Library

2 December 2016

ASTM online standards collection

Hilary Luxford, subject librarian, explains how to use the ASTM online standards available through the Library's databases.


Standards in  materials are important in construction 
A range of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) publications is available to staff and students. After logging in through the Library’s ASTM Digital Library, users need to create their own profile to use these particular collections, ASTM standards through 'IHS Standards Expert' and a wide range of other ASTM publications through the 'Digital Library' interface.

About American Society for Testing and Materials

ASTM, began in 1898 and has become one of the largest standard bodies with offices worldwide, now known as ASTM International, written by experts for experts. ASTM standards and allied publications main users are from the engineering fields which include: aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, environmental, geological, health and safety, industrial, materials science, mechanical, nuclear, petroleum, soil science and solar engineering but also used by other STEM disciplines.

Why do we need standards?

“Standards are documents setting out specifications, procedures and guidelines”.  Forty percent of ASTM standards are updated annually, and now Monash staff and students can access the latest standards 24/7, anywhere from lab or home. Formerly, researchers had to visit the Library to consult individual volumes, which because of their value, could not be removed from the Library, copyright law would not allow users to scan or photocopy the entire standard.

Users are now able to access the active standards online, and download a copy for their research and study purposes.

Two different platforms

ASTM standards (1931 to present) can be searched also from the 'Digital Library' interface which has useful features for searching exclusive to this interface. If searching for standards for a particular area, where the title/number is unknown, the 'Digital Library' search interface may be more effective, but also a reconnection to 'IHS Standards Expert' will be required to access the full-text of the 'active' standards. One of the peculiarities of this platform is that to access ‘IHS Standards Expert’ will require you to log out, log in again and go to the ‘IHS Standards Expert’ heading in order to access the full text of the standards.

About the ASTM Digital Library

ASTM Digital Library is accessed by choosing ASTM Digital Library, then Digital Library after logging in and registering. ASTM Digital Library provides full text to a range of publications including:
  • eBooks and manuals
  • symposia papers, and peer reviewed papers known as 'Special Technical Papers' which address the latest research from which the standards are developed
  • journals
  • data series
  • bulletins containing technical papers
  • retrospective proceedings (1909-1965).
Hover the mouse over these publications to see a description of the publication.

In addition, the ASTM Digital Library interface searches but does not provide full-text to the ASTM standards, but the search features unique to this interface such as the ‘Refine the results’ options may be advantageous if the user wants to explore standards by combining one or more of the following :
  • category such as materials, properties, test methods and the like
  • technical committee – these specialise in areas such as ‘Corrosion of Metals’ that produced the information in the publications eg. Corrosion of Metals, Concrete and Concrete Aggregates
  • topic eg. consumer product safety and evaluation
  • industry sector, such as ‘building and construction’, ‘mining and mineral processing’
  • date range.
These same filters/options for refinement can be combined to search for the other publication types available on this interface as outlined previously.

In addition to the ‘Refine your results’ options outlined, these filters can be combined or searched separately with the search box located above labelled 'ASTM Compass'. This enables search functions such as search for keywords within a type of publication or you may choose the ‘Advanced Search’ to search within Titles, abstracts or the full text

The ‘Advanced Search’ is useful for searching for known elements of a particular publication eg. DOI, author details, which can be combine with keywords

Searching ASTM standards accessed from the ASTM IHS interface


Here you can locate and access the ASTM standards in full-text for ‘active’ standards. Retrospective standards can be searched on this interface, but only the record will be provided. A search option for a known standard, "ASTM C1582/C1582M-11 Standard Specification for Admixtures to Inhibit Chloride-Induced Corrosion of Reinforcing Steel in Concrete” could be simply searched by the prefix ‘ASTM C1582’ in the document number box. After locating the record, you can view the ‘Document Details’ tab where you can view ‘Document abstract’, Document history which shows the earlier and
current versions. The full-text of active standards can be accessed by scrolling down to the ‘Document History’ and clicking on the blue page icon , or alternatively choosing the ‘View Document’ tab at the top of the screen. To locate standards that reference or relate to your standard, eg., "ASTM C1582/C1582M-11”, choose the ‘Related Documents’ tab.

Also from the ‘IHS interface’ you can also search within titles, abstracts, and within the full-text, referred to as ‘All document text’. Another key feature of this interface is the ability to alert users to the when a particular standard has been updated, referred to as ‘Watch list’.

Getting help

Please contact your subject librarian if you would like any further details:
  • Ms Nhan Le, subject librarian for Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering. Email: Nhan.Le@monash.edu
  • Ms Hilary Luxford, subject librarian for Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Materials Engineering. Email: Hilary.Luxford@monash.edu
To find out more about standards resources at Library refer to the Standards guide.

