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Showing posts from September, 2019

Reading Challenge Reviews: Solitary Lives

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hide out in the woods and live by your own rules? Both of the books reviewed this week feature characters who do just that. Each book fits into this month's theme of " Family and Society " (for our 2019 Reading Challenge ) in different ways. Brenda read a book in which a family spend a lot more time together than most, and Sharon read a book in which a boy leaves his family behind to go it alone. Both books are from the Curriculum Collection (where all the best books are). If you were thinking of lining up some books for the summer break, you'll find an interesting range in Curriculum - you should check it out. Brenda Carter read Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt Have you ever wanted to live forever? Would you want to live forever… with your family? In Tuck Everlasting , a family has unknowingly drunk from a spring that grants them immortality. The family has split into two groups, reuniting every year for

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: JCU Kicking (Sustainable Development) Goals

Never underestimate the impact of good infrastructure. The United Nations has recognised the importance of infrastructure with their ninth Sustainable Development Goal : Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Resilient and intelligently designed transport, manufacturing and communication go hand-in-hand with a focus on research and development to create a better, more equitable, more environmentally friendly future. The Cairns Institute has recently published a report looking into connectivity and infrastructure in the agricultural communities in Queensland's far north. They found (among other things) that communications services in regional areas suffered connection and congestion issues, that critical operations rely on service that might not be reliable, and that people in rural communities have a tendency to subscribe to several telecommunications options (in the hope that one will work when the other

Banned Books Week: 22-28 September

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a dramatic increase in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it promotes the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community - librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types - to encourage the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those that may be considered unconventional, controversial  or unpopular. This year's theme is “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark,” urging everyone to “Keep the Light On.” The library has a range of previously banned books on display this week and available for loan. 

Decent Work and Economic Growth: JCU Kicking (Sustainable Development) Goals

The eighth Sustainable Development Goal  the United Nations hopes to see achieved in our lifetime is Decent Work and Economic Growth . The aim is to create a future in which we "Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all". JCU has a number of researchers working in the fields of  Sustainability ,   Sustainable Livelihoods ,  Business Performance ,   Small Business ,   Entrepreneurship ,  Developing Countries  and  Emerging Economies . One of our Singapore-based researchers and lecturers is  Dr Emiel Eijdenberg , who has a strong research focus in entrepreneurship in developing countries. Dr Eijdenberg is particularly interested in the personal attributes of entrepreneurs and how these attributes are related to the sustainable growth of their businesses. For research and consulting projects, Dr Eijdenberg has secured in collaboration with others significant amounts of funding from multiple

Reading Challenge Reviews: Books within Books

We have two reviews of books that contain genre crossing stories within stories for this week's Reading Challenge post. One book was published over 170 years ago, while the other is brand new - published this year. This month's theme of " Family and Society " is not new, but it's never old... We have a guest review from community borrower Lydia Sharpe, who is visiting lesser known Bronte sister Anne's book: a fictional diary within an epistolary novel. And Sharon has snaffled Emily Rodda's latest book, which has a fairy tale within a ghost story. Perhaps we should have a book review within a book review... Remember, if you want to contribute a guest review for our Reading Challenge, send it to us at Our favourite books are the ones we have in our collection, but as long as you can borrow them from one of the libraries around the place, we're happy. Lydia Sharpe read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall , by Anne Bronte . Anne Bron

International Day of Peace 2019: Climate Action for Peace

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. This year's theme is Climate Action for Peace, based on Sustainable Development Goal 13, Climate Action . This goal calls for immediate action to lower greenhouse emissions, build resilience and improve education on climate change. Every human is part of the solution - from turning off the lights to taking public transport, to raising awareness in your community. The United Nations supports student involvement in helping to achieve this goal, and has designated 20 September as International Day of Peace Student Observance. Students rallies are being held across the nation, including in Cairns and Townsville . The Peace Day celebrations continue on Saturday, 21 September with a Peace Day Festival in Yorkey's Knob and a CommUnity Peace Picni

Affordable and Clean Energy: JCU Kicking (Sustainable Development) Goals

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals are designed to identify objectives that will tangibly improve the lives of people all over the planet (and the quality of life for the planet itself, as well). Goal number 7 is Affordable and Clean Energy - which is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The United Nations states that progress towards goal 7 in 2019 has seen access to electricity in the poorest countries begin to accelerate. Energy efficiency continues to improve and renewable energy is making gains in the electricity sector. Despite this progress, some 800 million people remain without electricity while access to clean cooking fuels and technologies needs dedicated attention. For this week's showcase on JCU research and the UN SDGs, we'd like to highlight a researcher from the College of Science and Engineering. Associate Professor Ahmad Zahedi   from JCU College of Science a

Reading Hour: Thursday 19 September

In 2019, the Australian Reading Hour will take place on Thursday, 19 September. The premise is simple – pick up a book at any time of the day or night and read for an hour. Reading Hour encourages all Australians to either rediscover or introduce themselves to the benefits of reading. Take the time to learn, escape and relax. In children, reading has been shown to help with identity formation, setting them up for success in the future. In adults, reading has been shown to reduce stress by 68%, more than listening to music, going for a walk, or having a cup of tea. So what are you waiting for? You can use  One Search or the library catalogue  to find your reading material, either print or online. If you're looking for inspiration, check out some of the book reviews from the library's Reading Challenge .

