Showing posts with label new students. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new students. Show all posts

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.


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!


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!


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 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!


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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2 March 2016

Level up, and get the most out of lectures!

You’ll have heard it countless times by now - “University is different from high school”. It’s true that you’ll need to tweak your practices to get the most out of your time here, but there are plenty of resources to get you on the right track, says Librarian Romney Adams.

Your listening and note-taking skills are incredibly useful, as they’re what you’ll rely on to take information away from your lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, labs, and other classes - so don’t underestimate their power!

Now, you might be thinking - “I know how to listen, and I know how to write notes” - of course you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. But you can really supersize these skills, and use them to an even greater advantage.


Can I take this moment to emphasise the importance of writing neatly...or at least legibly? We’ve all experienced that moment of using your notes to revise, only to discover you can’t make sense of them. A common cause of this is writing at high speed, getting down every note from your lecturer’s slides, and every utterance and witty aside from their mouth.

Generally speaking, lecturers will make their slides available to you via Moodle, either shortly before or after a class - check Moodle for an announcement on this, or email your lecturer for clarification. If it’s before class, great! You’ve got a set of notes you can annotate. If it’s after class, that’s okay too - you at least know you don’t have to worry about noting everything down from the slides. Either way, you can focus on listening for important pieces of information your lecturer mentions verbally, to strengthen the content included in the lecture slides.

Remember, you don’t need to write down everything your lecturer mentions - you can usually tell what’s going to be useful simply by the lecturer’s tone of voice, emphasis, or even body language.

Tablets and laptops are a great solution to the ‘can’t-read-my-own-writing’ problem, but can prove an irresistible gateway to a plethora of other distractions. Consider going back to Classical times and just bring pen and paper - any doodling you do may actually help improve your concentration!


While of course, you are welcome to ask questions in lectures, your primary concern is to listen, and take notes. Talking is an obvious distraction, not only to yourself, but also to your neighbours - you’d be surprised at how far two whispering voices can travel in a lecture theatre.

It’s a different story for seminars, workshops, labs, and tutorials though, where greater participation is encouraged - and can even form a portion of your overall mark. Participation does not simply mean being present - you’ll be expected to engage with the teaching staff and ask questions - another good reason to listen to what’s being said!

What if I can’t make it?

Sometimes, things happen, and you can’t attend a lecture. However, there are still ways you can access the necessary material. Many lectures are captured and stored for your viewing pleasure on MULO. This is also a great source for exam revision at the end of semester!

If your lectures aren’t recorded, things are a little trickier - but not impossible. Teaching staff are usually understanding if you have a good reason for not being able to attend, and may be able to email a copy of the slides to you - it goes without saying that the after-effects of partying are not considered to be ‘good reason’! You can also ask your lecturer or tutor if you can have a quick consultation/appointment with them, to catch up on anything important you may have missed. If you know you’re going to miss a class, you can also ask friends to take notes for you - it helps if you shout them coffee or a pint in return, to show your appreciation.

Don’t forget to have a look at the Library Class Booking System - we run a variety of skills classes throughout the semester! Search using keywords such as ‘note’ ‘skills’ ‘lecture’ ‘listen’ or ‘study’ to see if there are any relevant classes you can go along to! Or, chat to a Librarian or Learning Skills Adviser at your Library’s Research & Learning Point - check for opening times here.

Memes: Romney Adams

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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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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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