Showing posts with label reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading. Show all posts

6 March 2017

Borrowing basics

Now that you’ve been to your first week of classes, you may be thinking about how to find a copy of your textbook for those pre-tutorial readings, or even for your first assignment. In this article, Clinton Bell takes you through the process of borrowing your first book from the library!

The refurbished libraries have new loans machines

How do I find the book I want?

Start by finding it in Library Search! You can get to it via the Library tile in your portal, or use the search box halfway down the library homepage. You can find most books just by typing in the title and the surname of one of the authors.

When you find a record for the book you want, there will be a “Get it” or “View it” tab underneath it. The “View it” tab will give you a link to an electronic copy of the book, if we have one. The “Get it” tab shows you how many physical copies we have, whether they’re available, and which library collection they’re in:

If the book you want is available at your campus, you can go and get it off the shelf. To find it you’ll need the call number, which is also shown on the “Get it” tab. A call number is a bit like the number in a street address - it tells you how far along the shelves your book will be.

If the book you want is only available at a different campus or all the copies are on loan, you can place a request, and we’ll send the next available copy to the library where you want to pick it up. Make sure you’re logged in (there’s a “Sign in” button in the top right), and then you should see a “Request” button near the top of the “Get it” tab.

If you’re having trouble finding what you want, just ask the Library staff!

Okay, I found it. Now how do I borrow it?

You can borrow books using the self-check systems around the library. You need to scan your ID card, then slide the book into the cradle until the barcode on the front (not the back!) is under the scanner. The machine will go “thunk!” and the book’s title will be highlighted in green on the screen when it’s ready - it does take a second or two, so don’t pull it away too fast!

There are some items which won’t work with the self-check, for example because they’re too big, a weird shape, or they don’t have a barcode on the front. If you have one of these items, or you’re just having trouble with the machine, you can also borrow at the information point.

One of the books I want has a coloured sticker on it.   What does that mean?

If we expect a book to be in high demand, we may place limits on how long some copies can be borrowed, so that more people have a chance to read it. The stickers pictured above mark books which have these restrictions.

If a sticker has a year on it, the restriction only applies for that year, so don’t worry about stickers from 2016 or earlier!

More questions?

If you have more questions about borrowing, you can view detailed information on our website, read the FAQs on, or ask our friendly staff in person. Happy borrowing!

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15 August 2016

Strategies for efficient reading

It can be challenging to find enough time for all the reading you need to do at uni. However, by staying organised and using the right reading strategy, you can get more out of the time you have...
by Clinton Bell, Tami Castillo, and Damian Gleeson

Getting organised

Before you start, you should plan what you’re going to read. Some readings may be assigned by your lecturer, but you’ll also be expected to read independently for assessment tasks to revise or help you understand your subject.

Make a note of what you need to read, and set aside time to do so. Prioritise readings by importance as well as due date - some readings are essential, while others may be helpful but not strictly necessary. You should also work out how you will access the readings - it might be hard to borrow an important textbook just before an exam!

For many units, the Library publishes reading lists which can help you find and access your readings. If you sign in you can, make notes and mark off the ones you’ve completed. If you’re reading for an assessment, it’s a good idea to write down the publication details (title, authors, publication date, etc.) of what you’ve read. You’ll need them later for your reference list.

There are different ways to read a text, depending on what you want to get out of it. Usually you want to do one of three things: get a general understanding of a topic, find a specific piece of information, or learn something in detail. Using the right strategies for each can save you a lot of time!

Getting a general understanding

Sometimes you need to understand the general ideas behind something, but don’t need to know all the details. In this case you can skim over parts of the text instead of reading every word. You might also do this to help you decide whether you should take the time to read something in detail, for example when researching for an assignment.

Many texts provide an overview of the important ideas for you. Look for an introduction, abstract, or executive summary at the start, and a conclusion or summary at the end. You can also look at the section headings or table of contents to get an idea of what the text covers.

Another approach would be to read the first paragraph of each section and the first sentence or two of each paragraph. Usually the main idea of each section and paragraph is presented at the start, so this will let you get most of the meaning without getting into details.

Finding specific information

If you’re only looking for a specific piece of information, you don’t want to have to read a bunch of other stuff to find it. Fortunately, most texts have tools which help you skip to the information you need.

For most electronic documents, you can find a word or phrase by pressing Control+F on Windows or Command+F on a Mac. For paper textbooks, use the index at the back of the book to find the right page - it lists the concepts in the book with the pages they are mentioned on. If there’s no index use the table of contents and the section headings to find the right general area, then read in detail.
It may also help to use a reference work instead of your normal textbook. Reference works are designed for quickly looking up information, instead of reading from start to finish. Dictionaries and encyclopaedias are examples, but there but also more specialised reference works such as drug handbooks for nurses or databases of materials for engineers.

Learning content in detail

Often you will need to develop a detailed understanding of what you’ve read. In this case you do need to read all of the text carefully, but it can be useful to start by reading for general understanding, like we discussed above. Once you understand the concepts, you can go back and read more thoroughly - it’s easier to remember the details that way.

Detailed reading can take a long time, so make sure you plan for it. It’s also a good idea to set aside time to revise, since it’s hard to remember everything from one reading.

For more on the different reading styles, you can check out our quick study guide or have a look at these questions to help you build effective reading strategies from the ground up! You can also book into a Library workshop via the Library Class Booking System (search for ‘reading’ to find relevant workshops), or chat to a Learning skills adviser at your Library’s Research & Learning Point for more advice.

Happy reading!

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21 March 2016

Managing your reading

Feeling bamboozled by all the things you have to read? Learning Skills Adviser Tami Castillo has some suggestions on managing your reading tasks better.

It’s week 4 - already feel like you’re falling behind? Can’t believe how much pre-reading, post reading, required reading and suggested readings there are? Not to  mention reading all the academic articles you need to complete your assignments?

Reading strategically and employing different  reading strategies can help you use your time more effectively.

Want to know more? Read on!

First of all, please don’t feel like you have to read everything from cover to cover. One of the keys to reading strategically is knowing there are different  reading strategies to use for different reading purposes. This video explains this succinctly.

Reading strategies

As you can see, using effective reading strategies can help you:
  • save time
  • prepare for assignments and exams
  • keep up with weekly readings, and
  • learn and revise your unit’s content.
Check out this infographic for more information, and have a go at using different reading strategies for your different study purposes. If you’re not sure how to begin, have a look at these questions to help you build effective reading strategies from the ground up!

Being an effective reader saves you time, and brings you closer to those higher marks and success rates in exams. Book into a Library workshop via the Library Class Booking System (search for ‘reading’ to find relevant workshops), or you can chat to a Learning skills adviser at your Library’s Research & Learning Point if you’re not sure where to start.

Happy reading!

Photo: jemimus on Flickr

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24 March 2015

Managing your reading

You’re expected to do 12 hours of study per unit per week. Two to four of these hours are in class, leaving the remainder for private study. The majority of this should be spent reading, and this intensifies when you are researching for assignments. So there’s a LOT of reading you have to do, and you’ll need some strategies to manage the load. Damian Gleeson

Watch this short video to learn how to read effectively. Using effective reading strategies can help you:

  • save time
  • prepare for assignments and exams
  • keep up with weekly readings, and
  • learn and revise your unit’s content.

It’s impossible to succeed in your assignments or exams without being an effective reader. The sooner you can master effective reading strategies, the more likely it is that you’ll get the high grades you desire. End transmission.

Have a look at these questions to help you build effective reading strategies, and download this Quick Study Guide to efficient reading.


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