Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Studying away from Cairns or Townsville?

Are you are a student or academic staff member studying or teaching courses operated from the Townsville or Cairns campuses, and living more than 50 km away from either campus?

You may be eligible for the Library's Off Campus Service, provided at no charge to you.

For more information, go to the Off Campus Service pages or contact us at or call 07 4781 438.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

52 Book Challenge - Week 9

Sure it's only Week 2 of Semester, but it's Week 9 of our 52 Book Reading Challenge.

Each week this year we're challenging you to read a book. Some of them are easy challenges, some are a bit more difficult, and others require some creativity.

This week's challenge should be a fun one:

9. A book that became/is becoming a film

Image result for cat meme "not how it was in the book"Do you have a favourite film that was based on a book? Now's the time to find a copy of the original at your library.

Have you heard that a favourite book is about to be turned into a movie, and you want to re-read it so you can shout "Boo! That's not how it was in the book!" in the middle of the movie theatre? Well, go for it!

Have you missed out on hearing about the 52 Book Challenge? Catch up here.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Reading Challenge Week 8 - A Book by Someone Who Isn’t a Writer

Well, this was one of those challenges where cheating was positively encouraged. Trying to find "A Book by Someone Who Isn’t a Writer" (especially in our library) required some creative interpretation of what "someone who isn't a writer" might mean.

So, this week we have a review of a book written by a corporate author, and a review of a book assembled by an editor from a variety of translated sources.

What did you find to fit the challenge?

Luc Brien read the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, written by the American Psychological Association.

While I’ve had a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association sitting on my iPad for a long time, I’ve never really taken a look at anything outside of chapters six and seven - those chapters dedicated to citing sources. This week I w̶a̶s̶ ̶c̶o̶e̶r̶c̶e̶d̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ decided to take up the challenge of reading the rest of the Manual, which was surprisingly interesting!

It’s not exactly a gripping cover-to-cover read but, over the course of this week, I’ve learned a bunch of things about writing for the social sciences that I never knew before (my background is in humanities and business).  First developed in 1929 (it’s 90 years old!), the Manual has evolved from a seven-page article to the 272 page behemoth we know and love today. While many people will already be familiar with the same chapters that I was, the rest of the Manual is really worth a look for anyone who wants some general advice or guidance about how to lay out a document (do headings get capitalised?), construct sentences (should we use Oxford commas?), prepare research (what’s the best way to summarise my study?), and cite their sources (how do I not get done for plagiarism?).

The Manual also talks about the publication process - from finding a journal to submit to, working with their manuscript requirements, the peer-review process, making changes, and complying to the legal and ethical frameworks involved.

Overall, I enjoyed dipping into the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (which you can find at 150.149 AME 2010). It’s a must-have book for anyone beginning their careers in the social sciences.

Sharon Bryan read Original Buddhist Sources: A Reader, written by a whole bunch of people, translated by quite a few others, and edited by Carl Olson.

When I picked up this collection of translations of various Buddhist texts – covering several thousand years and following different forms of Buddhism as the religion moved from India through Central Asia into Tibet, China and Japan (which I found at 294.38 OLS) – I didn’t expect to come across poorly written sex scenes passing themselves off as super-secret holy scriptures. Granted, there were only a few of them and they were all in the Tibetan section, but it was still a bit of a surprise.

That’s part of the interesting thing about this book. As the readings are taken from different schools of Buddhism from different places in different times, some of the readings seem like they may as well come from completely different religions. Early in the first part of the book, a passage claims that the historical Buddha explicitly stated that members of his religious order should abstain from all forms of sex with all people (and non-people). I doubt that Buddha would be particularly impressed with the Tantric passages in the Tibetan section. For that matter, neither would most of the other schools of Buddhism, which seem mostly focused on discussing the nature of existence and trying to avoid getting suckered into the cycle of rebirth.

I wouldn’t say that the book is particularly enlightening (in both senses of the word) as it isn’t really an introductory text. It assumes the readers already have some background knowledge of Buddhism, and doesn’t explain any of the terminology used. If you have read any other books about Buddhism, however, these “original” texts can be quite illuminating.