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1 December 2016

Writing in books: Marginalia in the Rare Books Collection

When you are reading for study or pleasure, do you underline words, highlight parts of the text or draw asterisks next to important lines? Do you write notes to yourself in the margin to clarify what you’ve just read or to remind yourself of an idea that the passage has brought up? If you are using an ebook or reading an article online, do you use the annotate tool to highlight passages or to create notes? Perhaps you annotate as a way of replying to the author or to question, approve, or refute his or her viewpoint.  If you do any of these things, you may not have realised it, but you have been engaging in the scholarly process of creating marginalia.  By Lauren Buchanan



Recently, a conference on marginalia - Marginal Notes: Social Reading and the Literal Margins - was held at the State Library of Victoria in conjunction with Monash University and University of Otago’s Centres for the Book. It included a masterclass where participants could bring and discuss examples encountered in their work or study, learn about different kinds of annotation, and consider the underlying meaning and significance of the practice. Attending the conference led me to consider the examples of marginal notes I have seen in the Rare Books Collection at Monash and pick out just a few favourites to share. These items are available for you to view in the Special Collections Reading Room at Sir Louis Matheson Library, Clayton. (Note: The library is currently closed, reopening on 30 January 2017.)

Marginalia is generally produced as part of the reading and studying process (Jackson, 2001) and can also serve a communicative function (Fajkovic & Björneborn, 2014). Annotations to the text can act as an imaginary conversation between the reader and the author, as well as initiating an ongoing conversation between subsequent readers of the marginalia. Once they have been written, “marginalia become physical artefacts, whose function is a constant and inseparable part of both the text and the physical book” (Fajkovic & Björneborn, 2014, p. 914).

In the realm of marginalia, there are many different kinds of markings. From an innocuous pencil underline of a keyword to the vertical line next to a paragraph indicating its importance; from an exclamatory “No!” scrawled by an outraged reader to an earnestly written argument debunking the author’s viewpoint in the margin of the page. Stars, asterisks, curly brackets, scribbles, doodles, sketches, even the elegant outline of a hand with a finger or fingers pointing to specific parts of the text, known as a manicule, are all marks of marginalia.

Decoding handwritten annotations

The first image is an example from one of our manuscripts, probably written in France during the eighteenth century. A professional scribe was employed to transcribe Jean de la Fontaine’s Transformation metallique, trois anciens tractez en rithme francoise (Paris: Guillaume Gillard, 1561) and an extract of Le roman de la rose by Jean de Meung (c.1240). The manuscript’s owner has interacted with the text by underlining important passages, inserting a curly bracket to emphasise another passage, writing extensive notes in the margins, and also excising large passages by crossing them out. The reader has also drawn a manicule in the left-hand margin, a name that comes from the Latin maniculum, meaning "little hand”. Manicules originated in the scribal tradition of the medieval and Renaissance period and functioned as punctuation marks to signal corrections or notes. They were later used as a printer’s typographical symbol to mark notes and also act as a means of signifying noteworthy passages and in advertising displays (Houston, 177).

The next item that caught my eye is an edition of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Du contrat social, ou, Principes du droit politique (Strasbourg: De l'Impr. de la Société typographique, 1791). Our edition has an ownership inscription on the front cover that reads, “A. Lewis Parkes” and contains a number of handwritten annotations. Unlike the previous example, in which marginalia accompanies the text throughout, the Rousseau edition has only been annotated on the front and preliminary papers and the endpapers. This particular example also highlights one of the problems inherent in decoding handwritten annotations. Sometimes, the handwriting is extremely difficult to read and its meaning and significance remains opaque. Interpreting marginalia can often prove a tantalising but frustrating and difficult task!

 The last two examples of marginalia are both connected to the author Jonathon Swift. This image is from a pamphlet with a rather interesting lineage. Swift’s pamphlet, The Presbyterians Plea of Merit (1733), attacked the Whig government for their intention to remove the Test Act for dissenters. We hold the anonymously printed reply to Swift’s pamphlet, entitled, A Vindication of the Protestant dissenters (Dublin, Powell: 1733), which contains handwritten notes penned by Jonathon Swift himself as he read the attack upon his work. Unfortunately, some notes were cropped in the binding process but we can immediately see some of his reactions in the margins, including his rebuttals of certain points. These comments were later reworked as part of Swift’s ironic reply, Reasons for repealing the Sacramental Test & c. in favour of the Catholics (1732).

