Wednesday, October 07, 2015

"After my placement I knew CSU was where I wanted to be"

Meet Alex, one of our Library Officers at Orange Campus Library.

How did you choose CSU for your professional experience placement?

A couple of things led me to CSU. Firstly, it is a requirement that you choose an information setting that is different to one you already work in. I already had part-time work at both a local school library and my local city library, so my options were narrowed in my home town of Orange.

Secondly, I was studying with CSU. When I enrolled in the Master of Information Studies in 2010, I had two small children still at home and needed a university that would give me a lot of flexibility as to how and where I studied. CSU did not disappoint! I did the entire degree at home (in my pyjamas… while my children ran amok…). I was so impressed with the range of Library resources that I could access online, that I relished a chance to see those operations from the inside.

So even with all options open to me, I would have sought out CSU for my professional experience placement.

What were the highlights of the placement?

Highlights definitely included being introduced to the great range of CSU Library Guides and getting the opportunity to play around with creating a Library Guide myself. Another was learning about CSU Research Output and hearing from Karin Smith how the concept of open access works in the research world. I also really enjoyed reorganising the shelves with Pauline! After days of absorbing loads of information, it felt great to do something practical and after everyone being so generous with me, I enjoyed feeling like I was helping out, even in a small way.

I loved the structure of the placement and how I was moved around the organisation in a way that introduced me to all the different departments. Everyone made time to speak with me and answer my questions, large or small. I got to spend time at Bathurst and Orange campuses, and experience how the Library tailors its services to the specific needs of the local campuses. I loved seeing how all the Campus Libraries communicate with each other: the videoconferencing technology helps staff meet and share ideas no matter the location of the participants; and the internal courier system moves resources from one campus to another on a daily basis.

Did the placement influence your professional direction?

The placement absolutely influenced my professional direction because now I work here! I circled like a shark until a position opened up and then I pounced. I was always very interested in CSU, but after my placement I knew it was where I wanted to be.

Future plans?

At the moment I am thrilled to be taking it all in; learning more about reference and access services. Shortly after I began here we migrated to Alma, our new library management system, and there has been a lot to learn there. In 2013 I finished my Graduate Diploma in Information Studies, but from next year I will pick up my studies again and complete the Masters. I am interested in the Knowledge Management specialisation that CSU offers.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Prize winning literature

Fancy yourself as a professional writer, poet or playwright? Or maybe you are looking for quality literature to read, or purchase for your library shelves.
One way to get published, get your work recognised or to ensure your library collection reflects quality literature is to be aware of the many international and local literary competitions.

It's not easy to find one complete list of all the competitions, awards and prizes available. Some competitions are fleeting or intermittent, others may be hard to keep track of if the name depends on sponsorship rights e.g. Orange Prize for Fiction is now known as the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

Some awards are judged by a panel of experts and some are won by popular choice. Actor Dan Stevens, who played Matthew Crawley in the television series Downton Abbey, was a judge for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. By the way, Hilary Manton's, Bring up the bodies won that year.
Dr Mark Macleod, CSU's senior lecturer in English in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, is on the 2015 Prime Minister's Literary Awards judging panel. The winners are due to be announced soon.
The State Library of Victoria's young adult literature awards, called the Inky Awards, are nominated, selected and voted on by readers.

Knowing about prize winning books can also help you with selections for reading programs or book clubs.

And for the artistic, there are competitions for designing bookplates, The Australian Bookplate Design Award, entries close soon for the 2015 awards. Bookplates are the small label which are usually pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate the book's owner.
Vintage bookplates from The Graphics Fairy
Did you know there are societies for collecting and designing bookplates!

Your pick of award winning literature

At Charles Sturt University Library we are currently reviewing which literary award/prize winners to add to our collections and we would like your opinion.
You can add a comment to this post or you can submit a suggestion online telling us which Australian or International award/prize winning books you would like to see in the collection.

Finding award winning literature

Here are a selection of links to find award winning literature:

Miles Franklin Literary Award - Australia's most prestigious literary award
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2016 is it's 100th year anniversary)
Nobel Prize in Literature 1901-2014
Children's Book of the year award winners - Children's Book Council of Australia
The CILIP Carnegie medal (writing) and the Kate Greenaway medal (illustration) for children and young people, awarded by children's librarians
Australian Literary Awards - Wikipedia
Literary Awards From Around the World  - Note that Wikipedia says this list is not complete.

Competitions for writers

For budding writers, try these links to find literary competitions:
Australian Writers' Resource - writing competitions
Fellowship of Australian Writers NSW Inc - writing competitions
Here are some great tips for entering writing competitions from Madeleine Dore from the ArtsHub.

Library Help for Students of Literature

The following Library Resource Guides, created by CSU Librarians, will help you navigate your way around the world of literature and the writing process:

Literature,  Children's Literature and Creative Writing.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Stay sane while studying

Do you sometimes feel like this? Don't let study and life get too much! 

