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Apply for Thesis Fest, a skills and wellbeing event for HDR students!

By Curtin Library 10 May 2021 News & events Research Students Comments off

Are you struggling with motivation or feeling disengaged from your thesis? Do you need help reconnecting with your research? Is your wellbeing or other circumstances impacting your progress?

We invite you to apply for Thesis Fest, a two-day, in-person event hosted by the Curtin University Library focused on supporting Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students with research skills and wellbeing. The program is designed to help you re-engage with your research, and to assist and motivate you to work towards final submission with confidence and success.

By attending, you will gain strategies and ideas to support you with both the progress of your research and your wellbeing. This will also be an opportunity to connect you with other students sharing the same journey, as well as with people and support services at Curtin to help with your progression.

Event details

Day 1: Study skills Monday 21 June 2021, 9.30am to 3.30pm
Day 2: Wellbeing Tuesday 22 June 2021, 9.30am to 4.30pm
Location Curtin University, Perth Bentley campus

Program

The program runs across two days, with a day each for study skills and wellbeing. Invited speakers and presentations include:

  • Inger Mewburn, the Thesis Whisperer
  • Tips on how to finish your PhD
  • Presentation skills for milestones
  • Managing stress, study and wellbeing at university
  • Supporting your self-care and success
  • Stories from recently completed HDR students sharing their experiences and advice
  • Plus more!

Accepted attendees will be able to attend one or both days of the program, as indicated on their application form.

Further information

Due to the nature of this event, it will be held in person at Curtin University’s Perth Bentley campus. As such, numbers of attendees will be limited. To register your interest in attending, please fill out our application form. Nominations will close on Friday 21st May 2021 and successful applicants will be notified by email.

This event has been planned in accordance with Curtin University’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.

For further questions or information, please contact Library-FacultyLibrarians@curtin.edu.au

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Library reopens on 1 May

By Curtin Library 30 April 2021 News & events Comments off

We’re back! TL Robertson Library will reopen to students and staff from tomorrow, Saturday 1 May 2021 thanks to the easing of COVID restrictions.

We’ll be open as usual, 7am – midnight every day.

Masks are required to be worn while in the Library. Please bring a mask if you decide to visit.

Remember, you don’t need to come on campus to access the Library! Lots of our services are available online, including study support, library help and the catalogue.

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Level up your assignment skills!

By Curtin Library 29 April 2021 Teaching and Learning Comments off

Want to improve your research, writing and referencing skills? Level up with our upcoming assignment skills workshops, just in time for your next round of assessments!

We’ve got the following workshop sessions on offer, all happening Friday April 30:

Session
Description
Searching for Sources (ONLINE) Discover how to develop and carry out effective searches using library tools to locate the sources you need for your assignments. This workshop will give you a foundation in good searching and working within the Library databases.
Paraphrasing and Avoiding Plagiarism (ONLINE) Incorporating evidence is an integral part of academic writing. This workshop takes you through paraphrasing, summarising, and synthesising to integrate the ideas of others into your own writing!
Wrestling with APA Referencing (ONLINE) Creating accurate reference lists is a great way to maximise your marks, but it’s so easy to make mistakes! This workshop will introduce you to the basics of APA referencing ensuring that you have the knowledge to construct appropriate in-text citations and reference list entries.
Wrestling with Chicago Referencing (ONLINE) Creating accurate reference lists is a great way to maximise your marks, but it’s so easy to make mistakes! This workshop will introduce you to the basics of Chicago 17th B referencing ensuring that you have the knowledge to construct appropriate in-text citations and reference list entries.
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Library online services are available

By Curtin Library 28 April 2021 News & events Comments off

The Library is here for you! We have lots of online services available while the Perth campus is closed:

UniSkills

UniSkills is our academic and study skills support website. Covering assignment, study, digital and numeracy skills and packed full of interactive modules, UniSkills is a one-stop, easy to use, interactive platform to help you through your university journey.

Studiosity

Studiosity is an online writing and study skills service. All Curtin students can access Studiosity for 24/7 study help, with two services on offer:

  • Writing Feedback gives you constructive, confidential writing feedback. You can upload a draft any time and a writing specialist will send it back with comments, suggestions and encouragement for how you can improve their work.
  • Connect Live offers one-to-one, personal help in real time. Friendly subject specialists are available to help you with tricky study questions in maths, science, stats, English, assignment research and more.

You can access Studiosity through Blackboard. Click on the Students menu at the top of the page and you will find it under Library Resources.

Workshops

Our study support workshops are running online! Level up your research, writing and referencing skills with our upcoming assignment skills workshops, or browse our other digital, study and creative skills workshops.

UniPASS

UniPASS, our free group study sessions, are continuing in an online format. Sessions that were previously held online are continuing as usual, while some of our Thursday face-to-face sessions are moving online. Visit your unit Blackboard for details.

