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Suggestion: Print Queue

By Curtin Library 21 May 2019 News & events No Comments »

From the suggestion box@Curtin Library…

Hi all,

I just wanted to bring up a problem which has been acknowledged before, but not yet solved. I’m not normally one to press an issue which I hope is in the process of being addressed, but this particular one is a pain and I don’t really see why it is difficult to fix.

When I’m logged into a computer, if that computer already has jobs from other students pending, I cannot use it to print. I can’t remember the last time the first computer I logged into didn’t have another student’s printing jobs still pending, and it is beyond frustrating having to switch between computers, wait for them to boot up and load my profile, locate the file to print again, then have to start the process again just because I can’t clear pending jobs, particularly when it’s busy and not always easy to find free computers.

Is it not possible to simply automatically clear printing jobs when people log out? Or give us the ability to prioritise our printing jobs at least, so we can use the printing function?

Sorry to sound whingey but as I mentioned before, it’s very frustrating and seems pretty easy (to me) to solve.

Thank you for all your other great services and amenities!

The Library responds…

Thanks for your feedback. We are aware of this problem and are working closely with Curtin’s IT department to get to a resolution. We have already implemented clearing of old print jobs when people log in but this isn’t working in all situations so we are looking at other options.

Colin Sinclair
Curtin University Library

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Vale Bob Hawke

By Curtin Library 17 May 2019 Library Services JCPML News & events 1 Comment »

The John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library pays tribute to Bob Hawke, Australia’s longest serving Labor Prime Minister. Bob Hawke will always be remembered by the JCPML for the support he provided in the early days of the campaign to establish this library in the memory of another great Australian Prime Minister, John Curtin.

We extend our condolences to his wife, Blanche D’Alpuget, children Sue, Steve and Ros, and grandchildren.

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Suggestion: Air-conditioning

By Curtin Library 17 May 2019 News & events 1 Comment »

From the suggestion box@Curtin Library…

The library is too cold and I am freezing!!! Could you please consider increasing the temperature in the library? I acknowledge that it is difficult to find the ideal temperature as everyone is different but it is well documented that the ideal temperature, for both health and environmental reasons in indoor workspaces is approximately 24 degrees. I do not have a thermometer but I am pretty sure it is well below that. Thank you

The Library responds…

Thank you for your feedback. The temperature of the air conditioning is centrally set at the University and not individually controlled by the Library. I will make sure to pass on your comments to the University Properties area responsible for the air conditioning.

Barbara Parnaby
Curtin University Library

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Ebooks set to overtake print at the Library

By Curtin Library 15 May 2019 News & events 3 Comments »

Electronic books (ebooks) have been a boon to libraries and their clients in many different ways. Ebooks can be read anywhere and anytime – as long as there’s an internet connection – which offers clients increased flexibility for their research and studies. Typically, more than one person can read an ebook at any one time, eliminating waiting periods for limited copies of print publications. Client demand for ebooks is high, and Curtin University Library is steadily increasing its collection, while reducing its number of print publications.

Ebooks can be read anywhere and anytime.

At the end of 2018 Curtin University Library held 430,410 print book titles.  The number of electronic book titles available to Curtin clients was slightly greater at 451,686.  Fifty-one percent of the Library’s book holdings are thus now electronic.  As we continue to buy more new ebooks than print, and to retire superseded print textbooks and reference works, the proportion of electronic to print books in the Library’s collection is set to increase rapidly.

While print books have to be picked up or read in one of the Library’s physical locations and can only be read by one person at a time, electronic books can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection, and so are immediately available to all Curtin clients whether based in Perth or elsewhere in Western Australia or at any location throughout the world, and at all times of the day and night, from their laptop or personal device.  Moreover, most of the Library’s electronic books are available simultaneously to more than one reader.

A look at the usage figures suggests that Curtin staff and students greatly value the flexibility of our ebook offerings.  Use of print books from the Library’s collections has dropped significantly over the last few years.  In 2014 over 150,000 physical items were borrowed or renewed; in 2018 the equivalent figure was less than half this at 74,000.

By contrast, the consultation of electronic books increased dramatically.  In 2014 the number of uses registered on our most popular ebook platform ProQuest Ebook Central alone was 304,760.  By 2018 this had reached 488,713, representing over 6 million pages viewed, printed or downloaded.  Ebook Central currently provides access to 187, 804 books.

(The fall in usage in 2015 was caused by the need to cancel one particular ebook subscription package for budgetary reasons.  This package was reinstated towards the end of 2018, so it can be expected that usage will increase significantly in 2019.)

The most used subject area for ProQuest Ebooks is Education, followed by Social Science, Medicine, Business/Management and Psychology.

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The Future of the PhD: Its Place in Industry

By Curtin Library 14 May 2019 News & events No Comments »

With fewer academic positions, and greater numbers of PhD completions, questions are being raised regarding the relevance of skills gained through the PhD and the employability of new graduates.

Join the Library and our panel of experts for a Curtin Conversation examining the future of the PhD and the emergence of the industrial doctorate.

Event details:

Date: Wednesday 5 June 2019
Time: 10:00am to 11:30am
Location: Council Chambers, Level 3
Building 100, Curtin University
Kent St Bentley WA 6102
Registration: Via Eventbrite, by Friday 31 May 2019


Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor – Research Training Professor Garry Allison will set the scene for the conversation, looking at future trends in higher education and industry.

Tracey McClurg from APR Intern will talk about their all discipline PhD internship program that supports industry based training.

Professor Ana Ivanovic from the University of Aberdeen will provide a pre-recorded overview of the Aberdeen EngD – Engineering Doctorate, focused on equipping graduates with professional practicing research skills for industry.

Panel members:

Following presentations, our panel of experts will discuss the PhD’s place in industry:

  • Professor Torbjorn Falkmer – Dean of Research, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dr Kathleen Franklyn – Career Development Consultant, Curtin Careers Centre
  • Dr Vanessa Rauland – Research Fellow, Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute
  • Rod Evans – Company Director and Faculty of Business and Law PhD student

Morning tea will be provided after the panel discussion, giving you time to network and talk to our panellists.

This event will be live streamed and recorded.

Further information

If you have any special requirements to enable you to participate in this event please advise when you RSVP. We will contact you to provide assistance.

For more information about disability services at Curtin, please visit­­

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Suggestion: Noise

By Curtin Library 14 May 2019 News & events No Comments »

From the suggestion box@Curtin Library…

I’d like to share this problem that I have faced a several time in the Level 6 individual study room. Apparently it is written quiet talking on the poster, and people are just so inconsiderate that they can speak loudly in their rooms where I can hear it from the next door. This is not the first time. It is very annoying as I can’t focus on my work as library should be a “quiet” place for studying. I know people can discuss work in study rooms, but not that loud where even the next doors can hear them. Even my earphones with music on doesn’t help.

I am not sure if there is anything that you guys can do, but I am just sounding this up so that you guys can be aware that students are actually facing this kind of problems in the library. Thank you.

The Library responds…

Thank you for the feedback and I am sorry to hear the noise is disrupting your studies. I have asked Library staff who monitor the areas to be alert to concerns about noise and remind people about considerate use of the Library.

It can help if you report problems like this as soon as they arise and you may like to email This email address is monitored all the time the Library is providing full service and issues will be attended to as soon as possible once they are drawn to our attention.

James Robinson
Curtin University Library

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Library takes pride in research achievements

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

In the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) latest evaluation of Australia’s research against international benchmarks, Curtin University achieved ratings at or above the world standard in 95 per cent of the research fields assessed, an outstanding result for the University.

 Peter Green, Associate Director, Research, Collections, Systems & Infrastructure

It’s a result Curtin’s Library, which provides an essential service to scholars, takes some pride in. Curtin’s researchers are ably supported by teams led by Peter Green, Associate Director, Research, Collections, Systems & Infrastructure, who has seen the demand for research support soar over the past twenty years.

“We provide services around managing data and data publishing, we provide support around sharing research publications, and we’ve built some of those services from nothing to now being quite substantial support to the research part of the University,” said Peter.

“Some of that is because the nature of research has changed. There’s a concept called e-research, which is around the contribution information technology makes to all aspects of research and that is a big difference. Almost all of our work and all of our research has an IT component, whether it be computing, communications, data storage, analysis or visualisation. And the Library’s been engaged in that area as it’s grown, providing training, providing additional resources and working across other teams.”

Recognising that Higher Degree by Research students often struggle with the solitary aspect of research, which can impact their motivation to write up their findings, the Library has worked with the faculties, and with support from the Research Office at Curtin, to develop an inventive program of support, which includes ‘Shut Up and Write’ days and the more intensive ‘Boot Camps’, both of which offer time, space and support to write.

“Our Boot Camps have been very successful. We ran a couple last year and we’ve scheduled in a lot more this year. They’ve helped the students to get back on track and make progress with their writing. The HDR students can be very isolated and the Bootcamps help to provide a connected research community, which is a focus for the University particularly for our HDR students,” Peter said.

Early innovators and scholarly works

Over the past two decades, the Library has changed significantly with the move from a large print collection to a predominantly electronic collection, with social and creative spaces for students, and ever-evolving technology offering the opportunity to access information and resources remotely. What hasn’t changed, however, is the demand for the skills and expertise the Faculty Librarians offer to staff and students in the University’s four faculties, the Centre for Aboriginal Studies (CAS) and the Vice Chancellory.

“The Library was an early implementer of the very successful Faculty Librarian model, in which other university libraries have expressed interest. The Faculty Librarians have helped us to maintain a presence and connection with academic staff, who may not come into the physical Library but will make heavy use of Library resources and services,” Peter said.

External scholars can also utilise the expertise of Librarians, with many accessing the special collections at the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML). The JCPML recently held a book launch of the second volume of John Edwards’ biography John Curtin’s War: Triumph and Decline, which Professor Edwards extensively researched at the JCPML. The book was described by the Sydney Morning Herald as ‘a well-researched and finely written piece of lucid historical and political analysis’ (the first volume won the 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Award in the history category).

The JCPML also hosts the annual JCPML Anniversary Lecture, which is introduced by the JCPML Patron, currently the Hon. Julia Gillard AC, and is a significant event for the University. The nineteenth lecture was presented by bestselling author and journalist, Stan Grant, in 2018, the 2019 lecture will be announced shortly.

“The work of the JCPML team, and more broadly with special collections, is where we bring value to the University by creating research collections of primary materials that wouldn’t be easily available, and that’s something we’ve been doing for well over twenty years and an area we continue to grow in,” said Peter.

“I love working in a stimulating, innovative environment. I’m privileged to rub shoulders with incredibly gifted academics, who are making a difference in their fields, and it gives me a lot of pleasure to see students progress through their studies, and the Library making a difference to those students. The Library is innovative and Curtin is very innovative, so the Library sits well within a University that likes to be fast moving and flexible.”

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Wrestling with Referencing: Library adopts a UniPASS approach

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

You wouldn’t expect student feedback about a referencing class to be, I wish the session was longer, but this is typical of the response to the Wrestling with Referencing classes run by the Learning Success Librarian team.

The Learning Success Librarian team.

The 60 minute sessions have been described by students as ‘very interesting’, ‘fun’, ‘practical’, and an ‘awesome session’ – again not adjectives that you would typically expect to be associated with referencing! The success of these classes is down to their facilitative approach, where interactive activities replace instruction. In short, these classes have been a success because the library adopted a UniPASS approach.

It’s hard to give up on the idea of teaching. When we first began planning this class, we started with a list of everything we felt we needed to cover, essentially the information students needed in order to approach referencing successfully. The librarian team then had the opportunity to attend Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) Peer Learning Facilitator (PLF) training.

PASS is an international program, originally developed in the US in 1973, which is currently offered to students in the majority of Australian universities. It’s based on the idea of the Learning Pyramid (Dale 1969), which suggests that information retention rates after two weeks for the average student will be 5 per cent from lectures, compared with 75 per cent if they practice doing, or up to 90 per cent if the student ‘teaches’ others. PASS sessions are facilitated, but they’re not taught by PLFs. Instead, students are encouraged to work and learn together through interactive (and fun!) activities.

Attending the PASS PLF training showed us that we needed to throw our instructivist based lesson plan out the window. Instead, we focused on developing a session where students would work and learn together, with minimal instruction from the presenter. In this constructivist approach, students are placed in groups and, working collaboratively, construct references for different resource types using the self-help referencing materials as their guide. The students tend to make mistakes, but then they learn from them when we review the material together. As we progress through the different examples, we see the students’ confidence and aptitude grow. At the end of the hour, they want to keep going.

The Wrestling with Referencing sessions have been incredibly rewarding and have shown the librarian team a new way to approach information literacy instruction. Feedback from students indicates that this approach keeps them engaged and develops their skills, we can see that they are learning and applying their knowledge. We’re in the process of reviewing all of our face-to-face workshops with the view to making them as interactive as possible. Thanks to our UniPASS training, we have developed the knowledge and skills to assist us in this task.

Learning Success is a Library team comprised of The Learning Centre, UniPASS, Makerspace and Library staff. In 2018 they ran 358 face-to-face workshops for a total of 7094 students. UniPASS ran an average of 51 sessions per week, supporting 52 units, with 12424 individual students attending at least one session.

Reference: Dale, Edgar. 1969. Audio Visual Methods in Teaching. New York: Dryden Press.

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TL Robertson Library – refurbishment update

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

The TL Robertson Library Building Services Upgrade and Refurbishment Project continues to progress positively, and the Library’s staff-developed-vision of a ‘Library with great heart that inspires great minds’ is a central design driver for us.  

The refurbishment project is progressing positively.

The project is currently in the final stages of a 12-month design process that has engaged stakeholders from across the Curtin University community. A series of three ‘Super Weeks’ has been used for intensive workshops with user and technical stakeholders. These sessions have been facilitated by the design team and have included onsite visits by Schmidt Hammer Lassen, the international architecture firm who has partnered with Australian firm Hames Sharley to deliver an exceptional facility for our community.

Outside of the Super Weeks, Library staff have been working closely with Curtin’s Properties, Facilities & Development team to ensure that ongoing technical and operational requirements are carefully considered.

The project has a website, which will be updated regularly as plans progress. The website includes information about project features and benefits, as well as the proposed staging of the works and the impact this will have on this central area of the campus.

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Library launches second volume of John Curtin’s War

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

To celebrate the completion of John Curtin’s War by award-winning writer, John Edwards, the Library hosted the launch of the second volume at an afternoon tea event held in the Robertson Library.

The book launch was held at the Robertson Library

Attended by many former staff, members of the Curtin family and long term supporters of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML), the launch was an occasion to celebrate the culmination of many years of research and writing by John Edwards.

Following an introduction by Professor John Phillimore from the John Curtin Institute for Public Policy, John Edwards spoke about the particular challenges John Curtin faced during his wartime role before answering questions from the audience. The event concluded with a few words by the University Librarian,  Catherine Clark.

John Edwards was formerly senior adviser for Treasurer and Prime Minister Paul Keating. He is a Senior Fellow at the Lowy Institute and an adjunct professor at the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy. A former journalist with the Australian Financial Review and later the Australian, he is the author of several books. His first on John Curtin, Curtin’s Gift: Reinterpreting Australia’s Greatest Prime Minister, was published in 2005 following research he had commenced as a John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library Visiting Scholar in 2000.

Over the following years, John made several visits to the JCPML while his research grew into the largest work on Curtin ever published.

Volume 1 of John Curtin’s War, The coming of the war in the Pacific, and reinventing Australia traced Curtin’s story from his early life in Victoria, then Western Australia, and concluded after the fall of Singapore during the first months of the Curtin Government. The first volume was published in 2017 and resulted in John Edwards being awarded the 2018 Prime Ministers Prize for Literature in the history division.

Volume 2 Triumph and Decline commences in March 1942 as Australia responds to the increasing threat of invasion, and follows the years of Curtin’s Prime Ministership, ending with the sadness of his death and funeral six weeks before the surrender of the Japanese.

With the completion of the two volumes of John Curtin’s War, the largest biographical work on John Curtin, John Edwards has added to our understanding of Curtin the person and the Prime Minister. Drawing on the work of biographers and historians, together with his own research undertaken in government archives and library collections, and by examining a wide variety of resources, John Edwards has been able to offer new insights into the development of Curtin as an astute politician, and the challenges he faced in his role as Prime Minister during the Second World War.

John Curtin’s War, described by Emeritus Professor of History and Politics, Griffith University, Ross Fitzgerald as ‘magisterial political and military history’ will make a valuable contribution to the body of work on the success of John Curtin as Australia’s war time Prime Minister. The JCPML is proud to have been associated with this work and congratulates Professor Edwards on the completion of this significant undertaking.

The John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML) Visiting Scholar program is designed to encourage research on John Curtin and the use of the JCPML Archival Collection. The program has been successful, with research resulting in the publication of several books, the production of an award winning play, the creation of online resources for the JCPML website and the presentation of public lectures by historians and academics.

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