The final example shows an anonymous commentator’s interaction with another of Swift’s pamphlets, The management of the four last years vindicated….(London: J Morphew, 1714). It was written by Swift as a reply to Charles Povey's An inquiry into the miscarriages of the four last years reign (London: Robinson, c.1714). As you can see, the commentator has drawn a manicule, signalling the importance of the passage. There are also underlinings, vertical lines to emphasise a paragraph, comments written next to the printed text, as well as copious notes at the foot of each page. Like previous examples, the handwriting here is difficult to decipher, rendering the task of interpretation problematic. However, for a student or researcher interested in either Swift or the historical period, grappling with difficult marginalia may provide a rich reward.

Studying marginalia can provide a deeper insight into an author and his or her readers as well give a greater appreciation of the wider context in which they wrote. Marginal notes and annotations help make an item unique and offer a glimpse into the lived experience of the book itself. They raise questions of provenance, use, and appreciation. In the digital landscape, we may question whether the process of creating marginalia will continue and what this means for the study of marginalia. We would love to see you in the Special Collections Reading Room deciphering these works or puzzling over other books with accompanying marginalia.



References

Fajkovic, M., & Björneborn, L. (2014). Marginalia as message: Affordances for reader-to-reader communication. Journal of Documentation, 70(5), 902–926. doi:10.1108/jd-07-2013-0096 

Houston, K. (2013). Shady characters: the secret life of punctuation, symbols, & other typographical marks. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.


Jackson, Heather J. (2001).  Marginalia: readers writing in books. New Haven: Yale University Press.






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24 November 2016

Matheson Library to close from 28 November

The refurbishment of the Sir Louis Matheson Library at the Clayton campus is on the homestretch. The library will need to close over summer to commence the remaining works and speed up other construction activities. 

Matheson Library will be closed from Monday 28 November and will reopen on 20 February 2017.

Items currently on hold in Matheson will remain in the library for collection until the close of business on Friday 25 November. On Monday all holds items will be transferred to Law Library as the new pick-up location.

During this period of closure, Monash staff and students can:
  • use Search to request items held at Matheson Library for pick-up at the Law Library. That will be arranged as soon as possible; you will receive an email when they are ready for collection. 
  • return items due at any other library except Caulfield; after-hours returns available at Law Library.
  • find study spaces at the two other libraries on the campus.
  • get advice and ask questions at an Information point at any other library, through ask.monash.edu, or by telephone (03 9905 5054).
Due to the closure, 'Matheson' will not be available as a pick-up location for inter-campus loans.

We apologise for this disruption and ask for your patience over the summer as the Matheson Library's refurbishment comes close to completion in semester 1 2017.


Visit the Library website for more information. If you have any comments or concerns about the Matheson Library refurbishment project, please email fsd.feedback@monash.edu.

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3 November 2016

Additional study spaces opened on weekends at Caulfield

The following additional study spaces will be available to students at Caulfield during the next two weekends.
These rooms in Building K will be available on the 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th November 2016 from 10am - 8.30pm.
Room 208    (22 Spaces)
Room 210    (26 Spaces)
Room 211    (44 Spaces)
Room 212    (38 Spaces)
Room 213    (49 Spaces)
You may also want to refer to the list of other study spaces published earlier. 


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The Lyell Collection – a wealth of valuable Earth Science resources

Jennifer Kain, Subject Librarian, lets  us know about a specialist geology resource, that includes information from the early nineteenth century.

Named after Charles Lyell, the eminent nineteenth-century geologist, the Lyell Collection is a highly regarded and comprehensive online collection from the Geological Society (London).  It includes journal titles, Special Publications & Memoirs, along with key Book series and material published on behalf of other related societies.

Cutting edge science sits alongside important historical material, all captured and presented via the HighWire Press platform, and available to us as HTML or high quality PDF.

Content, from 1811 onwards, covers a wide range of topics in the Earth Sciences, including; Geology, Hydrogeology, Geochemistry, Palaeontology, Geo-engineering, Petroleum, Mining, Environment, Climate, Volcanology, Planetary sciences and many other related areas of interest to Monash reserchers.  You might be surprised to find what gems could be discovered!  Try a search on your own topic.

For each item found you may also discover fully linked references embedded, enabling users to navigate from the original journal article to other cited references.  These may also be available in full-text if these cited references are part of our wider HighWire Press collections, or be available as part of another Monash subscription.

Lyell Collection is an excellent resource for the Earth Sciences in particular, but includes some valuable material for the wider Science/Engineering areas as well.  Enjoy exploring the Lyell Collection from the Monash University Library.

