Friday, 20 December 2013

Important events in 2013

2013 is almost over. If you are feeling nostalgic you may like to look back at this year using the database Newsbank. If you are just looking for regional Queensland events remember to choose the link to Queensland Regional Publications to limit your search. Try this list of topics you could search for a quick walk down memory lane.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Queensland Globe

Queensland Government's Department of Natural Resources and Mines has developed some ways for its mapping and associated data resources to be more available via online tools called Queensland Globe at

The State government clearly states on its webpage it is part of Queensland Government's open data strategy. It works inside the third party technology of the free Google Earth application which they guide you through downloading and then you download the Queensland Globe and any other map data files you choose like Mines Globe.

As an interactive online tool, Queensland Globe allows you to view and explore Queensland maps, imagery (including up-to-date satellite images) and other spatial data including Queensland Government-owned data and data used under licence from other parties. You can view various things using Google Earth standard data and Queensland Globe data for example cloud cover, boundaries of postcodes, mining basins or reserves and so on. Some of the layers you can choose to view include:
  •     places (e.g. population centre, suburb)
  •     boundaries (e.g. coastline, local government, electorate, postcode)
  •     roads (e.g. arterial road, minor road)
  •     rail (e.g. railway line, railway station)
  •     transport (e.g. ferry, mall, busway, path, track)
  •     addresses
  •     land parcel (e.g. property boundary, property label)
  •     land parcel tenures (e.g. freehold, national park, state forest, state land).

Library Opening Hours 18th to 22nd of December

Townsville Eddie Koiki Mabo Library

Wednesday 18th December to Friday 22nd December      8.00 am to 5.00 pm

Saturday and Sunday    Closed

Cairns Library no change

Monday to Friday          8.00 am to 5.00 pm

Saturday and Sunday    Closed

Monday, 16 December 2013

Special Collections Fossickings 30: Cottage gardening - North Queensland style

The two editions of "Cottage Gardening in Queensland" held in the North Queensland Collection of JCU Library.
 Are you a gardener? Do you pride yourself on your home-grown vegies? Or do you just bemoan the prices and the food-miles travelled by those on the supermarket shelves, regretting that you are too time-poor to grow your own? Either way, one little treasure in the North Queensland collection may be the book for you. Henry Treloar’s “Cottage Gardening in Queensland”, which went through several editions during and after the first world war, is in future to be made more widely available via the Special Collections digitisation program.
Frontispiece, (1920 edition) - Henry Treloar
According to one source the surname “Treloar” originated from the Cornish words “tre” (home) and “lowarth” (garden). If true, then how appropriate that Henry took to cottage gardening with an almost missionary zeal. He certainly did not forget his Cornish roots, naming his Warburton Street home “Redruth Cottage” after his home town in west Cornwall.  As well as being the proprietor of Treloar’s Red Arcade and Doll Hospital, Henry contributed horticultural columns to the local newspapers under the pen name “Eucalyptus.” But it seemed his mission in life was to convert his fellow-citizens – regardless of their day jobs – to the virtues and benefits of fruit and vegetable growing. Readers will be amused at his abundant enthusiasm and a literary style laced with exhortations and exclamations: “What! A garden without French beans? Nonsense, man!” or, on peeling an egg-plant, “Cut that beauty into slices. No, don’t peel it! Dip in rich batter; fry rich brown; serve hot  … Yum, yum!”
Page 28, (1915 edition) - author's garden
It may be argued that Treloar had a vested interest since his own store advertised seeds, grafted trees, fertilizers and the like. Nonetheless, it is clear from his fervour that he truly believed North Queensland to be a paradise on earth, offering unrivalled opportunities for the home gardener. In addition to advice on varieties, many of them long since forgotten – Daisy peas, Cuban Queen watermelon, Trucker’s Favourite tomatoes, Siberian cucumbers to name a few –  and instructions on planting, fertilising and pest control, Henry offers tips on the basic economics of home gardening and the marketing of surplus produce.
Page 45, (1915 edition) - bisexual pawpaws
But not everything in Mr Treloar’s garden, or in his philosophy, is rosy and the modern reader will quickly discover a worm in the bud. His introduction to the 1915 edition features a racist tirade against the Chinese market-gardeners whom he believed had usurped a niche which ‘white’ Australians should reclaim as soon as possible. In Treloar’s view not only were the Chinese themselves grossly inferior, so were their vegetables, and he frequently refers to the superior taste and quality of “white-grown” produce. This makes distasteful reading today but it does give an insight into some of the attitudes which were not uncommon a century ago. Thankfully the 1920 edition omitted the worst of such comments and today’s gardeners may still find much to amuse, surprise and inform them among its pages.

