Skip to content
Curtin University
Library blog

O-Week sessions semester two

By Miah De Francesch 17 July 2019 News & events No Comments »

oweek promo screenshot

We’ve got Library tours and information sessions running throughout O-Week next week!

Library tours

Your opportunity to get familiar with the resources and facilities available so that you can get the most out of the library from day one!

Orientation week 22-26 July 2019
Monday 22 July 12pm & 1pm
Tuesday 23 July 12pm & 1pm
Wednesday 24 July 2pm & 3pm
Thursday 25 July 1pm & 4pm
Friday 26 July 2pm

Tours are 30 minutes each. Meet on level 2 near Lounge @ Your Library, building 105. No need to book but places are limited!

Library: What’s on Offer

Learn how to navigate the Library’s online resources, borrow a laptop, book a study room, use e-books and access journal resources!

Orientation week 22-26 July 2019
Monday 22 July 2pm
Tuesday 23 July 2pm
Wednesday 24 July 3pm
Friday 26 July 2pm

Sessions are 30 minutes each. Meet in room 412, level 4, building 105. No need to book but places are limited!

Bookmark and Share

Suggestion: Coffee Machine

By Curtin Library 15 July 2019 News & events No Comments »

From the suggestion box@Curtin Library…

Free, self-serve espresso machine coffee.

The Library responds…

Thanks for the suggestion.
Unfortunately, the Library is unable to provide this service.
You may wish to forward your suggestion to the Student Guild via the Guild webpage.

James Robinson
Curtin University Library

Bookmark and Share

Developing digital dexterity

By Curtin Library 12 July 2019 News & events No Comments »

As digital technology expands into all areas of our lives, the ability of graduates to learn, research, create and communicate digitally is highly valued by employers. Academic libraries, including Curtin Library, are playing a significant role in helping students attain these skills.

In 2018 the Council of Australian University Libraries (CAUL) embarked on a two year project to ensure Australian universities recognised the importance of digital dexterity to thriving in a global work context.  To date the project has had a number of positive outcomes including producing a Position Statement and a Digital Dexterity framework, as well as the establishment of a Community of Practice. This Community of Practice is focused on developing and sharing online resources, and facilitating engagement and activities to develop student, academic staff and library staff capabilities.


Using the CAUL framework, Curtin Library is developing a digital dexterity program focussed on experiential learning. Aimed primarily at undergraduate students, the program will provide an introduction to a range of diverse topics such as online identity, 3D modelling and printing, remix culture and copyright, basic coding, and understanding data. The resources and activities will be available online, with an additional face-to-face component hosted in the Makerspace. In semester two, we will be piloting some of the topics and seeking input and feedback from students, teaching staff and other stakeholders.

Digital Dexterity Makerspace_EDIT-2

Another significant contribution to the development of the digital skills of the library staff is Library Hacky Hour. Borrowed from the Software Carpentry Hacky Hour concept, Library Hacky Hour is a shared informal space where library staff gather every fortnight for an hour to learn digital skills and work on problems related to code, data, or digital tools. The aim is to foster a peer support network and encourage staff to try something new in a supportive and safe environment. Topics explored at Library Hacky Hour range from online collaboration tools, data visualisation tools and structured data to advanced Excel features and Wikipedia editing.

We are also initiating some experimental Library Hacky Hour sessions for the creation of digital dexterity program learning objects. The idea is for interested library staff to get together regularly and explore new ways to create, manage, and publish online learning objects that can be shared and reused. While creating these objects, library staff also improve their own digital skills, which in turn enable them to pass them on to students.

Bookmark and Share

Meet Barbara Parnaby

By Curtin Library 10 July 2019 News & events No Comments »

Barbara photo1

Barbara Parnaby is the Manager, Client Engagement at Curtin University Library. We spoke to her to find out what her team has in store for the rest of 2019.

Describe your role in a few sentences.