Contact the Subject Librarian with any enquiries.  jennifer.kain@monash.edu

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Special Collections Reading Room opens

The old Rare Books Reading Room at the Sir Louis Matheson Library is now closed for building works. From 7 November, researchers and visitors will be able to view rare and valuable items in the new Special Collections Reading Room.

Located on the ground floor, the new room is designed for the exclusive purpose of viewing restricted special use items.It will be 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 to request the item/s in advance. Pre-requested items will be retrieved twice a day, at 10am and 1pm. 


More information about our special collections including how to contact staff is available:



Staff will also be on hand at the Reading Room service point after 7 November.

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24 October 2016

Strategies for exam day success

There’s an art to sitting exams. Knowing the material is important, but you also need to use the right strategy, says Librarian Clinton Bell.


In the run up to exams, you might have thought a lot about the best way to revise. But what about the the best approach to use in the exam? There’s a certain skill to taking exams, and taking the right approach on exam day can really help your mark.

There are three main aspects to exam day success: making sure you understand what’s being asked, managing your time, and staying calm under pressure.

Understanding the question

Read the exam instructions thoroughly during reading time. At high school, I knew someone who rushed through the instructions because he was nervous, and missed the part that said “Choose one (1) out of the following topics”. He ended up trying to write three essays instead of one!

You should also read each question carefully and make sure you address exactly what was asked. Pay close attention to direction words like “describe” and “compare”, as well as any other instructions. If you don’t do quite what you were asked, or you only address part of the question, you won’t get full marks.

For more complex questions, you may find it helpful to make a list of the key information before writing your answer. For example, for a question about a medical case study you might note the patient’s symptoms, age, gender, and so on. This helps you keep track of all the relevant information without having to read the entire question again.

Time management

Even if you know the material really well, finishing an exam within the time limit can be challenging, so it’s important to manage your time carefully. Spend time on each question based on how many marks it’s worth - you don’t want to spend 50% of your time on a question that’s only worth 5% of the total mark! On most exams you don’t have to answer the questions in order, so just move on if you get stuck. You can try again later if you get time.

It’s also a good idea to start with the questions you know you can answer. That way if you run out of time, at least you’ll get good marks for the questions you did complete.

Staying calm under pressure

If you find yourself getting overwhelmed during an exam, take a moment to focus. Concentrate on breathing slowly and evenly, and  work through the questions methodically. 

Read each question carefully, identify the important information, and think about how you can apply that information. If you don’t know the answer to a question right away, just keep working through the process.

Look after practical things. Make sure you know how to get to the exam venue, and plan to arrive early in case you’re delayed. Set any equipment you need out the night before so you don’t forget them. Finally, don’t go overboard with caffeine on the morning of the exam. One cup of coffee is fine, but it can give you the jitters if you have too much.

When it’s over it’s over

Celebrate finishing the task and say to yourself, “I’ve done all I can do.” Give yourself a well deserved break.

For more detailed exam strategies please see: http://www.monash.edu/lls/llonline/study/exam/2.xml

Have a healthy and successful exam period, and best of luck on your exams!

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Caulfield Library temporary closure after exams

The refurbishment of the Caulfield Library is progressing well and we’re about to enter the final stage of the project. To allow the major works to be completed more efficiently, Caulfield Library will be closed from Monday 21 November 2016 and will reopen on Monday 20 February 2017.




The Library has made arrangements during this 10-week closure so that Monash staff and students can:
  • use Search and request items held at Caulfield Library for pickup at Room T103, Ground Floor, Building T Monday-Friday, 8am - 6pm. There may be some delays as Caulfield staff will only have access to the collections for short periods each day. You may also request items for pickup at any of our other libraries.
  • return items due at Room T103, Ground Floor, Building T from 7am - 7pm during the week or anytime if you have swipe access. You may also return items at any other library on other campuses during library hours or via the after-hours returns at Law Library at Clayton.
  • get advice and ask questions at our other libraries, through ask.monash.edu, or by telephone (03 9905 5054).
Monash students can find alternative study spaces on the Caulfield campus or other libraries on other campuses.




Members of the public may wish to visit our other libraries at our other campuses.

We apologise for the disruption this temporary closure may cause and ask for your patience during this final stage. The refurbishment is scheduled to be completed by 9 March  2017.

Visit the Library website for more information. If you have any comments or concerns about the Caulfield Library refurbishment project, please email fsd.feedback@monash.edu.


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20 October 2016

Integrating Library guides into Moodle

Library guides showcase Library resources and collections by subject areas and/or provide a detailed guide to Library applications. 