Using the Library Buildings

The library buildings in Cairns and Townsville occupy three floors, and each floor has a different purpose. If you know what the floors are for, then you can find the right floor for your study needs. The ground floor is for collaboration and consultation . This is the floor where you'll find most of the library services (and the Learning Centre, and other services), where you can ask for help, and where you can find group study spaces. You can take phone calls on this floor (but we'd like you to be mindful of your neighbours and take them quietly). This is the best floor for group work. It is a "talking floor", but it's not a "loud" floor - if you think you're going to want to make noise, please move to the student spaces outside the buildings. The first floor is a shared study space, and a designated quiet zone . While we don't mind if you talk on this floor, please keep your voices at a low level and be mindful of other users in the space

Papua New Guinea Independence Day - 16 September

The nation of Papua New Guinea achieved its independence from Australia on 16 September 1975. Independence Day is celebrated with flag raising ceremonies, open air music, dances and markets, and fireworks. The national colours gold, red and black feature prominently in the streets, shops and homes ( Public Holidays Global ). James Cook University has strong connections with Papua New Guinea, including: the  University of Papua New Guinea Twinning Project a significant number of research outputs , accessible through Research Online special collections, including the Bragge Collection The Bragge Collection features two intimately connected components - more than 600 material culture artefacts collected by Laurie Bragge during the time he lived and worked in Papua New Guinea, and the extensive personal library he amassed containing various resources, which he used extensively when writing his multi-volume history of the Sepik. Selected artefacts from the collection are on disp

Reading Challenge Reviews: Specks of dust and deserted islands

This week, for the 2019 Reading Challenge , we promise to review two works that are not, in any way shape or form, Frankenstein . This week we're looking at the society side of the " Family and Society " theme, using a couple of interesting lenses. Shannon reviews a book in which an entire society has to get together to prove it exists, while Sharon reads a story in which civilised society falls in a heap when there's a deserted island involved (no, it's not Lord of the Flies  - although that book would definitely  fit this month's theme). Shannon Harmon read Horton Hears a Who , by Dr Seuss . Dr Seuss' books are great for kids and adults alike. Kids for reading and speech development and the stories themselves, and for adults when rereading these books to discover and appreciate the story and message contained within. I personally hated Dr Seuss as a child, but reading them now to my son, I love them with the wacky language and simple storytelling

Spotlight on Mental Health

Developing and maintaining good mental health is essential to one's overall well-being, resulting in benefits for both the individual, workplace and community. It’s normal to experience mental health issues, to go through 'ups and downs'. But university life can be particularly difficult with the stress of a new environment and the pressures of assignments and exams. JCU is hosting two events to highlight the importance of good mental health and support students and staff: Let's Chalk About Mental Health World Suicide Prevention Day on  Tuesday 10 September  provides an opportunity to raise awareness of suicide prevention.   Everyone is welcome to participate by writing  chalk messages of support, understanding and help.  Red Frogs will be cooking up free pancakes. Date: Tuesday, 10 September Time: 9:00am-10:00am Venue: Founders Green (CNS);  Verandah Walk, near The Science Place (TSV) R U OK? Day -  Join us for coffee, cupcakes and conversation R U O

Clean Water and Sanitation: Kicking (Sustainable Development) Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 objectives that we can work on together to improve the quality of life for all people, and support the planet at the same time. We've been looking at an SDG a week, and finding examples of JCU research or activity which supports that SDG. SDG 6 is Clean Water and Sanitation , and seeks to "ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all". According to the 2017 Sustainable Infrastructure Report in the State of the Tropics , close to 20% of people in the Tropics struggle to access sources of clean water. The report cites "clean water and sanitation" (along with access to clean, reliable and affordable energy) as something that can "help reduce poverty and hunger, improve health outcomes and wellbeing, promote access to education, and assist in realising gender equality". A 2018 article by JCU Public Health lectures and researchers (in collab

Reading Challenge Reviews: Keeping it Frank

In a bold and unusual move, we're kicking off the September theme of " Family and Society " for our 2019 Reading Challenge with a couple of reviews of stories about monsters. Technically, to be, er, frank, they're actually two reviews of the same story about monsters. Tasch reviewed the original story, and Sharon reviewed an adaptation. Why? Because we can. Natascha Kucurs read Frankenstein , by Mary Shelley And here we have an Equinox inspired review. Equinox in more ways than one as we make our way from Winter to Spring in the celestial realm and from Science to Family in the more earthly reading challenge. So what happens when science meets fiction meets family? S cience fiction with a dose of family you say. And how does the notion of reading something like that make you feel? For the uninitiated it can appear a somewhat ‘alien’ genre (ha!), one which conjures images of space craft and dystopian worlds. However, what science fiction really is, is

Reading Challenge, September: "Family and Society"

It's September! We've read our way through eight months of 2019 so far, and now there are only a few months left to go (eek!). You should turn to a family worker, friend or colleague and say "my, this years is just flying past!" Speaking of family members, friends and co-workers, the theme for the 2019 Reading Challenge in September is: Family and Society. There's a lot of scope to play with this (as usual). What is a family? Is it a group of people who are related to each other, or a group of people who relate to each other? And as for society? Well, almost any book can be a comment on society, if you read it that way. Take, for example, the Harry Potter series, which is clearly a critique of the British boarding school culture and the way it creates unhealthy relationships that fester over decades. Or the Chronicles of Narnia , which show that family members ruin pretty much everything. The Lord of the Rings ? Clearly all about overcoming social tens