I manage the Curtin University Library’s Client Engagement Team, who provide the Library’s frontline client services, answering and referring a full range of queries and ensuring quality library facilities are available in our Robertson, Kalgoorlie and CGSB Libraries. The team provides circulation services, manages the lending of our hard copy collections, and runs the Library Orientation Program at the beginning of each semester.

I take a lead role in engaging with Curtin Libraries and partners globally as the primary University Library contact, and manage the Library’s provision of services and quality assurance to our global partners’ Libraries in Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.

How does your team help the University function and achieve its goals?

Our services and spaces allow students to study, learn and complete their research in convenient and welcoming spaces, with a range of facilities and equipment for different needs. We manage around 40 Library Student Assistants, who assist us in maintaining the smooth-running of the services and supporting clients in the Robertson Library 24/7 during semester.

We work closely with all teams in the Library to ensure clients understand the library’s services and make the most out of what is available.

What has been a highlight for your team over the last six months?

A highlight for me has been working with the team to use all of our unique experiences to contribute to larger Library projects. These projects have included extending skills and building up experience in the tiered support model; adapting our service to be more flexible to clients; input into the design of the upcoming library refurbishment; and contribution to the IATUL conference in the form of volunteering and a written paper. Our team is made up an incredible group of people, each with their own distinct experiences and talents, and it has been great to watch them consolidate their experiences and skills to fit a broad range of projects.

What are your team’s goals for the year? What big projects are coming up?

We have a lot of goals and projects coming up, but one major goal is to review and plan for the future so that we can adapt to the changing library landscape. As the ways in which students use library spaces change, so does our work and the services we provide. Where we are and what we provide now might be different in 12 months and again in 5 years depending on the landscape, so it’s important to find ways to continually improve our services to provide better experiences for our clients.

This includes major changes to circulation and lending rules; streamlining workflows and extending support hours into the evening and overnight; supporting a wider range of students in regional areas through initiatives like the Kalgoorlie mini-Makerspace; and working to develop opportunities for students to work with us.

Enjoy reading Library news? Sign up to our Library newsletter.

Bookmark and Share

Makerspace transformed into Open Access Escape Room

By Curtin Library 10 July 2019 News & events No Comments »

Engaging HDR students with the benefits of open access can be tricky.  Sometimes the idea of having a captive audience is particularly appealing, especially when unashamedly advocating for open scholarship and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) scholarly practices.

Katrine Sundsbø, from the University of Essex Library, must have felt the same way when she conceived of metaphorically capturing her audience in an Escape Room activity, themed around open access. In November 2018, Katrine published a complete set of instructions and props under a Creative Commons license, encouraging more libraries to hold their own Escape Room as a means of involving students with open scholarship.

For those unfamiliar with the idea of an Escape Room, it is a fun and challenging group activity where participants have one hour to find clues and solve puzzles hidden throughout the room to “escape”.

Perth ResBaz 2019, a worldwide festival promoting the digital literacy emerging at the centre of research, held at Curtin from July 2-4, provided the ideal forum to run the Escape Room and determine the level of student engagement.

Open Access Escape Room_EDIT-3The Library Makerspace was the perfect location. Hiding clues in plain sight is much easier in a room filled with creativity and possibility. Groups of eight participants were invited to travel to 2119 to defend Diamond Open Access, where all research is published with no costs for readers or authors, against a dastardly villain determined to lock up all research for his own financial benefit.

Hilarity ensued as the team members met the villain, dodged the embargo and painstakingly solved the clues to restore all research back to Diamond Open Access.  Never has advocating for open scholarship been more fun!

Open Access Escape Room_EDITDue to the overwhelming enjoyment of all concerned the Open Access Escape Room is due to make an encore appearance during Open Access Week October 21-27, 2019.

Enjoy reading Library news? Sign up to our Library newsletter.

