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Suggestion: Carpet Cleaning

By Curtin Library 27 August 2020 News & events Comments off

From the suggestion box@Curtin Library…
Please clean the carpets in the private study rooms on the 6th floor, especially room 6.19. A lot of stains, very unhygienic. Thank you

The Library responds…
Thanks for letting us know. We’ll ask the cleaners to get to this

Colin Sinclair
Curtin Library

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Suggestion: Toilets and lights

By Curtin Library 26 August 2020 Uncategorised Comments off

From the suggestion box@Curtin Library…
-The lights in the library are pretty dim. I suggest ones that are a bit brighter like the ones you would find in the abacus next to the education building
– Some of the toilets have more than one sink to wash hands after using the toilet, but only one hand dryer. People have to wait in line to use the hand dryer, some don’t even use it because there’s someone already using it, so they wipe on their pants. Please put at least one dryer for every sink
– Some toilets have more than one sink, but only one soap dispenser. So you have to go to the next sink to get some soap. Sometimes there’s someone using that sink with the soap dispenser, so they just wash with water and that’s it. Please put at least one soap dispenser for every sink

The Library responds…
Thanks for your feedback.

We are aware that the toilets aren’t ideal and they will be rectified as part of the Library building refurbishment, starting at the end of this year.

Colin Sinclair
Curtin Library

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STEM librarians unite! Creating a community of practice

By Curtin Library 24 August 2020 News & events Comments off

STEM conference

STEM librarians tend to represent a very wide range of subject areas, from marine biology through to quantum physics. No community of practice has existed in recent years. Now 106 members strong, Curtin Library’s Science and Engineering Faculty Librarians Jenny Copestake and Linden Hall’s vision for a STEM librarian network across Australia and New Zealand is a reality.

Jenny and Linden started the network in 2017 as a simple email discussion forum – STEMlibANZ – where STEM librarians could share ideas, something that hadn’t previously been attempted.

In December 2019 this group organised its first face-to-face gathering, meeting at Queensland University of Technology as part of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education conference in Brisbane. 28 attendees came from as far away as New Zealand and Perth and the core of a community of practice was born.

One of the outcomes of this gathering was a plan to run a virtual conference in mid-2020 – an almost clairvoyant decision in light of COVID-19.

Using Queensland University of Technology’s institutional Zoom, the virtual workshop was run on 1 July 2020 with 127 attendees over the course of the day.

Attendees came from across Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia and presentations were given in the themes of research support, information resources and learning and teaching support.

The event was so successful that a virtual workshop day as part of the Australian Association for Engineering Education Conference in December 2020 is now being planned. The online conference will be hosted at University of Technology Sydney, with the STEM Librarians virtual workshop hosted by Jenny and Linden together with colleagues from QUT, Monash and Griffith universities.

Meetings are now underway to affiliate with the Australasian Association for Engineering Education as a special interest group. Once travel is possible again, the network plans to have an annual face-to-face gathering and an annual virtual gathering each calendar year.

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Moving online for orientation semester two

By Curtin Library 24 August 2020 News & events Comments off


In the midst of WA’s COVID-19 lockdown, the decision was made to move Curtin’s semester two orientation activities completely online. After almost three months of providing online support last semester, the Library team was ready to take up the challenge of welcoming our new students to Curtin online, and introducing them to the range of facilities and support services we have available.

The Curtin Orientation team worked tirelessly to support faculty and professional staff to deliver orientation sessions in the online Echo360 iLecture Live platform. This system allows students to log on with their OASIS credentials and join their peers in watching a “live” video (with a 20-second delay) of the presenter, alongside PowerPoint slides or other material. Students can also post questions and comments using the chat function. Library staff were unfamiliar with the new platform; however, after a couple of opportunities to practise and less than two weeks to O-week, all sessions were adapted to suit the strengths and weaknesses of iLecture Live.