Peer Academic Mentoring

Our Peer Academic Mentoring service is available online this week. Drop in and chat with a fellow student about any of the following topics:

  • Time management
  • Assignment planning and structure
  • Maths and statistics
  • Referencing
  • Faculty and/or course-specific content.

More information is available on the Peer Academic Mentoring web page.

23 Things

23 Things, our digital skills program, is available fully online! Made by students, for students, the online program is designed to help students develop their digital capabilities to be successful in study, work and life. Examples of the things covered include coding, video editing and digital storytelling. The full list of 23 Things topics can be viewed here.

Makerspace online

Our Makerspace community also lives online in the Curtin Makers Facebook group, where makers from the Curtin community share their creative projects (e.g. 3D printing, AR, crochet, writing), swap tips and tutorials, and come along to meet like-minded people.

Online Library support

Library staff are available to answer your queries via phone and our help form 9am – 7pm weekdays.

Building closure

Our physical library buildings in the Perth region are currently closed due to government restrictions. We’ll provide an update later in the week regarding our opening hours and operations, so stay tuned!

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Browse our historic special collections

By Curtin Library 28 April 2021 Library Services JCPML News & events Special collections Comments off

Our new special collections pages are now live! We’ve made it easier to browse and search Curtin University Library’s historic special collections.

Explore our unique collections, such as:

With our new Special Collections catalogue you can search across all our archival collections from one search page. You can browse the collections to discover digitised photographs and documents, and save records using the QR codes.

Find out more about our collections on our website.

The items from our special collections can be viewed on-campus by appointment. Contact our staff for more information about our collections and visits.

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COVID-19 update: April lockdown

By Curtin Library 23 April 2021 News & events Comments off

Due to the 3-day lockdown, our physical library buildings in the Perth region will close from 6pm Friday 23 April. During this time, we are still offering a range of services online to help you with your studies!

If you have any questions, get in touch via our help form.

Stay safe, look after each other and we’ll see you when we get back.

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Peer Academic Mentoring now available!

By Curtin Library 20 April 2021 Teaching and Learning Comments off

Curtin students across all faculties and campuses can now access one-to-one peer academic support, either face-to-face or online.

Peer Academic Mentors (PAMs) are current Curtin students excelling in their studies, and can assist with:

  • Academic skills (reading, writing, assignment planning, maths, stats and time management)
  • Faculty or course-specific skills and questions
  • Navigating Blackboard and OASIS
  • Searching
  • Referencing
  • Software (e.g. Microsoft Office, SPSS).

Online and face-to-face Peer Academic Mentoring sessions are drop-in only – no appointment necessary!

Visit the Peer Academic Mentoring webpage for more information about our mentors and their availability.

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Supporting our staff wellbeing

By Curtin Library 13 April 2021 News & events Comments off

Since its conception in 2015, the Library Staff Wellbeing Team has organised activities and events to support the wellbeing of Curtin Library staff.

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Library Staff Wellbeing Team

L-R: James Ward, Daniel Maloney, Amanda Smith, Claire Hulcup, Tracy Piper, Natalie Woolaston, Miah De Francesch, Amber Wilson. Absent: Sheela Krnjajic.

The Team was formed as the result of a year-long Library strategic initiative to ‘Encourage a positive work environment’. A ‘positive work environment’ was seen as one that embraces opportunities for fun and play, to promote creativity and collaboration across teams.

Fast forward to 2021, and many successful activities and events have been held over the Team’s six years of operation. During the recent COVID-19 working-from-home period, the Team had to get creative, organising a range of virtual activities to foster connections among staff. Although we are now back on campus, Curtin Library staff are currently split across four work locations due to the T.L. Robertson Library refurbishment. Thus, bringing our colleagues together is particularly important and highly appreciated by Library staff. This was evident in the recent survey sent to Library staff to gather feedback on the 2020 Wellbeing initiatives.

Comments from Library staff members included the following:

“Over all the wellbeing team did an excellent job of keeping the wellness activities going while we were in and out of lockdown. The bowling and Friday night drinks were great to catch up with colleagues in a fun social atmosphere with a drink in hand. The whiteboard puzzles got me thinking outside the box… The virtual Easter morning tea tested the processing power of my laptop while we were working from home. It was nice seeing everyone’s pixelated faces and background choices.”

“I liked the variety of events, with some events not needing too much time to participate in. I also like that you can attend the ones you want and leave the rest.”

“It is nice to have a sense of community.”

Suggestions from the feedback survey will be considered for future activities, including exercise classes, team building excursions and, of course, a repeat of our previous popular events.