Bookmark and Share

How to host an international conference

By Curtin Library 10 July 2019 News & events No Comments »

Curtin University Library and the University of Western Australia Library recently organised and hosted the 2019 IATUL Conference – an annual international conference for senior academic library professionals. The conference was held at venues across Curtin University and UWA from 23 June–27 June 2019, and hosted over 200 participants from 25 different countries for information sharing, networking and executive education.

The IATUL Conference consists of a pre-conference reception, three conference days and a day of local sightseeing and cultural experiences. The first two conference days were scheduled at UWA, and final conference day was held at Curtin University. The multiple venues provided a great opportunity to showcase both of the host institutions and different facets of Perth.

IATUL_Dinner_UNICLUB_43Gala dinner held at UWA University Club (Image by Viewfinder Photography)

The program involved a variety of concurrent sessions, keynotes, workshops and panel discussions centred on the theme ‘Shifting Sands and Rising Tides: Leading Libraries through Innovation’. These addressed a wide range of topics, from digital literacy to open research; library spaces to strategic advocacy.

IATUL_2019_CurtinUniversity_58Vice Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry presented a keynote session on the future of universities (Image by Viewfinder Photography)

University Librarians Catherine Clark and Jill Benn co-chaired the event, supported by a team of staff from both Curtin University and UWA. In addition to developing valuable work skills and professional networks, these volunteer staff were able to create an exemplary conference experience that left a lasting impression on delegates.

IATUL_2019_CurtinUniversity_36Delegates visited the Curtin Library Makerspace on the last conference day (Image by Viewfinder Photography)

Feedback on the conference has been very positive, with praise given to the international, topical perspectives that were explored, as well as to the high quality venues and campuses more broadly.

“This was one of the most focused, practical conferences that I’ve attended. Several sessions contained information which I am now following up with the idea of making changes to our services.”

– Delegate from Australia

IATUL_2019_Delegates_02Delegates at the UWA University Club (Image by Viewfinder Photography)

The next IATUL Conference will be held in Porto, Portugal, and we wish the organising committee every success in facilitating this rewarding event.

Enjoy reading Library news? Sign up to our Library newsletter.

Bookmark and Share

The Library’s Reading List service

By Curtin Library 9 July 2019 News & events No Comments »
reading lists in 2018

With a global reach, the Library’s Reading List service aims to support teaching staff and students in their learning and teaching activities.

The Library’s Reading List service aims to support teaching staff and students across the globe in both their teaching and learning. Accessible through Blackboard, the interface allows students to view and access a wealth of learning and teaching resources, many of which are electronically available.

These resources are personally curated by teaching staff and are provided or facilitated by the Library. Through this collaboration, students are able to directly access their resources faster, easier and at a lower cost.

If teaching staff are interested in finding out more, please visit the Library’s Reading Lists and High Demand guide.

Bookmark and Share

Bringing the Electronic Resources and Libraries conference home

By Curtin Library 5 July 2019 News & events No Comments »

Instead of flying to Austin, Texas to attend the 2019 Annual Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference, this year the Library’s Collections Team decided to bring the conference closer to home.


To provide staff with the professional development benefits of attending a conference without physically attending one, the Library organised a ‘shadow’ conference to offer an occasion for the team to access innovative ideas and discuss them in an informal setting. The event was based on presentations from the online conference held in Austin in early March. This particular conference was selected as it covers a wide range of library-related activities, and we were familiar with it from previous years.

So what did we do? We organised a full day on-campus event, complete with morning tea and lunch, and showcased six recordings of sessions from the four-day conference. We extended the invitation to all Library staff, as well as staff and students of libraries, archives, records and information science. To add to the ‘conference feel’ we also invited vendors, who set up mini-displays and offered merchandise, and they helped us with show bags and a door prize. This is what our ‘shadow’ conference was.

Collections Shadow Conference_EDIT-2The conference program, badge and vendor merchandise.