October is Mental Health Month and this year Mental Health NSW is promoting the need for us to "Celebrate, Connect and Grow". To help manage the stress and anxiety that comes with studying remember the big picture, ask yourself:
  • Do I feel good about myself and my life?
  • Do I have good relationships with other people? 
  • Am I engaging in activities that give me purpose and meaning?
Remember to:
  • Celebrate the positive things in your life, the strengths and values that help you through challenging times.
  • Pay attention to your relationships, reach out to others and make new friends
  • Grow, expand your horizons and try something new that will be meaningful and purposeful. 
  • include more joy, support and meaning in your life.
  • Exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep and minimise alcohol consumption
For more specific help CSU offers services for:
Indigenous Students 
International Students
Health and Wellbeing (including free counselling)
Access and Disability Services
Student Mentoring
Studying whilst caring for children
Elite Athletes
Equity and Diversity

The Mental Health Association of NSW has some great resources anyone can access online.

Like to do your own person research on mental health; stress, anxiety, depression, and psychology? The Library has some great resources ready to be borrowed.

Help raise money for mental health research, funding Australia’s next generation of emerging researchers by donating to The Society for Mental Health Research.

Interested in knowing more about mental health issues? Check out some of the news items from the ABC for Mental As Week, 4-11 October 2015


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Amazing CSU Librarians race for a good cause

CSU Librarians are known for their knowledge, problem solving skills and willingness to tackle any anything, no matter how big or small so it was no surprise when recently all of their skills were tested in CSU's Amazing Race.

Students and staff from Bathurst Campus, were set an amazing challenge; to form teams, raise $5,000 in donations for Daffodil Cottage (an oncology/palliative care and treatment facility in the grounds of Bathurst Base Hospital) and to compete against each other in a series of "physical, mental but not emotional" contests over two afternoons.
All of this for the honour of being awarded the beautifully handcrafted, inaugural CSU's Amazing Race Trophy, plus a range of other terrific prizes from race sponsors.

Crouching Frog, Hidden Librarian team
The Library's team consisted of five keen volunteers: Annette and Claudio (Faculty Liaison), Yasmine (Access Services) and Karthik and Andrew (Collection Services). Each member bought their own special powers of campus geography, team motivation, creative thinking, superior dexterity and Dewey mastership to create a formidable team which came within a whisker of taking out both major categories.

CSU's Amazing Race also included contests within the Bathurst campus Library which pitted team against team in an exciting time challenge to locate various items on the shelves, decipher cryptic clues and sort 20 books into strict Dewey order.

Teams hard at work with their Dewey contest
At the end of the final contest, the points were tallied and all donations counted with the winners announced in a grand ceremony, which included the playing of bag-pipes by Senior Lecturer Dr Donald Alexander!

Highest Donations: Creative Comm-rades $1023.00
Most Race Points: The Terrific Teachers 1270

Creative Comm-rades (left) and Terrific Teachers (right) with Doug Kinlyside of Daffodil Cottage and  CSU's Amazing Race Trophy
The Librarians with Head of Campus, Professor Jo-Anne Reid
The Crouching Frogs, Hidden Librarians came out with a gallant second in the two major categories of donations and race points. Even though they vowed to improve for next year's event, we are very proud of them and they thoroughly deserve their prize for being the "Super Staff Team"!
A great big Thank You to all our generous supporters who helped the team raise an astounding $1004 which contributed to a grand total of $8684.30, all going toward the great work of Daffodil Cottage.
You can see all the team results at CSU's Amazing Race Leaderboard.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Peer-Review Week, what is it?

Welcome to Peer Review Week 2015!

For all the scholars out there Monday 28th September to Friday 2nd October is Peer-Review Week. What does this mean?

You may have heard your lecturer use the term “peer reviewed”, “refereed” or “scholarly” when they’re talking about journal articles, but what does this actually mean, and why is it important for your studies?

When an article is submitted to a peer reviewed journal, it is reviewed by scholars (peers) in that field of research. This review process determines if the article is appropriate for publication. That’s all very well, but why go through this process? Why not just publish an article that the author(s) have obviously spent a lot of time on? The point of the peer review process, is to weed out articles that are either not important for that field of research or are not of sufficient quality to be included for publication.

Why is this important for your studies? If you include peer reviewed articles in the research for your assessments, you are indicating to your lecturer that you know how and where to find quality and relevant information.

Now you know the what and the why, what about the how? Sometimes it can be difficult to look at a journal article and know if it is peer reviewed, the Library has a tool that can help.

Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (Ulrichs) is a database that lists information about most of the journals published throughout the world. Ulrichs will give you information about the journal in which your article is published, so you need to search the database for the Journal title, not the article title. When you find the journal in Ulrichs, you’ll know if it is a peer reviewed article when a referee’s jersey is displayed next to the title. In the example below, the first two journals are peer reviewed.

Watch our interview with CSU Librarian Carole about what Peer Review is

Find out what’s happening in Peer Review Week, have a look at the ORCID blog post Peer Review Week - A Celebration! , follow #peerrevwk15 on social media and take a look at our FAQ page “Finding out if an Article or Journal is Peer Reviewed

If you need help working out if an article is peer reviewed, contact the Library on 1800 808 369 or through the Ask a Librarian: Live Chat or Web Form.