Oh, and I just want to specifically say: “Don’t read the Tantric passages in the Tibetan section” – largely because one of them starts by pointing out that these are super secret holy scriptures and anyone who reveals these rites to people who have not been initiated into this quasi-religious sex party will be cursed with all kinds of incontinence. I wonder how Carl fared with that…

JCU Cairns Campus Library - Now Open Later

The Cairns Campus Library will be extending its opening hours from Monday, 26 February.

This will give students access to the ground and first floor of the library until midnight Monday - Friday and until 10pm on weekends.

Library Service Hours
Building Opening Hours
Monday to Thursday
Saturday & Sunday

Outside staffed hours (Library Service Hours), visitors can only access the ground floor and the first floor of the building. Our physical collection on the second floor (print resources) will not be accessible outside staffed hours. Our electronic resources are available 24/7.

Students and staff will need their JCU ID Card to access the building outside Library Service Hours. Security staff will be be using the Library as a base for regular patrols including the boathouse and student accommodation. 

Take advantage of the new ground floor space for longer and don't forget that security staff can escort you to your vehicle or on campus accommodation.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Text book time

Gary Knight
Do you need to find which textbooks you require for your subjects? Your required textbook should be in your subject outline, located in LearnJCU.

Textbook lists for JCU subjects are often provided to the Co-op book shop and can be searched on the Co-op book shop website by clicking the Textbooks button to get to the textbook search, filter to JCU Townsville or Cairns campus, select the semester and then the subject code. The Co-op also sells some second-hand textbooks.

The Co-op Bookshop is open from 9:00am - 3:00pm in Cairns and 9:00am - 5:00pm in Townsville.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

52 Book Challenge - Week 8

From the overly simple, to the somewhat confusing.

This week's challenge in the 52 Book Challenge is:

8. A Book by Someone Who Isn’t a Writer

Now, we've been having some deep and meaningful discussions around the office about whether it is physically possible to read something that was written by someone who isn't a writer - after all, if they wrote the book you're reading, they must be a writer, right?

Hannah Braime (from whom we stole this challenge) suggests authors like Paul Kalathani or Richard Branson - in other words, people who don't write for a living. Just to make it easier (or more interesting), we offer the following ways to interpret this challenge:

A. A book by a person who is not a professional author

Such as someone who has written a how-to book, a textbook or a memoir, but has a "proper" day job.

B. A book that was written by a group of people (aka, not a writer)

You can use a book written by multiple authors writing together or something by a corporate author. For example, the APA Publication Manual was written by "The American Psychological Association". By the way, we're not giving points, but we will still give you extra points if you read a style manual for this challenge.

C. A book written by someone who writes under multiple pseudonyms (so the one person is kind of multiple writers)

Yes, that's cheating somewhat. It's still fun, though.

Are you new to the 52 Book Challenge? Catch up with what we've done so far.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Your Readings

So it's Week 1! We know you've been looking forward to reading all about the subjects you've selected to study. This year JCU is using something new to link you up with the readings your lecturer has assigned.

Have a look at this video to get a quick overview of how it works. We call it Readings, even though you might get videos or podcasts included, Readings & Listenings & Watchings seemed too long for a catchy name.

Readings is new for your lecturer too, so direct your questions (if you have any) to us at the library and we'll straighten it out.

Guide to Readings

Reading Challenge Week 7 - A Book By a Female Author

Well, it was O-Week (did you go to our workshops? Did you look at our online training?), so we didn't managed to get a lot of reading done this week.

However, we did rustle up a few likely suspects to give us some reviews of "A Book By a Female Author" for this week's Reading Challenge:

Brenda Carter Read Miss Peabody's Inheritance by Elizabeth Jolley.

(Monica) Elizabeth Jolley AO (1923-2007) was an English-born writer who settled in Western Australia in the late 50s. She was 53 when her first book was published, and she went on to publish fifteen novels (including an autobiographical trilogy), four short story collections and three non-fiction books, publishing well into her 70s.

I was introduced to Elizabeth Jolley’s writing as an undergraduate and her novels and short stories have become firm favourites. She takes ordinary events and relationships and adds a twist that is both unsettling and fascinating. I love her ‘voice’ and the way she plays with chronology and double narratives. Her plots are heavily influenced by her own rather unorthodox life, pushing the boundaries of conventional relationships, female sexuality, and the parallel existence of public respectability with the inner world of the imagination.

My favourites would probably be Miss Peabody’s inheritance (820A JOL 1C MIS) and An innocent gentleman (820A JOL 1C INN). Check the library catalogue for many more items written by and about this talented author.

Sharon Bryan Read Bedknob and Broomstick, by Mary Norton.

If I had to choose my favourite Disney movie of all time, Bedknobs and Broomsticks would probably be duking it out with Mary Poppins. I found our copy of P. L. Traver’s Mary Poppins in the Curriculum Collection years ago, but I only recently stumbled across Norton’s book.

It turns out that Disney made a few changes to the book (well, they practically re-wrote Mary Poppins, so that’s hardly surprising), but I have to say that I don’t mind all that much. The subplot of the 2nd World War, the evacuation of the children and the German invasion thwarted by magic were all added by Disney. The island of Naboombu, populated with talking animals in the movie, was originally an island called Ueepe, populated with “cannibals” (however, no one was even threatened with being eaten, so the accusation of cannibalism was entirely unfounded). And Professor Emelius Browne wasn’t exactly in the book either. Instead, we have a necromancer (******)* from the past called Emelius Jones.

The ending of the book is also unsatisfactory, in that it doesn’t make sense when you think about it. Having previously established that the past is a terrible place for a witch, and the present isn't so bad once you get used to it, Miss Price and Emelius Jones suddenly decide that the past is the only place for them. The characters have pretty daft reasons for choosing the location of their “happily ever after”, and it feels like Norton was just getting rid of them.

I did enjoy the book, but this is one of several books in which I'm glad I saw the movie first - it gave me the chance to enjoy the works separately and appreciate the changes between the two versions, rather than feeling like Disney had ruined the book.

* Norton gives her readers six stars so they have time to find out what a necromancer is, so I may as well give them, too.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

O-Week: Keys to Academic Success

Active learning is the key to success at university. Get a head start during O-Week with these library workshops:

Thursday 15 February
Power Up Your Assignment Research, 1:30pm-2:00pm 
Your assignment is only as good as your research. Come to this session to build up some serious research muscle. Find us in Building A3.1 (Cairns) or Sir George Kneipp Auditorium, Building 26 (Townsville). If you miss this session, you can take the Info Skills Road Trip online.

Referencing Bootcamp, 2:00pm-2:45pm
Learn the nitty gritty details of referencing and how to avoid plagiarism. The library website also has guides on different referencing styles, and of course our friendly staff can offer support at the Infohelp desk or via online chat. This session follows on from Power Up Your Assignment Research in the same location.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

52 Book Challenge - Week 7

As you might have guessed, this week's challenge is:

7. A Book Written by a Female Author.

Or, as with last week's challenge, "a book written by an author who identifies as female".

Once again, the field is waaaayyyy open, so long as you'd refer to the author as "she" when discussing "her" work. Any topic, any genre, all of time and space (you've got to love these challenges).

Are you new to the 52 Book Challenge? Catch up with what we've done so far.

Special Collections Fossickings 50: Treasures of the Devanny Archive.

Read our previous post, Discovering Jean Devanny before you enjoy this one.
Jean Devanny's cottage in Townsville. Photo Credit: Peter Simon
When you drive along Woolcock Street do you ever ponder the origins of the concrete-lined drain that runs between the road and the Townsville showgrounds? Can you imagine it as a winding mangrove creek, alive with birds, which at high tide almost invaded the gardens of cottages along its banks?  In one such cottage lived the remarkable Jean Devanny who, fearless in this as in so many other ways, swam regularly in the creek and rejoiced in its diverse life. And it was from here, as our previous post described, that the library acquired the assemblage of personal papers, manuscripts, articles and correspondence which constitute one of the most valued and most used archive in Special Collections.