Some lecturers have provided a link to a particular Library guide in their unit’s student reading list. Now, linking to a Library guide from your Moodle unit page is an equally useful way to encourage students to research a range of subject literature or use particular resources. By Tracey Whyte

Why should I integrate Library guides into my Moodle site?


Monash University Library staff have created over 100 Library guides, displaying a variety of topics as can be seen on Library guides website. Each individual guide is separate, allowing for easy linking or embedding of this content.

Like Moodle, Library guides permit:

  • easy navigation - information and applications or databases can be located and retrieved quickly 
  • easy collation of statistics to report usage or evaluate effectiveness
  • collaboration between Library and academic staff
  • content can be printed by students or staff
  • accessibility documents can be created.

There are three different types of Library guides:

1. Faculty and Subject Library guides.  Librarians and Learning skills advisers have created these over 100 of these popular guides across all faculties and linking to content in almost all subject areas taught at the University . Subjects covered in an individual guide cover such widely diverse topics as Indigenous health, Systematic reviews, Econometrics and Business statistics, Marketing, Industrial Design, Medieval and renaissance history, and Physics and Astronomy. The guides link to Library information research and learning skills content in a variety of multimedia formats. There may also be links to unit specific information or resources for particular cohort.

2. Collection and resources Library guides provide discovery and access to information and collections. Examples include the Library guides for Databases, Government Publications, Ada Booth Slavic collection  and the Map collection.

3. There are also instructional Library guides including for Citing and referencing, Endnote, Moodle and Turnitin.

How can a Library guide be incorporated into my unit?


While Library guides may be created to build students skills or knowledge of a discipline and some are aimed at researchers, academics can take advantage of these specialist resources for improved learning and teaching. Talk to your Subject Librarian or Learning Skills Adviser about incorporating Library guides in your units.

All guides are presented in a consistent, structured manner; content displayed can be presented in a variety of formats including text, links, tables, images, widgets, and from RSS or social media feeds. Other resources such as videos or learning objects, like the Academic Integrity module, can be embedded or linked in the platform.

Stay tuned for the next Teaching blog, ‘Discovering Library guides - supplement the resources in your unit Moodle sites’, which will continue this theme, provide practical tips and add more insights into the use of Library guides.

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18 October 2016

Hargrave-Andrew Library - extended hours and bus

Get more study done, with late night opening at the Hargrave-Andrew Library.


From Monday 24 October 2016, until the end of the exam period, the Hargrave-Andrew Library at Clayton will offer extended exam study time.

This will be a good location for you to meet with your friends for a quiet group study session or for an intensive effort on your own.

During this four-week period:

  • The Hargrave-Andrew Library will be open from 8am until 2am Monday to Thursday inclusive.
  • There will be security and a security bus in operation until 3am on the days the library is operating on extended hours.
  • Fridays and weekends will operate on normal hours.
The extended hours will finish on Thursday 17 November.

Check the opening hours for all libraries. Because it is undergoing refurbishment, the Sir Louis Matheson Library will close at 9pm throughout semester two and the exam period.

Study spaces are available elsewhere on Clayton campus this year, including in the Menzies building, the Campus centre and Monash residential halls – Find out more.

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17 October 2016

Additional study spaces at Caulfield

Students at Caulfield campus now have a range of available study spaces, in addition to those in the Caulfield Library.


With the Swot Vac and end of year exam period beginning next week, we understand there is an increased need for study spaces on campus.

Our Caulfield Library offers individual, group and informal study areas to suit a range of different work preferences. Current refurbishment works to transform the library, however, can make finding a study space more difficult during this busy exam preparation period.

To help you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all the study spaces on campus.




More information
Use ask.monash to view answers or ask a question.
Visit Monash Connect or call +61 3 9902 6011 Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm.
View the Caulfield campus map (PDF, 0.1 MB).


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10 October 2016

Great tips for exam preparation

Exam time is creeping up, so (if you haven’t already) it’s time to focus on getting ready to ace them! This post will share some great tips for making the most of your revision time so you can feel confident and get those good grades. By Michelle De Aizpurua and Emma Price.



No-one wants to be cramming for exams the night before, and it’s definitely not a good strategy for doing well on your exams. Planning your schedule for study well ahead of time ensures you don’t have to cram, and this will also reduce your stress levels.

Sometimes just thinking about how much studying you need to do can seem overwhelming. You might not know where to start and so you procrastinate and put it off. Many students make a start and then get distracted looking at memes and social media. There’s even a whole movement around ‘procrastibaking’ (at least you can keep your energy levels up by eating yummy baked goods!).