Story by Miniata

Christmas research

Christmas - Philosophy for Everyone: Better Than a Lump of Coal (144433090X) cover image
Christmas : Philosophy for Everyone : Better Than a Lump of Coal
Even if you don't have time to come into the library to do your Christmas research, you can explore all sorts of academic thoughts on the most widely celebrated festival in the western world using OneSearch from home. Try the following articles for a start:

Alexander Tulloch. Christmas. English Today. 2009;25:61. 

Martin B. Christmas. Prime Number. 1998;13:15-21.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Have some fun with Historypin

Historypin is an online, user-created archive of historical photos, videos, audio recordings and personal recollections. It is linked to Google Maps, so you can search for photos by location - eg. where you were born, or places you have travelled to. You just might be able to provide more accurate details to go with the images you find.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas for kids

Looking to entertain children during the Christmas period? Check out some books in the Curriculum Collection.

Discovering Christmas Magic. Models to make all sorts of Christmas decorations. 394.2663 FOX

The Christmas Book. Deck the halls with festive mobiles and flurries of snowflakes. Create snowstorms in jelly jars. Fill boxes with candies. Count down to Christmas with a magical calendar. Easy-to-make, fun-to-do, for a sparkling Christmas. 745.59412 BUL

Gunadoo's Christmas. An Australian story to convey the spirit of Christmas. These kind animals all play their part in the bush setting. 820.94 SEL

Monday, 9 December 2013

IT maintenance and upgrades in computer labs around campus and in the Library

Our hardworking IT staff have started doing some work during the quiet time which effectively closes most computer labs.

The library computers however are here for you.

An excerpt from the ITR week in review. 

Information Technology and Resources staff will be performing maintenance and upgrades to the facilities in the GATCF and School based teaching labs, on Townsville, Cairns and Mackay campuses, over the summer semester break 2013/2014.

All computer labs will be closed from 9am Monday 9th December 2013 until 9am Monday 10th February 2014 unless otherwise timetabled, with the exception of the following facilities which will remain open until the Christmas closure period. It will be necessary to upgrade these facilities as well and they may be closed temporarily at short notice. IT&R will endeavor to make other facilities available during this time.

  • All Library based computers will be available during Library opening hours and with swipe card access to the 24 hour access area outside those hours.
  •  Building 2 Annex (DA2-101, 102, 103, 104 and 107) open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday with swipe card access outside those hours.
  • All Library based computers will be available during Library opening hours.
  • B1.030 with 24 hour card swipe access.

A University's Place in Society

Recently found a quote via the internet blog and twitter six (actually two) degrees of separation, "When colleges and universities become a market, there is no incentive to teach what customers would rather not know" in an online article by Tressie Cottom on the Slate site December 3rd 2013.

The article gets down to this statement after talking about a case of a lecturer at a college in the United States of America being reprimanded by the college under its anti-discrimination policy as three students had felt uncomfortable during a discussion about structural racism. Putting aside for a moment the surrounding conversation around race, racism and college administration, capitalist  market forces and education agendas, it sums up a very simple debate about the future of higher learning in that simple statement. Universities are faced with balancing real market demands of what adults want to know with what we as adult members of a society think people need to know and need to discuss.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba. July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba or the man known as Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5th in South Africa. There are many articles available on the web at present but his official foundation is The Nelson Mandela Foundation.