The orientation schedule was jam-packed with informative and engaging classes for students, including a video tour of the TL Robertson Library, a general overview of ‘What you need to know’ about using Library services, and sessions on referencing, critical and creative thinking, digital literacy, time management and effective reading. The Library video tour certainly highlights the creativity and enthusiasm of our illustrious librarians.

Staff have noted the strangeness of presenting their topics to an empty lecture theatre, particularly in large venues such as the Elizabeth Jolley Lecture Theatre, which had a pre-COVID capacity of 500! In semester one, 2020 our highest attended orientation session was around 300, and this semester’s highest attended Library session was around 100. However, the opportunity to watch recorded sessions has been enthusiastically taken up by students, with some sessions being watched more than 400 times already.

Notably, the lack of serendipitous interactions and new friendships have been missing from this year’s orientation, not to mention the general vibrancy and colour of the usual on-campus activities. On the other hand, students have noted how convenient the online sessions have been in fitting them around work and other commitments:

“Doing these orientation sessions online has been really helpful especially as it has worked in well with work as I just find some space and then can go straight back after. The content has been very helpful as well.”

Mostly it seems that students have been very engaged with the sessions, albeit a little reluctant to jump in and chat with one another. Feedback from students has been very positive, though some students are feeling a little unsure about how their semester will look with a mixture of online and face-to-face sessions.

“Presentations and live web streams were amazing and really helpful, but pretty stressed about doing everything online, being on campus and [getting] instructions from the teachers would be great! Missing everything being an international student.”

Our staff will be continuing to deliver a range of online workshops, but have enjoyed welcoming our students back on campus for semester two.

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Mike Daube Tobacco Control and Public Health Special Collection

By Curtin Library 24 August 2020 Library Services JCPML News & events Special collections Comments off

Marking a four decade public health career, the Mike Daube Tobacco Control and Public Health collection is now available via Curtin University Library.

Emeritus Professor Mike Daube AO has been a leader in tobacco control and public health advocacy in the United Kingdom, Australia and internationally. He has published widely and worked on tobacco and other issues for WHO, governments and health organisations in more than 40 countries. His collected papers, unpublished works, ephemera and more tell the story of Australia’s declining smoking rates and innovative public health programs.

About Mike Daube

The collection reflects Professor Daube’s career in advocacy, commencing in 1970 in the United Kingdom with SHELTER, the National Campaign for the Homeless, followed by tobacco campaign experience working with Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

He moved to Western Australia in 1984 as Executive Director of Health Promotion and Education Services at the Department of Health, followed by other senior roles in government. In 2001 he was appointed as the first Director General of the Health Department in Western Australia. He was also Chair of the National Public Health Partnership.

In 2005 he commenced as Professor of Health Policy at Curtin University where he was also Director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute and the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth. Other roles included President of the Public Health Association of Australia, President of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, and co-chair of the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol.

In 2008 Minister for Health Nicola Roxon appointed Professor Daube to the National Preventative Health Taskforce. In response to recommendations of the Taskforce’s Tobacco Committee, which he chaired, in November 2012 Australia became the first country in the world to implement the plain packaging of tobacco products.

Professor Daube was awarded an AO (Officer in the Order of Australia) in 2014, and named the West Australian of the Year 2018-2019. In 2018 he was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor by Curtin University.

Donation & processing

The collection was donated to Curtin University Library by Professor Daube in September 2015. The process of arranging and describing the collection resulted in the addition of 64 boxes of correspondence, unpublished reports and research material, which covers tobacco control and public health, and 400 publications donated by Mike Daube to the library collection. The complete collection is now stored with other library special collections in the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library archives.

“The collection takes you through a comprehensive journey through nearly 50 years of advocacy in health and social areas, with a particular focus on tobacco,” says Daube. “The success of tobacco advocacy programs mean they can be used as a model in so many other areas.”

“I hope the collection will be useful to people working on the history of tobacco and tobacco advocacy, but also those working in public health. In advocacy, you can be up against some tough opposition. This collection shows how you can work as individuals, small organisations and academics to save lives, millions at a time,” says Daube.