How can you avoid the evil powers of procrastination? It can be a challenge. Try breaking down what you need to do into manageable chunks, as focussing on these smaller tasks will make the work seem less daunting. There are also some helpful apps and extensions you can download which will block your access to some ‘time-wasting’ websites. Try out StayFocused for Chrome, or ColdTurkey for all browsers. Read about some other hacks for blocking distractions, such as using a work only browser, on Hack My Study.


Revision strategies

Rote learning vs meaningful learning

Memorising everything by repetition (rote learning) is not the most effective learning technique. You need to do more than just read over your notes or textbook. A better approach is to develop a deeper understanding of each topic and the connections between them. This is called ‘meaningful learning’ and research shows it is a better method for your exam study. By developing an understanding of the meaning of what you are learning, rather than just memorising the information, you can then more easily apply the knowledge to new situations and use it to solve problems.

There are a range of different study styles you can use to help you develop a meaningful understanding of the information. Some ideas include:
  • Making posters of main topic information - either note form or diagram. Post them up where you will see them often. Go over them regularly and then test yourself.
  • Record yourself talking about a topic on your smartphone and then listen back to it on the train or walking.
  • Form a study group. Talking through unit topics with your peers can be a great way to expand your knowledge, work through trickier ideas together, and revise what you already know. The very process of discussing with others is another way to help your brain retain information, as well as giving you some friendly support during the exam period.
Mnemonics
These are scientifically proven memory devices for remembering information more easily. There are nine common examples of mnemonics, some of which you may already be using without realising it. Music mnemonics use a tune to help you remember information, just like the ‘ABC’ song for remembering the alphabet. In expression or word mnemonics, the first letter of each word you need to remember is used to make a phrase. A well known example of this mnemonic is for remembering the music notes on the lines of the treble clef - Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit. Other mnemonics involve making diagrams or models, using rhyme, note cards, images, outlines and connections between ideas.

Context and practice
Test yourself often. As well as any sample exam questions provided by your unit, you can also create your own tests by turning your unit topics into questions. You might want to try simulating exam conditions by getting rid of all distractions, putting away your notes and assigning a set amount of time to answer some questions on your topics.

One benefit of simulating exam conditions is that it utilises context-dependant memory. In psychology, this is the theory that your recall of information is improved if the context of how you learnt it is the same as the context in which you try to recall it. Godden and Baddeley (1975) demonstrated this concept by showing that people who learnt words underwater were more easily able to recall those words when they were underwater again, rather than on land. So, use this to your advantage and create a context that you can replicate in the exam to aid your memory! You could even try wearing a lucky sweater in study sessions and then wear it to the exam.

Visit the Library

If you are still feeling unsure about your exam preparation, attend a Library session. There are a few on offer and you can attend any session at any campus for free. Search for ‘exam’ on the class booking webpage.

And don’t forget a friendly Librarian or Learning Skills Adviser is available to speak with you at a drop in at the Library.

Above all, remember that effective study is about how much you learn, not how much time you spend hunched over your desk. So keep these tips in mind, and good luck!






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5 October 2016

A welcome resource: New LGBTQ database


The Archives of sexuality and gender : LGBTQ history and culture since 1940 gives access to a range of resources surrounding the social, political and health issues relating to the LGBTQ movement since the 1940, by Rod Rizzi


The Library has acquired a subscription to a new database that contains a wealth of information and resources across the social science, humanities and health subject areas.

The Archives of sexuality and gender: Part 1, LGBTQ history and culture since 1940 database provides access to articles on a broad range of political, social and health issues that have previously not been available as part of the mainstream media. It allows us to look back at stories as they broke from a perspective that has not always been available via our traditional and indeed existing databases.

Using the unique ‘Term Clusters’ visual wheel to look at related subject areas can uncover relevant information that a simple search may have overlooked.

The database content is drawn from more than 35 countries sourcing relevant material in the form of reports, policy statements, articles and the like. The coverage of the AIDS crisis is a particular feature, but equally the inclusion of material in relation to feminism and women’s rights are notable features.

Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity can be found by going to Library Search and the Databases A-Z page.


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4 October 2016

Access to Caulfield Library during exam study time - bring your ID card

Students and staff are reminded to bring their ID cards when visiting the library at Caulfield campus from next Monday.


Caulfield Library will be open to only Monash staff and students between 10 October and 11 November 2016, to help ensure they have the best chance to find a study space.

Students from all campuses who plan to use Caulfield Library over this period must carry their Monash ID. This will minimise inconvenience and ensure you are not delayed at the library entrance.

Seating in the library is much more limited this year because of the refurbishment. When completed in April 2017 the library will have double the number of seats it had in the past.

