Library

28 February 2017

A teaser book display at Peninsula Library

A new book display at Peninsula Library provides a teaser about the exhibition that's opening soon in the Sir Louis Matheson Library at Clayton campus. 


An interesting display at Peninsula Library features a number of books chosen to complement the exhibition that will open soon in the Sir Louis Matheson Library at Clayton.

The Peninsula Library display is about journeys for the young and the young at heart, says Daniel Wee, a librarian who's part of our Rare Books team and who chose the items for the display.

"From skirmishes with swashbuckling pirates to voyages to the farthest outreaches of our galaxy, tales of adventure and discovery play an integral role in the creation of children's literature. Before movies and television, fantastic stories fired the imagination of young readers," says Daniel.

Books, like the boys' and girls' annual -- gift books which contained many stories and pictures -- and much loved favourites, The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, are held in various forms in Monash University Library's collections.

The Library has four collections of children's books located in the Peninsula Library and the Matheson Library-based collections of Teaching Materials, the Melbourne Centre for Japanese Language Education (MCJLE) and the Lindsay Shaw Collection in Rare Books.






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Planning your PhD journey

What does it take to go through the journey to a PhD successfully?  Learning Skills Adviser Anita Dewi offers answers to key questions asked by new candidates.


Are you commencing a PhD journey at Monash? A PhD is a great avenue to build your career in academia and other areas as well - the penultimate qualification! Through a PhD you have opportunities to share ideas and knowledge in your relevant field. But what does it take to go through the journey successfully?

One of the keywords in your PhD journey is planning. Your plan needs to cover  all aspects relevant to your PhD journey. Below are some key questions that you should ask yourself and find the answers when planning your PhD:

1. How do I manage my supervision?

Your PhD is YOUR journey! This means that you need to take the responsibility for these aspects in managing your supervision:
  • Maintain good communication with your supervisors.
  • Negotiate how frequently you will need to meet with your supervisor (this will vary over time).
  • Take responsibility for scheduling supervisor meetings.
  • Take notes from these meetings and send your supervisor(s) emails that confirm mutual understanding of what is or is not expected after each discussion.
  • Think of a few alternative solutions to issues arising, and then discuss them with your supervisor.
  • DON’T rely on your supervisor(s) to solve your problems for you.
Keep reminding yourself that you’re in charge of your own journey.

2. How do I manage my 3-4 year candidature?

Managing time is not always easy. A PhD journey is a “marathon” rather than a “sprint”. A key tip is to prioritise your tasks. One of the best ways to prioritise your tasks is by implementing, and possibly modifying, the Eisenhower method to suit your needs. To give you an idea of how this method can be implemented in real life situation, have a look at this link.

3. Where can I find relevant resources and advice?

The Library has a great range of resources that you can use to facilitate your PhD journey. Below are some examples that the Library provides:
Also keep in mind that the Library provides you with one-on-one consultations with a learning skills adviser or a subject librarian dedicated to your discipline. Highly motivating writing groups are also available at different campuses. The list of these contact people are here.

4. What will I do after completing my PhD?

Don’t forget to consider what kind of career you will seek upon completing your PhD. Understanding what responsibilities and skills needed to function in this dream role or job will help you in incorporating relevant skills development into your PhD journey plan.

5. What skills do I need to develop for my PhD to be a successful journey?

Here is a researcher skills questionnaire that you will find useful. Feel free to download, fill out, and hang on to it for the duration of your PhD journey. Get back to it and reflect on it from time to time, as a reminder of the skills you need to maintain and perhaps develop to enable you to succeed in your PhD.

6. What do I need to do and when should I do them?

It is best to have a map of your PhD timeline, along with the relevant milestones, e.g. confirmation seminar, progress review, pre-submission seminar, and the thesis submission at the end of the journey.

Finally, don’t hesitate to contact learning skills advisers and subject librarians at the Library for advice. All the best with your PhD journey!


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27 February 2017

What's new for our returning students


Welcome back to our returning students. We hope you enjoyed your summer break and while it had to end, you can look forward to some fun and learning at uni.



Bookable discussion rooms at Matheson
We'd like to update you on what's happening at the Library as there are a number of changes.

Study space and facilities


The big library refurbishments at Caulfield and Matheson are progressing well and will finish during semester one. Both libraries have reopened since 20 February, after a summer-long closure.

At Caulfield, you will enter the library temporarily from the arcade level 1 between Buildings A and B (opposite Monash Connect). 

At Matheson, the temporary library entrance from the Performing Arts courtyard remains in place until further notice.


M-Pass, printing and borrowing


A new Monash ID card called M-Pass replaces the need to purchase separate print/copy cards. Your M-Pass card will be linked to an online account, so you can use it to:
  • add credit to pay for printing, copying and Library fines (the Library no longer accepts cash)
  • identify yourself on campus and at exams
  • borrow books etc. from the Library
  • access secure buildings.

Recorded lectures


Lectures Online has changed to Learning Capture. You can access 2017 lecture recordings from your unit’s Moodle page. If you're unsure where to find it or you don't see a link, contact your lecturer.


If you have a deferred exam from 2016, you can continue to access recorded lectures via MULO.


Check the Learning Capture FAQs on ask.monash.

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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 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 and students can use their devices. The computers on levels 2, 3 and 4 can be used beginning Monday 27 February, including a large number of brand new Macintosh computers.

There are five discussion rooms for group work and these rooms will be available by Monday 27 February although they will not have AV capability yet. These rooms will be bookable after they have been fitted with 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

Printing is now available from student mobile devices on the wireless network. Printing from the student computers will be available by Monday 27 February. The new Monash-wide M-Pass system is now live. Students 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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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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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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