The most extensive user of the Devanny archive must surely have been Carole Ferrier, editor of Jean’s previously unpublished autobiography, “ Points of Departure” (1986), and author of the definitive biography, “Jean Devanny: Romantic Revolutionary” (1999). Several drafts of the autobiography are among the manuscripts held in the archive, as is much of the material used by Ferrier in her research for the later work. It seems fair to say that, without the careful preservation of this archive, the story of Devanny’s turbulent and controversial life may never have been so fully, or so well told.
Books by and about Jean Devanny retrieved from the North Queensland Collection.
And what a life it was!  Correspondence with contemporary writers – Miles Franklin, Eleanor Dark and Mary Gilmore among them – along with passionate articles in defence of racial equality, sexual freedom and social justice speak of a character in whom the twin passions for literature and politics are fused.

More modestly, much interest also lies in material relating to her time in the tropics, particularly Cairns, the Tablelands and Townsville. It seems to have been here that her interest in natural history developed and flourished. Introduced to the Queensland Naturalists by her friend Dr Hugo Flecker (after whom the box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, was named) she became a contributor to their newsletters.  And among carefully saved natural history newspaper clippings we find Devanny’s own writings on everything from trees to butterflies and the strange behavior of crabs. Her long letter to the “Cairns Post” calling for rainforest protection and fire control appeared years before these became mainstream issues.

Two unpublished manuscripts are of particular interest. She firmly believed her last novel, the unpublished “You can’t have everything”, was her most important. Like her very successful “Sugar Heaven” (1936), it too featured the conflicts and characters of north Queensland’s sugar industry.  Changing tastes in fiction surely mean that any chance of publication for this work has long passed but its preservation in manuscript form means that it is not completely lost.
Jean Devanny (right) and friend on Magnetic Island, Jean Devanny Album, NQ Photographic Collection, NQID 13769
But for Townsville locals perhaps the most fascinating unpublished work is the descriptive account of  Magnetic Island where she lived for many months in the 1950s. While she also adapted much of this material for a romantic novel, it is the non-fiction work that is so captivating.  Jean’s knowledge of natural history and her delight in natural beauty, and her close observation and sense of kinship with the islanders who became her friends, would resonate strongly with anyone who remembers the island in simpler times. It is arguably one of the most engaging books ever written about our familiar “Maggie”.  Could there be an editor out there willing to bring this book into the public domain?

Story by Miniata

Monday, 12 February 2018

O-Week Library Workshops

O-Week starts on Monday 12 February. Feel free to drop into the library, meet our friendly staff and get to know our wonderful resources and spaces. The library offers a number of useful workshops to get you off to a flying start.

Monday 12 February
Go wireless - Drop in session - 2:00pm-3:30pm
Head to the first floor of the library in Cairns or the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library, Building 18.002A where our friendly Library Rovers will help connect your portable devices to the JCU wireless network. Look out for the Library Rovers in the red (Cairns) or blue (Townsville) shirts. You can also find help on getting connected on the JCU website.

Tuesday 13 February
Go Wireless - Drop in Session  - 2:00pm-3:30pm
If you missed Monday's session, join in today.

Library Tour - 5:30pm-6:00pm
Did you miss the Library during your campus tour? If so, come along for a short tour. Meet in the foyer.

Top 10 Assignment Tips - 6:00pm-7:00pm
Learn how to successfully find information for your assignments. You will be able to solve the assignment case by dissecting your topic, flushing out good resources and referencing. Please note, if you are attending the “Keys to Academic Success” program on Thursday, you do not need to attend this session. Join this session in room B1.104 (Cairns) or Building 18.002A  (Townsville). If you miss this session, you can catch up on the library website.

Reading Challenge Week 6 - A Book By a Male Author

So, did you manage to find a book written by a male author?

Choosing a book based on the gender of the writer isn't something we normally encourage, although people have been doing it for centuries (which is why a lot of female authors wrote under male pseudonyms, and why universities started to teach courses specifically on women's writing). But, when the only criteria for a book is "what third-person singular pronoun should you use?", then you do get quite a wide variety of options.

For example:

Scott Dale read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

I chose to read Fahrenheit 451 (810 BRADB 1B FAH) this week, written by the male author, Ray Bradbury. This book has been on my list for many years and I was glad to finally read it. One of the interesting things about this book is the way it was written. Bradbury wrote the material in the basement of a library on a typewriter that he hired for ten cents per half hour.

But what is it about and what does the name mean? Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns. The book’s main character, Guy Montag, is a “fireman”. In the world of this novel, it is a fireman’s responsibility to burn outlawed books.

Fahrenheit 451 may be a dystopian nightmare that gives librarians the terrors but it sure is a page-turner.

Brenda Carter read The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes.

I was lucky to pick up this gem at a garage sale, but you can always borrow it from the JCU library (820 BARN(J) 1C SEN). The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes is a short, beautifully written novel of life and relationships that won the man Booker Prize in 2011.

Tony is a quiet, passive young man. He has a group of friends, a rather unsatisfactory relationship with a girl and admiration for newcomer Adrian, whose apparent maturity and philosophical beliefs outstrip them all. Later in life, Tony receives some information that changes everything. He has to reconsider his memories and perceptions of the past, while also evaluating how he has lived his life. “I thought of the things that had happened to me over the years, and of how little I had made happen”.

If you like a healthy dose of self-reflection with your fiction, you will love The Sense of an Ending.

Sharon Bryan read The Red House Mystery, by A. A. Milne.

I’ve been going through an A. A. Milne stage at the moment, and fortunately we have quite a few of his works in our collection. The Red House Mystery (820 MILN 1C RED) is Milne’s foray into the world of murder mystery and it’s not half bad.

Okay, so Milne was never going to give Agatha Christie or Dorothy L. Sayers a run for their money, but the book is a serviceable mystery novel and shows a lot of promise. I expect his second book would have been better, and his third book would have been a classic in the genre. Unfortunately, he only wrote one, so our amateur detective, Antony Gillingham didn’t get the chance to develop into the next Poirot.

Gillingham’s special talent is being independently wealthy and able to amuse himself by observing people – plus, he has a photographic memory. He will notice the details that end up solving the crime, even if he didn’t realise that’s what he was seeing at the time. He also has a fondness for Sherlock Holmes, and his “Watson” – a typical thirties “bright young thing” called Bill Beverley – is happy to play along. It's almost more of a "how to host a murder" game than a mystery novel.

Bronwyn Mathiesen read Three Crooked Kings by Matthew Condon.

I was interested In reading this book (the first in a trilogy) because I grew up in Queensland in the 80' s and 90's when the Fitzgerald Inquiry was a large part of the nightly news in our household. This book is available at 364.132309943 CON in the library and as an eBook. I downloaded it and read it on my tablet with the BlueFire Reader App.

This book amazed me from the start, in that it actually starts in the 1940’s and describes the long and often complicated beginning of corruption in the Queensland Police Force. I had not been aware of the beginnings and growth of the culture that enabled corruption to flourish in the decades preceding the 'Joh' era. The murder of Shirley Brifman and the disappearance of Barbara McCulkin and her daughters and these women’s connection to people who should have protected them really bring home the horror of this time. Two men were charged with the McCulkin murders in 2014, after this book was published, and forty years after the crime happened. 

How did Queensland society accept this kind of thing for so long? Well, read this if you want to find out. The author describes in such a factual way the reality of how this happened in Queensland. The story reaches from the Atherton tablelands, out to Mount Isa and Charleville. 

I am looking forward to getting in to what really happened in the Joh era in Jack’s and Jokers and All Fall Down, the other two titles in the trilogy. 

Thankfully this era is now in the past fro Queensland and I’m grateful to the author for writing it.  It would not be a library reading challenge if I did not point out that in his acknowledgements the author thanks the State Library of Queensland, Fryer Library and other archives without which important stories like this cannot be told. 

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

52 Book Challenge - Week 6

This week's challenge is a bit broad. How broad? Well, roughly-half-the-population-of-the-planet broad.

The challenge for this week is:

6. A Book By a Male Author.

But, you know what? It's the 21st Century, and gender is a tricky thing these days, so let's call it "A Book By an Author Who Identifies as Male".