The temporary exclusion of non-Monash visitors was introduced a few years ago to alleviate the shortage of study space experienced at Caulfield during the exam study period, when use is at its peak.

During the exclusion period, CAVAL and ULANZ registered borrowers will be able to retrieve and borrow specific items, but will not be able to study in the library. Alumni and external fee-paying Library members will continue to have access by presenting their Library card.

The exclusion also does not apply to Sir John Monash Science School and Nossal High School students.

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3 October 2016

Turning study stress into study success!


As you approach the end of semester you may find that most of your work is due at the same time. Yikes!  Learning Skills Adviser Tami Castillo says not to worry, as there are many things that you can do to make study more fun and get through it.



You may have exams approaching fast. This can be stressful, especially if this is your first time, or if you haven’t done so well in past semesters. It is always worth remembering that you’re not alone.

Misery loves company

No one wants to be miserable alone. We say this in jest, but working with others who are in the same circumstance can make your studies less stressful, and more enjoyable. One thing you can do to be with like-minded people is to form a study group (see below for tips). Another good idea is to attend a library session on exam preparation, where we can share a few tips and strategies with you face-to-face. There are a few on offer and you can attend any session at any campus for free. Use the Library Class Booking System to see what’s available by searching using the keyword ‘exam’.

Form a study group

  • Study at uni can be a lonely business. Why not reach out to some people in your tutorial and form a study group? Ideally, a study group consists of 4 or 5 members… any more than that, and you’re looking at a party! There are many benefits to study in a group. For instance:
  • Improve your notes - compare lecture notes with group members and fill in any information or important concepts you didn’t quite understand.
  • Share your talents - each of us approach learning in a different way, and many of us have different strengths and weaknesses. By studying as a group, members can share talents and insights, and learn from each other
  • Provide a support system - forming a group is a great way to keep each other motivated and support one another. We are also more inclined to do our revision notes if group members are relying on you.
  • Cover more material - group work allows you to focus on more concepts, as multiple people can review more material compared to a single person working alone. Spread the work around so each person reviews a topic, and then teaches it to the rest. And if you want to improve your understanding of a topic, the best method is to nominate yourself to be the one to teach it!
  • It can make learning fun! - Studying with a group is a great way to liven up your study sessions. It can be very monotonous and draining to spend long hours alone. Studying in a group environment makes learning much more fulfilling and enjoyable.
To learn more about these tips and others for effective group study, go to: http://www.educationcorner.com/studing-groups.html

Your study group will contain a wide range of personalities, skills and knowledge in your group - cool! This means any areas that individual members think are weaknesses for them can be overcome by the members who are strong in those areas. Your strengths are not just an advantage for you - your teammates can also reap the benefits. Put your skills to use reviewing course materials. Put your group to the test by working on past exam questions together.

Revision - turn a boring chore into clever fun

In the table below, have a look at the column on the left - If a statement describes you and the way you like to work, take advantage of it by giving the method in the column on the right a try!

I like setting and meeting goals
Use a to-do list
I work best against the clock
I like to draw or doodle
Use mind maps to outline how to solve a problem or draw a picture of a concept
I like music
Write songs about important information that you need to remember….read more here!
I’m a night owl. I enjoy staying up late
Study when you are most alert and do mundane tasks when you are least alert
Solve questions from the textbook
A no-brainer
If there are few questions, turn chapter titles into questions then practise answering them - for example…

Chapter titles:
  • Managing in a global environment
  • Social responsibility and managerial ethics
  • Managing change and innovation
  • Motivating employees




(Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, & Coulter, 2012)


Questions:
  • What issues arise for managers in a global environment?
  • What is social responsibility and how do managerial ethics apply to it?
  • How are change & innovation best managed?
  • Why & how do managers motivate employees?



If you remain uncertain about how to be efficient and take joy in your academic work, don’t forget a friendly Librarian or Learning Skills Adviser is available to speak with you at a drop in.

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29 September 2016

Making the ordinary extraordinary


By Daniel Wee

Old and special books are an important element of any rare books collection, and people are often surprised by some of the items we acquire for Monash University Library. Our recent acquisition of over 400 school readers from the Whitcombe and Tombs series certainly fits into this category. Individually the readers are well used, somewhat unimpressive in appearance, and incongruous amongst the typical rare decorative cloth, fine gilt bindings and delicate engravings. However, when these singularities are merged to form a collection, the seemingly subdued suddenly takes on a new lustre.