If you wish to read more about Mr Mandela the library holds numerous titles around his life and times.

Conversations with myself by Nelson Mandela. Call number 968.092 MAN/MAN

Book info: Draws on Mandela's personal archive of materials to offer unique access to the inner world of an incomparable world leader. Journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s; diaries and draft letters written on Robben Island and in other South African prisons during his twenty-seven years of incarceration; notebooks from the post-apartheid transition; private recorded conversations; speeches and correspondence written during his presidency - a historic collection of documents archived at the Nelson Mandela Foundation is brought together.

The making of modern South Africa : conquest, apartheid, democracy by  Nigel Worden. This links to the electronic resource, but a physical copy is held at Call number 968 WOR

Book Info: Provides a comprehensive, current introduction to the key themes and debates concerning the history of this controversial country. Engagingly written, the author provides a sharp, analytical overview of the new South Africa.
JCU Library holds this as one of our eBook copies so you don't even need to come in

Monday, 2 December 2013

Modern Slavery

Today is the United Nations' (UN) International Day for the Abolition of Slavery and it marks the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949. Some people will imagine slavery as something that happened in the past but as the UN oultlines on the above link  that there are contemporary forms of slavery:
  • people trafficking (not to be confused with people smuggling)
  • sexual exploitation
  • debt slavery
  • child labour
  • forced marriage
  • forced recruitment of children as soldiers
It is easy  to find news articles that describe situation like these in Australia or for example that some of our basic consumer products being produced by people in these situations overseas.

Here are some recent articles and titles in relation to this,
  1. Human Trafficking and Slavery By Justin Healy. The global trade of trafficking men, women and children into the sex industry and labour markets has been the subject of growing public and international concern. Human trafficking is a complex, multi-faceted crime with no single solution. Many countries are affected by it in some way, and Australia, as a destination country for trafficking victims, is no exception.
  2. A short article by Carol Levett titled Modern Day Slavery about her reflections from attending the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress in Melbourne and realising the extent and the Australian response to contemporary slavery.
  3. Global Slavery Index The Index, which will be published annually, is the first of its kind and gives the most accurate and comprehensive measure of the extent and risk of modern slavery, country by country, currently available.
  4. Australasian Reflections on Modern Slavery  by Barbara Ann Hocking and Yega Muthu. As the title is explicit basically an examination of slavery within the Australian context.
  5. Slavery and Its Defintion by Jean Allain and Kevin Bales.  A good read about how to define legally what slavery is in the modern context comparing to the traditional concept of actual ownership of another human.

The problem with ebooks

Ebooks are great.  Being able to put our entire personal libraries on one device is an amazing convenience, and cloud synchronising and backup services ensure that we've got access to our favourite books no matter what.  But that's for individual consumers.  For libraries, the story is a bit different.

When a library purchases a copy of a physical book, they can make it available to potentially hundreds or thousands of people without the publisher getting any money other than from the original purchase.  This has caused a few headaches in the past, but libraries and publishers are mostly over that now.  The new battleground is ebooks.  Libraries want to buy digital copies of books and loan them out to their users free of charge.  Publishers are trying to protect their revenue streams, and tend to clamp down on access to certain items, especially textbooks.  From a business perspective, selling one copy of a book and having lots of people use it makes little sense, but having those people buy a copy each makes a lot more sense and money.

So this is the situation we're finding ourselves in; a stalemate between people who publish the content, and people who provide access to that content.  The ebook market is still very new, and publishers, institutions, and readers are struggling to change the way they think about books. Ebooks present many opportunities to everyone, but they also have their associated challenges and risks.

More information about the way libraries and publishers are butting heads over ebooks can be found in these links: