and spaces available, the Library cares for you in return by providing a welcoming and inspiring place of study and the resources you need so you can do your tasks efficiently and achieve your learning outcomes. 

Not only will your grades improve, you'll be less stressed while you're working on them, too. Library staff work with you so you can develop skills to research your topic, write your assignment, finish that dreaded reference list or prepare for an oral presentation.

So for Library Lovers' Day, we're taking a moment to step back and share with you the many ways Monash students love the Library, and some "love letters" we've received over the past year. This day only happens once a year, but our staff are working hard every day to find that elusive resource, answer the difficult questions, and solve all (well, most) of your information problems.


Love letters

One of our librarians received this glowing praise from the VCAL coordinator who appreciated how she engaged well with the students.


“Today I took a group of my students to Monash to participate in a library session.  I have been bringing my students to Monash since 2010 and really appreciate the library staff giving these students an introduction to library skills.

I teach students who attend an alternative school and can be quite difficult to engage.  Romney had great presence in the classroom and was able to very quickly form a connection to the students.  She made the session both fun and informative for my students and really engaged them in the process.  The students tested her on a few occasions and she handled it with grace, humour and professionalism.  All of the students found the day to be highly engaging and enjoyable and Romney really helped to set the tone for that with the introductory session.” - Mark Hunt, VCAL Coordinator
One of our learning skills advisers got a special mention in a SETU survey last semester. In their comments students singled her out and the session she delivered as some of the aspects of the SCI2010 unit that they found most effective. The unit had its best ever ranking.
The Library workshop and tutorial
The Library classes that helped with the assessment tasks
I really enjoyed the Library session and would encourage future students to attend
Tami and the Library staff are extremely helpful and lovely
Another learning skills adviser received this feedback from a grateful student – we’ve got more than just research tips up our sleeves!
“Thank you so much. I have backed up all my work just as you taught me this morning. That is really helpful and I will not worry about that anymore. You and all the Library and eSolutions staff do such an excellent job for us. Many thanks.”
One of our Law subject librarians received a heartfelt thank you from a postgraduate student. A great example of Library staff helping students achieve greater learning outcomes.
“I just wanted to say, thank you so much for helping me with research. There was a notable difference in my marks because I had improved on research. I couldn’t have done that without your help. So I truly appreciate what you do for students!”
And this Arts student was able to find what she was looking for through our Library services:
Thank you all so much for making my research easier and more worthwhile – today I found ten much-needed books in the Holds section. This is an excellent service and so helpful and prompt.”
So go on, share something with us! We appreciate any and all comments here at the Library, and are continually aiming to improve our services for both staff and students alike, as well as the wider Monash community and all who enter our doors.

Happy Library Lovers’ Day!


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13 February 2017

Track the evolution of legislation

Did you know we have Law databases that will help you research the history of legislation? Subject Librarian Caroline Knaggs says it's handy and really easy to use.


Are you researching the history of legislation? TimeBase databases will help you with you research. Just select the area you wish to research and the date(s) you are investigating, TimeBase will do the rest!

TimeBase has point-in-time services in Australian corporations, competition and consumer law, employment, GST, income tax and intellectual property law.

You can:

  • Create complete legislation pictures based on the date you are researching at any date - past, present or future
  • Access comprehensive, date-sensitive related materials linked at the relevant date
  • Instant comparison of versions of provisions as they were at different dates
  • Access version history of all sections, across all versions, irrespective of legislative instrument
  • Search for legislative material related to a problem occurring at a certain date - past or future.

TimeBase also produces LawOne, which gives comprehensive national legislation coverage in Australia. LawOne has over 65,000 legislative items, access to full text legislation across all nine jurisdictions. It includes amending, subordinate and repealed legislation, Bills, Explanatory Memoranda and Second Reading Speeches along with detailed legislative histories.

These databases can be accessed through Library Search, and our Databases A-Z pages.

To discover more resources to research legislation go to the Law Resources Library Guide.


Please contact Law Library staff if you would like more details or need help in using these databases.




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10 February 2017

Welcome to all new students

Hello to those who are newly enrolled. We hope you all had a wonderful summer break and are looking forward to your time at University.


If you're new to Monash, we've put together the Library orientation guide to give you the basics about using the Library.  You will also find Library activities in the Orientation planner.

But first, some interesting facts: did you know that research shows that students who use the Library achieve better results than those who don't? [1]

At Monash 79% of students who used the Library achieved at least a Distinction, based on students' best estimates of their academic results. In the user survey, “Library use” meant either coming in to the Library or accessing it online daily or 2-4 days a week. [2]


Study spaces and facilities

The big Library refurbishments are progressing really well and will finish during semester one. New students will find that they are using smart refurbished areas with facilities like bookable discussion rooms for group projects and study, in both the Caulfield and Matheson libraries. 

At both libraries temporary entrances and some inconvenience will apply until the building projects are finished. Study facilities are available throughout and regular services continue.

At Caulfield, to start off with, you will enter the library from the arcade level 1 between Buildings A and B (opposite Monash Connect). 
    
At Matheson, the temporary library entrance is from the eastern side in the Performing Arts courtyard near Robert Blackwood Hall, until further notice.  

Programs, resources and activities

As well as working with you in your courses and units, we provide a range of programs and drop-in sessions related to your assignments and other tasks. Drop-ins begin from Week 2.

We’ve developed a new Research and Learning Online site as your gateway to the Library’s online learning materials. Check it out to access online modules such as academic integrity, citing and referencing, and more.

Visit the Students’ page for a complete list of Library programs, resources and activities.

Don’t forget to check this blog for useful articles with tips and advice for your study. You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.



1   Soria, K. M., Fransen, J., & Nackerud, S. (2013). Library use and undergraduate student outcomes: New evidence for students’ retention and academic success.  Portal : Libraries and the Academy, 13(2), 147-164.  

2  2015 Monash University Library User survey

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1 February 2017

Women’s Letters and Diaries databases

The two resources featured here provide a valuable way to see into the past, says Melanie Thorn, Subject Librarian. 



Mary Queen of Scots is one of hundreds of writers whose
experiences are published here. 
British and Irish women's letters and diaries: 1500 to 1950, and its companion North American women's letters and diaries: colonial to 1950 are databases that reveal the personal experiences of over 400 British and more than 1300 North American women from various historical eras.

For example, the American database includes the story of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, who enlisted in the confederate army as Harry T. Buford in the 1870s. She wrote of her experiences in battle and as a Confederate spy, and her arrest for ‘being a woman in disguise’. "There was, evidently, something suspicious and mysterious about me; and, suspicion having once been excited, some lynx-eyed detective was not long in noting certain feminine ways I had, and which even my long practice in figuring as a man had not enabled me to get rid of." [1] 

Not only does the story point out that women fought in the Civil War, but provides insight into cultural and social understandings of women and femininity.

Gerda Lerner, an American historian who was involved in the creation of the first graduate program in women’s history in the United States, was unimpressed at the lack of interest in the topic when she entered academia in the mid 1960s.  “In my courses, the teachers told me about a world in which ostensibly one-half the human race is doing everything significant and the other half doesn’t exist.” [2] This was replicated in terms of research, with Lerner noting that the number of historians interested in women's history “could have fitted into a telephone booth”. [3]

Thankfully this has changed, but primary sources written by women can still be difficult to find and this is what makes these databases so valuable.

The search tool in these databases is incredibly powerful and allows you to easily search for very specific content, for example, content written by widowed women who lived in New York city in the 1860s, or for women who were writing about a particular historical event, like the bombing of Pearl Harbour. A good example of the latter is the American, Natalie Stark Crouter, who was confined in a Japanese civilian camp in the Philippines with her businessman husband and their two children throughout World War II.

She writes,  "After the children left for school, we turned on the radio about 8:15 -- and heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor. While listening, we heard planes and went out as usual to see them. Almost over the house, quite high, came seventeen big bombers in formation. We could see them plainly and thought they were American. I remarked, "Well, we probably won't be standing here looking up at planes like this much longer. As they passed almost opposite the house, we heard a long ripping sound like the tearing of a giant sheet and saw an enormous burst of smoke and earth near officers' quarters at Camp John Hay -- the first bombing of the Philippines before our eyes." [4]

In addition to the raw material like this, the database also includes biographies of many of the authors, providing the context of people who would otherwise be little known in history.

The two Diaries and Letters databases are available through Library Search, and the Databases A-Z. Please contact your subject librarian if you would like more details or help in using the databases: Melanie Thorn (Clayton) or  Rod Rizzi (Caulfield).

To discover more primary source databases for history see the Primary Sources library guide.






[1] Loreta Velazquez, The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Valazquez, Otherwise Known as Lieut. Harry T. Buford, Confederate States Army, (Hartford, CT: T. Belknap 1876) 278,  [accessed 10 January]

[2] William Grimes, ‘Gerda Lerner, a Feminist and Historian, dies at 92’, The New York Times, 3 January 2013 [accessed 16 January 2016], (para 4 of 24)

[3] Grimes, New York Times

[4]Natalie Stark Crouter, Forbidden Diary: A Record of Wartime Internment, (New York, NY: Burt Franklin & Co. 1980) , [accessed 10 January]

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25 January 2017

Matheson and Caulfield libraries set to re-open on 20 February

Both the Sir Louis Matheson and Caulfield libraries will reopen on Monday 20 February 2017 in time for Orientation Week. The summer closure of the two libraries has been extended to finish major building works.

Temporary borrowing arrangements are in place until the re-openings so that Monash staff and students can continue to borrow from both libraries.

Matheson Library

Caulfield Library 
  • Request items for pick-up at Room T103, Ground Floor, Building T from Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm or at any of our other libraries.
  • Return items at Room T103 from 7am - 7pm during the week or anytime if you have swipe card access. You may also return items at any of our other libraries during library hours or the after-hours returns at Law Library at Clayton.
Critical functions such as the preparation of reading lists for Semester 1 units continue unimpeded. 

If you need advice from Library staff or have any questions, go to an Information point at any other library, through ask.monash.edu, or by telephone (03 9905 5054).

We apologise for the delays and ask for your patience through the final stages of these projects.


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24 January 2017

Incorporating collaborative learning techniques into classes

Learning Skills Adviser Roslyn Halliday lets us in on some of her teaching techniques.



Photo courtesy Monash Image Library
Within the Research and Learning team at Monash Library, we’ve been employing a variety of teaching strategies to create classes that are inspiring, engaging and encourage deep learning. One key focus has been the use of ‘active learning’, that is, the incorporation of interactive, collaborative and student-centred learning activities.

Below I outline some tried and tested strategies that I have drawn upon in my classes to help promote interactive and collaborative learning within the classroom - techniques which can be applied to a variety of educational settings.

1. Online polling sites

Polling sites generally involve students engaging with lecture or tutorial content by posting questions via SMS. Responses are automatically collated and visible to everyone in the room, either on a data projector or by logging onto the site on individual devices.

Some sites enable students to vote for questions they feel are most pertinent to the class (thereby helping to create a student-centred session when the most popular questions are addressed during the session).

Try: 


2. Think-pair-share

Students are presented with a problem, question or issue and are asked to firstly think about their response on their own (and perhaps write it down or draw it). Providing thinking time for students has shown to increase the quality of their responses. Students then share their responses in pairs. This encourages quieter students to participate and provides another opportunity to refine or add depth to ideas. Each pair then shares with the whole group, which subsequently forms the basis of a whole group discussion.

3. Think-pair-square-share

As above, but before sharing with the whole group, each pair of students shares with another pair (ie. a square). Provides further opportunity to refine ideas.

4. Think-pair-tweet-share

Like above, but students generate a Tweet (or 140 characters), to articulate their idea. Or you might ask students to communicate an idea via Snapchat instead – a more widely used app than Twitter amongst younger folk. 

5. Jigsaw

A technique developed by Elliot Aronson in the 1970s, students work in small groups (ideally between 4 and 6 students). The topic/problem/task under consideration is broken down into small segments, and each group is allocated one segment to focus on. They then become ‘experts’ in that particular area. The groups are then rearranged so that each person reports to a new group as an ‘expert’ on their area of focus. This strategy encourages every student to be actively involved in the learning process.


Conclusion

Each of these strategies can be adapted to suit different educational contexts, and they help get students thinking, discussing, and working in groups. This in turn fosters a more interactive learning environment and promotes deeper engagement.






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About the Blog

Welcome to the Monash University Library blog. Whether you are engaged in learning, teaching or research activities, the Library and its range of programs, activities and resources will contribute to your success. Here you will find useful information, ideas, tips and inspiration. Your comments on any of the articles are welcome.

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