Taking advantage of the Antipodeans’ late 19th-century interest in children's literature, New Zealand bookseller, George Hawkes Whitcombe, and printer, George Tombs, created “low-priced, paper-wrapped children’s supplementary readers” en masse (McLaren, 1984). The series became known in Australasia as ‘Whitcombe’s Story Books’. The printing of 12 million copies of original Australasian and classic literature from 1908 to 1962 is a testament to the proliferation of leisure reading amongst the masses over this time and the unyielding demand for cheap books.

These little readers demonstrated a delineation from prescribed canonised texts and inflexible school syllabuses to the 'democratisation' of education and availability of books to the masses. By creating cheap and accessible alternatives and supplements to school curriculums, Whitcombe and Tombs contributed to the cultural phenomenon of child readership. Jeff Prentice, muses in 'A History of the Book in Australia' that the 1930s and 1940s saw a movement that “reflected the needs of real child readers, and an increased willingness to address a child reader directly” (Prentice, 2001).

Unlike the rigidity of the 'School Papers' (a compulsory Education Department (Victoria) publication built into the curriculum), ‘Whitcombe’s Story Books’ amalgamated supplementary leisure reading with prescriptive texts. Whitcombe and Tombs’ encroachment into the school curriculum was met with a failed Victorian Royal Commission in 1935-36 after it was suggested that the bookseller was 'hijacking' the syllabus (Prentice, 2001).

The new acquisition of ‘Whitcombe’s Story Books’ are housed in the Lindsay Shaw Collection in the Rare Books Collection of the Library. This collection of over 12,000 items from the 19th and 20th century form one of Australia’s premier children’s literature collections.

Lindsay Shaw was the Secretary of the Monash Faculty of Education when he began to donate books to the Library in 1979. Lindsay was a major collector of Australian children's books and began his gift to Monash by donating sets of Ethel Turner and Mary Grant Bruce. As part of the development of this impressive collection, the Rare Books team posthumously supplement his collection by purchasing rare and important English, American and Australian children’s books.

The collection is available for viewing and research purposes Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm.  Items can be found through Search and our knowledgeable librarians can work with you to discover some of the treasures that are housed in your Rare Books collection.



References

McLaren, I., and Whitcombe Tombs Limited 1984, Whitcombe's Story Books : A Trans-Tasman Survey. U of Melbourne Library, Parkville.

Prentice, J 2001, ‘Case-study: Textbook publishing’, in J Arnold, A history of the Book in Australia 1891-1945 : A National Culture in a Colonised Market. U of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld , pp. 294-297.


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19 September 2016

Tips and tricks for a better presentation

Oral presentations come in all shapes and sizes, but the basic skills to make a good one are all the same. Librarian Clinton Bell has all the strategies you need to overcome the public speaking nerves and make your presentation stand out from the rest...




Most university courses include at least one oral presentation as part of the assessment, and public speaking is also an important career skill. Whether it’s making a pitch at a meeting, educating clients, or presenting your paper at a conference, a lot of jobs involve public speaking.


So how can you make better presentations? There are two elements to a good presentation: what you say and how you say it. People sometimes assume that it’s the content of a presentation that matters the most, but if you really want to deliver a good presentation, both aspects are equally important.


What you say


  • Do your research. If you’re going to mention facts or statistics, make sure to get them right, and make a note of the source you got them from.
  • Use appropriate content for your presentation’s purpose. For example, if you’re pitching a project to management, they probably care more about cost and outcomes than technical details.
  • Adjust your language to your audience. People from outside your field may not understand technical terms and jargon, while those from different backgrounds might not understand slang, colloquialisms, references to books or movies, etc.
  • Be concise. If you take too long to get to the point, you’ll lose the audience’s attention.
  • Keep presentation slides clear and simple. Use normal fonts and colours, and make sure all the text is large enough to be read from the back row.


How you say it


  • Speak clearly and loudly enough for everyone to hear. Take the size of the room into account and use a microphone if one is available. Think about pace as well as enunciation - if you’re nervous you may speak faster than normal, which can make it hard for the audience to understand.
  • Look and sound engaged. If you don’t seem interested in what you’re saying, your audience won’t be either. Be particularly careful if you’re reading from your notes - it’s very easy to fall into a monotone.
  • Pause for emphasis after making an important point. This gives your audience a moment to think about what you just said.
  • Act confident, even if you don’t feel confident. Try to avoid nervous body language like wringing your hands or constantly shifting side-to-side.
  • Look at your audience and make eye contact. Don’t turn your back on the audience to read your own PowerPoint slides.

For more tips on how to make a great presentation, check out our quick guide to oral presentations or try the video guides lynda.com, a video training service which Monash students can access for free through the library. Search for “public speaking” or “presentations” and you should find several useful courses.

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Image credit: ocean yamaha/Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)

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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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