Any topic, any genre, all of time and space. Go!

Are you new to the 52 Book Challenge? Catch up with what we've done so far.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Reading Challenge Week 5 - A Non-Fiction Book

This week's challenge in the 52 Book Challenge (which we shamelessly stole from Hannah Braime - if you're new to the challenge, catch up here) was a non-fiction book, which is easy-peasy if you happen to be in an academic library.

While we love showcasing our fiction books, we have a lot of non-fiction about the place, so it's good to be able to dust that off for the challenge.

Did you find some interesting books to read? Here are some of the books we've been reading:

Brenda Carter read The Events That Shaped the History of Japan, by Sachiko Iwayama.

Japan has become a popular holiday destination for Australians; it’s relatively close, airfares are reasonable and the culture is refreshingly different.  The Events That Shaped the History of Japan by Sachiko Iwayama (952 IWA) is the perfect way to gain an overview of Japanese history and culture.

The 79-year-old Edge Hill (Cairns) author has condensed thousands of years of Japanese history, culture and traditions from almost 800 sources into a thoroughly readable and engaging book. It explores Japanese beliefs and religion, the role of women and samurai, haiku, sushi and the tea ceremony, along with key events from Japan’s political and economic history.  The clear, chronological storyline and fascinating anecdotes will take readers on a journey through Japan from 10,000 BC to the 1940s.

Scott Dale read George Orwell: Essays, by George Orwell.

This week I picked up George Orwell: Essays (820 ORW 1B GEO) although I must admit I did not read it completely. One of the good things about a book of essays is that you be selective in the order you read and go straight to the title that most interests you.

I started with “Politics and the English language”. In this essay, Orwell laments poor writing, gives five examples of bad writing of the time (1946) and suggests six simple rules to avoid writing like the examples provided. He does point out that it is possible to follow these rules and still write poorly – but I think they are a great tool for all of us to use when writing. One fun game is to apply the rules to the essay itself and see if it adheres to its suggested standards.
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
(Excerpt from George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language)

When I saw the theme for this week was “A Non-Fiction Book”, I couldn’t help myself – I had to revisit this book (which can be found at 808.042 MIN)

Literary nonfiction (or creative nonfiction [or non-fiction]) is a highly successful genre in the world of book selling. If you aren’t sure what literary nonfiction is, just imagine a book on the same subject as your textbook, only actually fun to read. The point of literary nonfiction is that it’s enjoyable as well as informative – it’s something you would read for fun and pleasure while learning something at the same time.

Minot’s book provides some advice and guidelines for budding authors thinking about being the next Bill Bryson or Oliver Sacks. It provides writing advice as well as some examples of different writers’ work. You'll also find some exercises to get you started. The book has its strengths, but personally a think a better introduction to the subject is David Starkey’s Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief – which we also have.

PS, if you want to find out what the other three genres are, you’ll just have to read the books.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Your Library - available in LearnJCU now

The “Your Library” tool is now available in LearnJCU to any lecturer who wants to turn it on in their site. 

This tool has been enabled to simplify linking students to quality sources of information tailored to the discipline they are studying.

Here are some examples of what turning on Your Library does in a subject:

LA1102 Legal research, writing and analysis will connect to the Law Libguide

DS1101Dental Science will connect to the Dentistry Libguide

BA1001Time, truth, and the human condition will connect to it's own BA1001 Libguide

Turning on Your Library

Your Library is a simple Tool Link that you can add to your site. If you haven’t added other tool links the LearnJCU team, or your liaison librarian can help.  

The Your Library tool when enabled in your menu

Add the Your Library tool via the Tool Link item at the plus sign 
From here, simply search for Your Library in the list, select and give the tool a name e.g. Your Library. 

If you enable the tool and do not see the expected guide please contact your liaison librarian to adjust to any of the following:

  • A specific subject coded libguide you are using in this subject
  • A generic library information guide with links to the entire A-Z databases
  • The correct subject/discipline guide if result is incorrect

See your liaison librarian if you need further assistance. 

Remember, you won't see the menu item 'Your Library' until it is turned on and made visible to students.