29 February 2016

Time management: Getting things done!

Some things remain a challenge no matter how organised you are. If you want to be prepared for your university course this year, read a few tips from Library staff  Damian Gleeson and Michelle De Aizpurua.

University requires a lot more independence in your studies than when you were at school. This means you are responsible for organising your own schedule and study plans. You are free to take the approach that best suits you, however leaving everything to the last minute usually isn’t the best strategy. This post offers some advice and suggestions on how to manage your time so you can be a successful student and have a life!

Watch this short video to see tips, advice and suggested strategies for organising your time and your life. The better you can do this, the more successful you are likely to be.

Procrastination affects everyone - ever heard of the procrastibaking method? But you can prevail. One of the best ways you can avoid the need to pull all-nighters, panicking and madly typing with only coffee and Red Bull to keep you company, is to keep organised with a long-term semester plan and a short-term weekly plan.

Whether you like to write important dates in your diary or use a Google calendar, get organised now! You’ll be grateful for it when the pressure is on.

We’ve got some great resources available on our Research & Learning Online site, covering things like managing your time, and setting up your personal study space. You can also check out these helpful study strategies, grab a few pointers on the transition from research to writing, and other time-saving tips.

Don’t forget, we have workshops for this stuff too! Log in to the Library Class Booking System and search for ‘time’ or ‘study skills’ to see what's on offer from our expert staff.

Starting your assignments ahead of time means you’ll have more wiggle room when your new uni friends invite you out for fun times - and the only regret you’ll have the next day is that one extra drink, not that one extra essay.

Damian Gleeson is a Research and Learning Coordinator at Caulfield Library and Michelle Aizpurua is a librarian at the Law Library.

Graphic: Nessima El Qorchi

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26 February 2016

Introducing Monash Figshare: store and promote your research data

Are you unsure of the best place to securely store your research data? Maybe you’ve been asked to provide access to the data related to an article you have submitted for publication? Katrina Tepper outlines briefly how Figshare allows researchers to do all that.

Monash Figshare could be the solution you’ve been looking for.  

Key benefits include:      
  • Free: no direct cost, upload data yourself 
  • Secure: data is stored and backed up on Monash University servers, meets publisher/funder requirements for publishing data associated with research 
  • Data is citable: published data is automatically assigned a DOI (Digital object identifier)
  • Ownership: retain copyright, select a licence to specify re-use conditions 
  • Choice: set visibility to private or public, upload multiple file formats
  • Collaboration: Invite other researchers to view your data

Why not register today and check it out!

Further information:


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24 February 2016

Welcome to all students

Hello to those who are newly enrolled and welcome back to our continuing students. We hope you all had a wonderful summer break.

If you're new to Monash, we've put together the Library orientation guide to give you the basics about using the Library.

If you're returning this semester, we'd like to update you on what's up at the Library.

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?

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.

Study spaces and facilities
  • The refurbishments are the big news at the moment and mean that the opening hours of some libraries are a little different this year. It's worth noting that Matheson and Hargrave-Andrew Libraries have swapped hours. The latter is now open until 12 midnight Monday to Thursday, and until 9pm on Friday. Matheson Library will be open until 9pm Monday to Friday. TIP: Library hours are on the Monash app.
  • At Matheson Library you can already use the refurbished North part of the building. This houses the new bookable discussion rooms for group projects and study, and two new large teaching rooms, which you can use for study when it's not booked for classes. You'll find the Research and Learning point has also relocated to this part of the library. The refurbishment in other parts of the Matheson Library will continue this year.
  • Extra seating has been provided on level 5 at Matheson, and at both Hargrave-Andrew Library and Law Library.
  • At Caulfield Library, the staircase next to the library has been demolished. To access the library, come up to the level 2 entry using the staircase outside Building K, come across from Building B (use lift for accessibility), or use the overpass or the eastern staircase of Building A. 
  • Inside Caulfield Library, study facilities are available and regular services continue although some areas have been closed off.  Additional study seats are available in C1 (see campus map).
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.

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.

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19 February 2016

Know when your library is open

The libraries are some of the most populated places on campus during semester. That's because the library is where students want to be when they're in between classes and, more importantly, when they need to study or work on their assignments. Here's a summary of the opening hours during semester this year. 

The libraries are open longer during semester. All libraries open from 8.00am Monday to Friday but the closing times vary as well as the weekend hours.

From 29 February 

At Clayton:
  • Matheson Library will be open until 9.00pm Monday to Friday, and from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Saturday and Sunday throughout semester and exams.
  • Hargrave-Andrew Library will be open until 12.00am (midnight) Monday to Thursday, until 9.00pm on Friday, and from 1.00pm to 5.00pm on Saturday and Sunday. 
  • Law Library will be open until 9.00pm Monday to Friday, and from 1.00pm to 5.00pm on Saturday and Sunday. 
  • In Weeks 11-12, Swotvac and the exam period, Hargrave-Andrew and Law Libraries will be open from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Saturday and Sunday.
  • During Swotvac and the exam period, Hargrave-Andrew Library will be open until 2.00am Monday to Thursday.
At other campuses:
  • Caulfield Library will be open until 12.00am (midnight) Monday to Friday, and from 10.00am to 9.00pm on Saturday and Sunday. Note that this may be subject to change due to the refurbishment.
  • Berwick and Pharmacy Libraries will be open until 7.00pm Monday to Friday and closed on weekends. 
  • Peninsula Library will be open until 7.00pm Monday to Friday, and from 1.00pm to 5.00pm on Saturday and Sunday.   
No need to memorise the opening hours. The Library homepage, Monash app and portal have all this information handy. There is also a poster at the library entrances. 

See you in the libraries.

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17 February 2016

A big hand for the uni journey

Starting out at university is a big challenge and change for first in family, mature age and students from diverse backgrounds. Programs, resources and activities offered by the Library and the University can help make the journey less daunting, write Anita Dewi and Michelle De Aizpurua.

If you are feeling a bit anxious or apprehensive about the university environment, you're not alone. Many students feel this way when they first get started.

If you are the first in your family going to university, or if you’re a mature age, part-time or off-campus student, we understand it can be quite a challenge even as it is an exciting step to take in your life.

We've made sure to provide a wide range of resources and services to suit your needs and to guide you.

For First in Family students, check out some tips from one of our learning skills advisers in this video on how to get ready for university life.

There are other study hints and resources available from other organisations that support First in Family students.  

For off-campus students, you can access the numerous electronic resources the Library subscribes to anytime, anywhere.  You can even request items to be posted to your home as part of our flexible delivery options for off-campus students.

There are lots of resources for you to refer to - check out these quick hints for creating new study patterns and developing a study strategy to get started. There are plenty more materials available via the Research & Learning Online (RLO) site, so keep checking back once you get stuck in your study!

Extra study facilities and services are provided by the Mature Age & Part-time Students Association (MAPS) for mature age, part-time and distance education students, or you may find a mentoring program helpful for support in your discipline.

While university life is certainly not stress-free, the level of stress is definitely manageable. Remember, you can seek support and, as they say, you'll be surprised how much there is.

Anita Dewi is a learning skills adviser who splits her time between the Hargrave-Andrew Library at Clayton and the Berwick Library while Michelle De Aizpurua is a librarian in the Law Library. 

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Teaching first year students: some strategies for week one

The first week of classes can be nerve-wracking for both students and teaching staff. If you are teaching first year students there are things you can do to help them make a successful transition, writes Rachel Chamberlain.

The idea of walking into a room full of  strangers is always daunting, so attending that first tutorial or lecture is likely to provoke a level of anxiety in most people.

For our first year students these feelings are intensified by the multitude of ‘firsts’ they will be experiencing in week one. It may be the first time they have met an academic, participated in a tutorial or lecture or had to find a particular classroom or building. Whilst there will certainly be a lot of excitement about all of these new experiences, students are also likely to feel uncertain about how things work, and how they, and others, are a supposed to act in this new environment.

There are some small things we can do in week one to welcome first year students and to help them make a successful transition to university:
  • An open door: Most students will get lost on campus at some stage and this will probably result in them being late to class. Having to enter a class late, particularly on day one can be terrifying for new students and a closed door is a lot more intimidating than an open one. Leaving the classroom door open for the first 10-15 minutes can make entering the classroom a little less intimidating for any student that does get lost. This also enables you to see students who might be tentatively approaching, or even nervously circling the door, allowing you to identify yourself and invite them in.
  • Making connections: It is a good idea to set aside the first part of class for students (and yourself) to get to know each other. A good ice breaker activity will allow students to start developing social connections with their peers. Remember that you can also participate in these icebreaker activities. In fact, your participation can be really important as it shows your students that you have a genuine interest in them as individuals. Depending on the activity it also provides an opportunity for some one on one conversations that can provide you with some really useful information about the students' backgrounds, interests and motivations for enrolling in your unit.
  • Explain the basics: Our first year students are an extremely diverse group. Your class is likely to include international students, those who are first in family, students from high and low socio-economic backgrounds, school leavers or mature age students. This diversity means that the students will have had vastly different educational experiences, and arrive at Monash with differing levels of knowledge about how university, including your unit or class ‘works’. Can students interrupt you during a tutorial to ask questions? Can they leave the room without asking permission? What should they call you? What is the relationship between tutorials, lectures and readings? In what order should students do these? The answers to these questions may seem self evident to us, but to many first year students this is not the case. Taking time to explain the knowledge we take for granted will improve students' confidence and can clear up misunderstandings before they occur.  
  • Speak English (not Monash): If you have been at Monash for a while, it is likely that you casually use acronyms and language that is distinctly “Monash” (Moodle, Authcate, SETU, WES, MULO). Additionally, you are probably fluent in the language of your faculty, or discipline area. Our first year students are unlikely to speak these languages and so avoiding these and/or explaining them is crucial in the first few weeks of the semester.
A student's first few weeks at Monash will have a significant impact on their overall transition to university, and a successful transition in first year will provide a strong foundation for success in later years.

Rachel Chamberlain is a learning skills adviser based in the Berwick Library. Rachel and subject librarian Diana Thompson work with other Library staff, academics and other teams in the University for social inclusion-related programs being implemented across the campuses. Contact Rachel to find out more.

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10 February 2016

Access to Caulfield Library during the refurbishment

The expansion and refurbishment work continues at Caulfield Library. Here's the latest update with some tips for accessing the collection and study spaces.

View from Queens Avenue overpass
If you have not been to the Caulfield campus recently, you'll find that to go to the library you’ll need to:
  • come up to the level 2 entry using the staircase outside Building K
  • come across from Building B (use lift for accessibility)
  • use the overpass or the eastern staircase of Building A. 
We’ve put directional signs around these areas to guide you.

You’ll also see construction fencing around the library entrance on level 2 and we’ve installed an entry tunnel for your safety.

Inside the library, you’ll find that study facilities are available and regular services continue.  Space is reduced, however, as the entire level 4 and sections of levels 2 and 3 have been closed off temporarily to allow the building to progress.

It will be noisy and there may be some vibrations from the western side of the building particularly during the period between mid-February and mid-March. You can request ear plugs from the Information Point. The quietest spots are on the eastern side of the library.

We also recommend that you save your work regularly when using a computer or laptop in the library in case of power outage.

You can now browse the shelves on the ground floor where books, multimedia and other collection materials now live.

To collect items you've requested from other libraries, go to the Holds shelves just near the entrance.

Library classes and workshops may be held in other buildings during the refurbishment, so take careful note of workshop location in the class booking system.

Additional study seats are available in C1 in Building C (see campus map).

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3 February 2016

Matheson Library reopens

The Sir Louis Matheson Library at the Clayton campus reopened on Monday 8 February after a four-week closure that allowed heavy demolition work to occur.

The void will open into a courtyard on the lower ground floor.
The refurbishment continues and will be completed by the end of the year.

The three-stage project was designed to allow for study spaces to continue to be available to students, however, a reduction in available seating is unavoidable throughout the refurbishment. Once completed, Matheson Library will have 25% more seats and provide a vastly improved environment.

By the start of semester, new individual study and bookable discussion rooms for group projects and study, as well as two large teaching rooms, will be available. The teaching rooms can be used by students as study spaces when they are not booked for library classes.

Access to the collections

Library users can access the General Collection and Journals on Levels 2-5. The Music Collection is now located on Level 2 and the Ada Booth Slavic and the Asian Collections (formerly Asian Studies Research Collection) are now on Level 1.

Items located in the compactus require staff assistance. Please ask at the information point.

With the reopening of the library, users can again request items from other campuses via Search and choose Matheson Library as the pick-up location. Holds are now located to the left of the entrance.

Remember: if a copy is on shelf at the same campus as your pick-up location, you should retrieve the item yourself.

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1 February 2016

Art Source: A gallery of resources for art, design and architecture research

Art Source is the go-to database for research in art or architecture, writes Romany Manuell, subject librarian for Art, Design and Architecture.

Have you heard about Art Source?  There’s no other database with as much high-quality content for your art, design and architecture research. Art Source is based on a merger of databases from EBSCO Publishing and H.W. Wilson, but it also includes a bunch of fresh, new sources never previously made available.

If you attended the MADA exhibition “The Abstract” last October, you’ll already be familiar with the peer-reviewed journals in our print collection. Did you know that many of those journals are also available online through Art Source? 

Art Source covers a broad range of related subjects, including:
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture and architectural history
  • Art history
  • Contemporary art
  • Costume design
  • Decorative arts
  • Folk art
  • Graphic arts
  • Industrial design
  • Interior design
  • Landscape architecture
  • Museology
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Pottery
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Television
  • Textiles
  • Video
Many of the articles in this database are full-text, but Art Source also provides detailed indexing and abstracts for journals, books, podcasts and more. If you’ve previously used the databases Art and Architecture Complete, Art Full Text or Art Index Retrospective, you’ll be happy to know that these are all now included in Art Source.

Art Source is available to Monash staff and students via the Databases page and through Search.

Be warned! Many people get Art Source confused with ARTStor. Both are excellent resources, but Art Source will give you top quality journal articles and art news, whereas ARTStor is an image library.

Art Source: your first stop for art, design and architecture research!

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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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