“This is a unique collection that gives you a sense of the progress in public health advocacy in Australia and around the world, and we’re honoured to hold this at our institution.” says Catherine Clark, University Librarian at Curtin University Library.

The Daube collection is available to search online.

Contact the Library’s special collections team for assistance or further information:

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Meet Linda, Coordinator, Collections Access

By Curtin Library 24 August 2020 News & events Comments off

Linda Sheedy

We spoke to Linda Sheedy, who leads one of our collections teams. Her work improves collections access for all clients, and ensures they get the resources they need for teaching, learning and research.

Hi Linda, what’s your role and what does your work look like day-to-day?

I’m the Coordinator, Collections Access at Curtin University Library.

We manage the Reading Lists service, which uses Ex Libris’ Leganto resource list management system. Reading Lists gives our students easy access to their unit readings and staff a time efficient way to manage their learning resources.

Our Document Delivery receiving service receives over 2,000 document delivery requests a year from Curtin staff and research students, and it’s my team’s job to organise supply of these for our clients.

A big project for us has been rationalising the physical collection in light of the Library’s upcoming refurbishment and the changes to the way collections will be stored.

What has been a highlight in your work over the last six months?

The COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions were the cause of significant disruption to our services, but also showed how appreciated they are.

In semester one 2020 Library Reading Lists usage rose by 17%, which is significant, as students didn’t have physical access to our collections for most of the semester but, increasingly, relied on this service to identify and access resources for their learning.

We were also able to procure special COVID access to the RapidILL community, a North American document delivery network, which greatly increased our ability to meet clients’ needs, as our normal document delivery supply was interrupted by restrictions and the closure of other libraries.

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

Our work benefits teaching, learning and research, so it helps all the core functions of the University.

For students, our Reading Lists service makes it easy for them to find the texts they need. As an e-preferred service, this is particularly helpful for students online, as Reading Lists uses online resources and we will digitise physical resources, so as many resources as possible can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Another benefit of Reading Lists is that we can better manage the University’s copyright obligations, which takes the onus off other University staff to do this.

The document delivery service helps build flexibility into the collection, we can quickly acquire the texts requested by clients that are beyond the scope of our collections.

What’s coming up for your team?

We’re always looking to increase engagement with Reading Lists. Ex Libris often introduce new features, and it’s important to select which ones to incorporate into our service – this can take some time! We want to ensure that the client’s effort in learning a new feature will result in a better service.

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Ministerial libraries and mausoleums: making a history of the JCPML

By Curtin Library 24 August 2020 Library Services JCPML News & events Special collections Comments off

building and construction4

The John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML) has been a significant part of Curtin University since opening its doors in 1998. It is Australia’s first prime ministerial library and a pioneer in providing both on-site and electronic access to an extensive  collection of items relating to wartime prime minister and international statesman John Curtin.

While Curtin University Library had previously captured the history of the T.L. Robertson Library to mark its 40th anniversary, there was no readily available record for the JCPML. To commemorate the 21st anniversary of the opening of the JCPML, University Librarian Catherine Clark invited retired Associate Director Karen Tang to develop a history of the institution.

Tang completed an initial investigation in August 2019 to determine how to make this important history available, ultimately deciding that a web resource on the newly-migrated JCPML website, with a photographic timeline, would be the most accessible and engaging solution.

Over a series of months, Tang explored the archival records held within the Library’s collections and found substantial documentation covering the JCPML’s history from initial concept as part of a John Curtin Centre to the vital resource it exists as today, over two decades later.