The feedback from participants was very positive. They enjoyed the day and found the sessions useful and relevant to current trends and systems in libraries. As one attendee said, “The sessions broadened my knowledge of how other University Libraries use and work with ALMA (Library Management System).”

Students who attended were grateful for the exposure to ‘real’, common librarian work issues and discussions around finding solutions. From a student’s point of view, “…the sessions brought up lots of concepts that are very behind the scenes that I did not know about.”

Collections Shadow Conference_EDIT-3

We also received constructive feedback around what could have been done differently, which will help us if we organise another similar event in the future.

One significant outcome of this event has been the teamwork and skills enhancement of the organising committee. From securing an appropriate venue, arranging catering, designing event posters, programs and badges, and inviting vendors, the months leading up to the event were challenging yet fulfilling.

We thank all the participants, and we feel our efforts were rewarded by the success of the day

Enjoy reading Library news? Sign up to our Library newsletter.

Bookmark and Share

Reading Lists: Information for Semester 2 2019

By Curtin Library 4 July 2019 News & events No Comments »

With the commencement of semester two, 2019, teaching staff are reminded to arrange access to unit readings through the Library Reading List service.

It is a University requirement that the use of copyright materials for teaching purposes are registered in the Reading List system.

Teaching staff who already have Reading Lists are advised to check that their Reading Lists are Associated with the correct Blackboard units and that the Reading Lists are Published before the commencement of the new study period.

For information about Reading Lists, please see our Interactive Guide.

For information about Copyright, please visit the Copyright at Curtin website.

New this semester: Reading List roll-over

Instructors can now roll-over their Reading Lists. This new functionality allows instructors a convenient way to create a brand new copy of an existing list, with discrete analytics, for each study period.

Still available is the “Multi-course Single Reading Lists” association functionality.

See our updated instructional guide for more information on the re-use of Reading Lists.

Recommending textbooks to the Library

Just a reminder, instructors should use the Reading List Service to notify the Library of the prescribed textbooks for each unit by using the “Prescribed Textbook” tag.

Please see Recommending textbooks to the Library for more information.

My List filters

A note to instructors using the My Lists area to search for existing Reading Lists: there is a filter that turns itself on when navigating from the Reading List to the My Lists view. To see all Reading Lists, please ensure that it is turned off by clicking the blue cross.

Need help?

If you have questions, please contact the Reading List Team using the following methods:

Bookmark and Share

Suggestion: Extended Opening Hours

By Curtin Library 4 July 2019 News & events No Comments »

From the suggestion box@Curtin Library…


I just wanted to follow up my suggestion from earlier in the year (posted on the Library Blog on 1 February) about library opening times.

The problem still persists that students who are studying outside of normal semester hours (e.g. law students in trimesters, Masters students etc.) are unable to access the Robertson library over the weekends or at night (key study times) outside of semester hours.

Frankly, many Curtin students have turned to studying at UWA’s Reid library, because it continues to operate with extended hours during these times.

I understand that staffing is an important consideration, but it’s not ideal to have to rely on another university’s resources for two months of the academic year (before semester one commences and after it finishes), including during exam periods.

I would really appreciate some suggestion as to any practical ways we as students can assist in keeping the library open for longer.

The Library responds…

Thank you for the feedback and I do understand the frustration.

The Library are working within available staffing resources and existing infrastructure, targeting opening hours to provide these when the most students are on campus. Access to the CGSB Library continues for Law and Business students throughout the trimesters, based on existing Student ID Card access to the Murray Street Building and students are able to confirm their access with their school.

In the longer term, over the next few years, refurbishments to building 105 and the introduction of a trimester model widely across the Curtin Perth campuses will allow the Library more opportunity to address extended opening hours. In the interim, there are study spaces on the Perth campus, including 3 open access computer labs in Buildings 303, 408 and 501 which remain open 24/7 including during the main semester breaks.

Barbara Parnaby
Curtin University Library

Bookmark and Share
Page 1 of 1201231020Last »