The Team currently comprises nine Library staff members from across the five Library teams, including a Chairperson. Members join on a voluntary basis, contributing to the Team in addition to their standard work duties. Each year there is a call for new members, and existing members have the option to step down or continue in the role. The Team holds monthly meetings to discuss upcoming activities and brainstorm ideas. Examples of past wellbeing activities include:

  • Virtual morning teas during the COVID-19 working-from-home period in 2020, including a round of ‘Easter bingo’ and a quiz for The Biggest Morning Tea
  • Fundraiser activities, such as a White Elephant Market Stall whereby staff donated items (knick knacks, books, plants, etc.) to be sold, with proceeds donated to Telethon Speech and Hearing
  • ‘Friday night drinks’: a monthly after-hours sundowner off-campus for staff to get together informally
  • End-of-year activities such as bowling and Christmas lunch
  • A nutrition information session facilitated by Curtin students.

One of the most successful initiatives has been the introduction of the ‘Communiteams’ site (previously named ‘Quaranteams’), which aimed to virtually connect staff through various channels on Microsoft Teams. Popular channels include the Pet Board, Weekly Challenge (including riddles and puzzles), and Hobby Sharing. Through the trials of 2020 the Library staff have managed to pull together and get to know each other through these various initiatives, and the Wellbeing Team continues to act as a conduit for this positive work environment.

The Team is looking forward to another year of interesting and enjoyable events and activities, and hope that all Library staff can engage with us and our colleagues to improve wellbeing!

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Reflections from the WAUL Teaching, Learning and Research Forum

By Curtin Library 13 April 2021 News & events Comments off

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2020 marked the inaugural Western Australian University Librarians (WAUL) Teaching, Learning and Research Forum, an event that combined two networking and professional development events: the Research Forum and Sharecase. The forum was held online across three mornings from the 10th to the 12th of November with staff from Curtin, Edith Cowan, Murdoch, Notre Dame and the University of Western Australia tuning in for a diverse offering of presentations and workshops.

The event was hosted by Curtin University and the organising committee, initially made plans for an in-person event. Filled with optimism, early discussions centred on speakers and themes, as well as venues and catering. It quickly became apparent that COVID was no flash-in-the-pan pandemic and the decision was made to move the event online. Though we would miss the opportunity to meet and mingle in person, with so much uncertainty the online format allowed us to plan with confidence.

The theme of the event was ‘Library Open Day’ incorporating open access, open communication, and open mindedness – essentially all things open; a stark contrast to the global reality of lockdowns and closed borders. The event included presentations by space scientists, a panel session led by a Noongar woman, recaps from the Creative Commons global summit, and of course, presentations by library staff.

Feedback about the event was incredibly positive, with attendees praising the flexibility of the online event and the diversity of presenters. The panel session centred on the Noongar language online course developed by Curtin University’s Centre of Aboriginal Studies was a highlight, leading to the formation of a cross-institutional study group committed to learning more about Noongar language, experiences and culture. Hosting the event online and across a number of days increased its accessibility, with library staff who were part-time or regionally based able to attend.

Running the event online provided its challenges such as technical difficulties on the day and in how to create interactive online activities and discussion that in some way replicated the networking opportunities often cited by attendees as a highlight of past events. Online networking opportunities were provided and well received but the chance to interact with colleagues from other institutions was one thing attendees missed from face to face events.

The WAUL Teaching, Learning and Research Forum provided an opportunity for library staff across Western Australia to share their experiences of a difficult year.  It was a timely reminder to share knowledge and stay open, even at a time when events conspire to make everything feel closed and distant.

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Our projects for 2021

By Curtin Library 13 April 2021 News & events Comments off

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Each year Curtin University Library develops an annual plan of initiatives in alignment with the University’s Strategic Plan. We’ll be working on the following projects in 2021:

Trusted information resources

  • Develop strategies to make textbooks more accessible to students.
  • Work to increase the number of items on reading lists which are available electronically.
  • Create a framework for the management of open access read and publish agreements.
  • Investigate and recommend catalogue enhancing tools to create a better and more exciting user experience.
  • Make sure we can easily add non-traditional research outputs to espace.
  • Create a Library History special collection.

Library as partner

  • Design an online tool/quiz for students to help them identify study skills they need to improve.
  • Develop an approach to advocate for widespread adoption of open practices in learning, teaching, and research.
  • Facilitate a Thesis Fest for Higher Degree by Research students.
  • Continue to develop 23 Things as a Curtin Extra program to enhance students’ digital skills.
  • Run a Peer Academic Mentoring pilot.
  • Establish a Higher Degree by Research Consultative Group to gain insights into the needs of this cohort.

Library spaces

  • Provide a space for online collaboration and a peer-led community.
  • Work with the University to implement the Library refurbishment and services upgrade project.
  • Explore ways of exposing special collections through the Makerspace.

Community engagement

  • Engage with Indigenous perspectives through the Library’s collections and services.
  • Partner with local institutions to offer face-to-face workshops to regional and incarcerated students.

Culture and Library workforce

  • Establish a cross-institutional collaborative space for Library staff to expand their use of digital and data tools.

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