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Changes to Library Opening Hours

As part of our commitment to supporting social distancing for the health of students and staff, the library has made some adjustments to our opening hours and service delivery.

From Monday 6 April, there will be a slight reduction in opening hours for our Cairns and Townsville Library buildings. The InfoCommons at the Eddie Koki Mabo Library is open 24/7 as usual. Please check our new opening hours for Townsville and Cairns before you visit. Our opening hours for Easter and other public holidays are also listed.

You can connect with us using chat with a librarian, email, phone or our on-campus virtual reference desk. Our online resources are available 24/7.

Access to the library buildings is by swipe card and is limited to JCU students and staff. Please respect the social distancing measures we have put in place for your own and others’ well-being.

Thank you for your understanding. The library will continue to provide high quality reference and research support in an increasingly o…
Recent posts

Flu thesis - a lesson from the past

Since appearing last night on the ABC program The Drum, Dr Patrick Hodgson's thesis "Flu, society and the state: the political, social and economic implications of the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic in Queensland", has been downloaded 418 times. The thesis which can be accessed through JCU's ResearchOnline tells the now familiar story of facemasks, movement restrictions, social distancing and community response. Are we at risk of repeating the past? Take a look at this prophetic thesis to see what lessons we can learn.



Free scholarly resources

Publishers across the world have granted temporary access to additional online resources, which will be available during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition to the latest coronovirus research, the resources include ebooks, ejournals and other scholarly material to assist with remote learning, teaching and research. JCU librarians have compiled a list of participating publishers. Access is completely free for a limited time and does not require you to log in with your JCU credentials. If you cannot find what you are looking for from the list, or you are being asked to log in, then try the Library A-Z Databases as many of our vendors have very generously extended the subscribed content that JCU staff and students can access.   

The list of free scholarly resources will be updated continuously, so check back often!

50 Treasures: burning ghosts by Judy Watson

Our thirteenth treasure is an early work by an artist who would go on to be at the forefront of Australian Indigenous art. From the James Cook University Art Collection comes 'burning ghosts' by Judy Watson. 

Marg Naylor answers the question "why is this significant?"


The James Cook University Art Collection contains a number of significant artists who have made important contributions to Australian art. The young artist Judy Watson presented a print in the Townsville Pacific Festival in 1982 where it was successful in gaining the Martin Gallery Print Prize.

 Discussions between the then Curator of the Art Collection, Ron Kenny with the Director of the Martin Gallery, Ralph Martin, saw the work burning ghosts being donated to the University Art Collection in 1983. The work itself is a result of Judy Watson’s exposure to American literature, which she was studying as an elective for her Diploma of Creative Arts at the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, Too…

COVID-19: the business impact

Need to keep up to date with the impact COVID-19 is having on businesses around the globe?  IBISWorld is one of the many databases accessible through the JCU library collection providing analysis on the potential global economic impact of coronovirus. Find out how the coronovirus is impacting industry sectors with IBISWorld's Coronavirus Update: Industry Fast Facts, and access the latest analyst reports on the industry impact of social distancing.

Spanish Flu - the Queensland experience

What can we learn from the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1920?

Patrick Hodgson's 2017 thesis, "Flu, society and the state: the political, social and economic implications of the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic in Queensland", explores the historic experience of Queenslanders through official records and first hand accounts. The discussion on how the virus is spread, government response, economic impact, and the effect on everyday Queenslanders draws a striking parallel to our current experience with COVID-19. Dr. Hodgson identifies problems in aligning response strategies between the three levels of government, and discusses the spread of the virus through the free movement of the population despite the closure of schools, hotels and businesses. This thesis is a must read for all who have an interest in the present influenza pandemic. 


Hodgson, Patrick George (2017) Flu, society and the state: the political, social and economic implications of the 1918-1920 influenza pandemi…

Studying at home?

If you're currently stuck at home self isolating, you can still make use of our valuable electronic resources.
There are a number of databases that are providing textbooks and eBooks freely accessible during the pandemic, to support students and academics in their transition from face-to-face to virtual learning.

Elsevier's ScienceDirect now have over 250 textbooks on their platform that are free of charge for three months. There are also over 1000 eBooks freely accessible, so you can stay up to date with the latest science and medical research and study safely in the comfort of your own home!

Click here for more information and a full list with links to the free electronic resources available from Elsevier.

50 Treasures: Marjorie Green's Writing Desk and Accessories

Our twelfth treasure is one of the JCU Library Special Collection's few pieces of realia, which in librarian speak is a 3D object from real life that does not fit into the traditional categories of library material. From the Library Archives comes an item that will never fit into an archive box, Marjorie Green's writing desk and desk accessories.

Sharon Bryan answers the question "why is this significant?"

The Archives of James Cook University Library’s Special Collections contain a number of personal items that offer glimpses into the lives of the people who once owned them. Most of the items are typically archival in nature—photographs, diaries, letters and the like. Some can be surprisingly three-dimensional. Perhaps the most ‘unarchival’ of the items held is a writing desk.
This desk is a bureau of the secretaire style; it consists of shelves, a cabinet, and a fold-down desktop that reveals sections for holding stationery and writing accoutrements. It is both uniq…

Harmony Week 2020

Harmony Week (15-21 March) is a celebration of Australia's cultural diversity. It is about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. Now, more than ever, it is a reminder that we are all connected to and depend on one another.

The message of respect and belonging can be lived by each of us, every day, not just during Harmony Week. Visit the Harmony Week website to explore resources and see what’s already happening in your area. Harmony Day will be celebrated on 21 March.

Why not read a book written about a different culture? For example, searching China-Fiction as a subject keyword in the library catalogue will return 50 titles from our print and ebook collection to choose from. If you're visiting the Cairns campus library, be sure to check out our Harmony Week display.

50 Treasures: Townsville Hospital

Our eleventh treasure is a beautiful illustration of the Townsville Hospital, situated on Ross Island. Created by the mysterious P.D., from the JCU Art Collection comes the Townsville Hospital watercolour.

Trisha Fielding discusses this treasure 

This beautiful watercolour depicts an early view of the Townsville Hospital on Ross Island. The artist, who signed the work with the initials ‘P.D.’, is thought to have been Percy Dodgson (1838-1886).
Percy Dodgson, the second son of Hassard Hume Dodgson, a solicitor, was born in Surrey, England, in 1838. He was a cousin of the author Lewis Carroll (whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). Around 1865, Percy and his elder brother, Francis Hume Dodgson, emigrated to Queensland in the hope of making their fortunes in the pastoral industry. An entry in Lewis Carroll’s diary in 1864 suggests that he thought his cousins’ move to Australia was unwise – calling it an ‘extraordinary plan’. For a time, the brothers settled on pastoral stations in…

The Library without the Library

So, let's say there's a threat of a pandemic and you are doing your best to practice "social distancing".

What can you do about your library-related needs if you are not going to come to the Library?

Well, as many of our off-campus students already know, there's actually almost nothing you can do on campus that you can't do off campus, except browse our physical books. You might not be able to access our print collection if youare not on campus, but we have more online resources than print resources, so you should be able to do most (if not all) of your research without touching a single piece of paper.

Doing Research

You can use the Search Bar on our homepage to use One Search to look through our collection, and when you're in One Search, you can limit your results to Full Text Online, to search through our journals and eBooks. It's not just books and journals, either - we also have online video and audio recordings. If you need a refresher on how to…