Interviews conducted by JCPML with key figures in the foundation of the University, John Curtin Centre and JCPML proved a treasure trove. Stories included tales of items in knitting yarn boxes donated over cups of tea or rescued from imminent disposal, and how the library faced the challenge of providing access to material dispersed across Australia to which it had no legislative entitlement. Papers, letters and committee records donated by those involved in the national and international efforts to raise funding for the Centre revealed the ebb and flow of the plans for the Centre – from a single room to a Great Hall and even a mausoleum for John Curtin’s remains. Albums of photos traced the construction and outfitting of the library and captured images of the many anniversary lectures, exhibitions and other public events held within it. A complete run of JCPML Information Updates chronicled developments every few months over 21 years.

Using the plethora of research about the JCPML, the website was developed in-house with the support of Sally Laming, Coordinator, Library Special Collections; Miah De Francesch, Communications Officer; and Sarah Thorpe, Administrative Assistant. It was launched in May 2020 and will now form part of the historical record as the JCPML moves forward into the decades to come.

jcpml history 1

The site can be viewed here.

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Developing digital skills online with 23 Things

By Curtin Library 24 August 2020 News & events Comments off


The Library has recently launched 23 Things, a free online self-paced program designed to help students develop some of the digital skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their study. Largely created by students, the focus of the program is on doing things and sharing experiences while being gently guided along a digital journey.

The program will be running throughout semester two from 10 August 2020 to 2 November 2020, and will provide activities, information and resources that participants can work through at their own pace and in their own time, covering 23 different topics including video editing, data security, and basic coding. The 23 Things model of online learning, which typically presents a different ‘Thing’ each week as a blog post, has been around for a while, particularly for professional development in libraries. However, we have taken a fresh approach in designing 23 Things to engage with our student cohort.

Recognising the importance of peer to peer learning and keen to have the student ‘voice’ front and centre, we employed students to select the topics to be covered, contribute ideas, design the site, and create the content for the modules. Their understanding of the digital challenges faced by their peers, along with their conversational style of presentation has given the program a unique feel.

The modules are also as hands-on as possible, by providing web-based interactive activities and encouraging participants to experiment with different digital tools and software applications.  Moreover, ten of the modules are complemented by online and face-to-face workshops, also facilitated by our student assistants.

The program provides plenty of opportunities for participants to interact, engage and connect with one another. Each week we invite them to share their reflections on the topic, to comment on our blog, and to take the ‘Weekly Facebook Challenge’ by making something digitally and sharing it on the Curtin Makers Facebook group. Participating in these activities lets Curtin students to enter our competition, with prizes drawn each week.

We are also introducing some fun into the learning process by creating a transmedia narrative that unfolds over the course of the program.  The story is told through the antics of seven fictional characters that feature in the Library’s online digital literacy game, Certitude, and incorporates events and scenarios that illustrate the relevance and applicability of the topics.

Anyone is welcome to participate in the program, although the workshops are available to Curtin students and staff only. The main content of each ‘Thing’ is licensed under Creative Commons and is accessible in an easily shareable format (H5P), which allows other libraries or institutions to re-use and adapt the content to create their own customised 23 Things program.

We are taking a flexible approach to developing the 23 Things program, and view it as a first iteration of an ongoing process of development.  Thus, we would welcome any feedback and suggestions on how the program can be improved or developed further.

If you would like to take a closer look at the program you can visit the 23 Things website. Observers are also welcome to subscribe to the 23 Things mailing list to receive weekly updates about the program.

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Use Studiosity for feedback on your first assignment

By Curtin Library 20 August 2020 News & events Comments off

Get writing feedback or chat with an expert 24/7 with Studiosity!

Feeling overwhelmed, or not sure where to start with an assignment? All Curtin students can access Studiosity for 24/7 study help.

Use Writing Feedback to get constructive writing feedback. Upload your draft any time and an English subject specialist will send it back to you with comments, suggestions and encouragement for how you can improve your 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, stats, English, assignment research, referencing and more.

Access Studiosity through your Blackboard units.

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Suggestion: Hot Beverage Vending Machine

By Curtin Library 13 August 2020 News & events Comments off

From the suggestion box@Curtin Library…
Can we have a hot beverage (coffee) vending Machine in the library please.

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 Library

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