The Lion’s Den: We have a winner!

On 14 September the eight finalists in the Lion’s Den challenge pitched their ideas to a panel of expert judges that included members from the Sydney Innovation Hub, Incubate, ICT, and the Library.

The winner William Beckwith (left) and MC Danny Giles (right).

The winner!

The winning pitch was presented by William Beckwith, a 3rd year psychology student who proposed changes to the ICT computers (both a time out feature and an instructional display) to influence a change in behaviour of how students use and share the computer resources.

The runners-up

The two runner-up students were an engineering undergraduate pitching electronic displays at Library entrances that show computer availability, and a business school undergraduate proposing a safety program to facilitate students meeting to travel to public transport together after the campus shuttle ceases operation in the evening.

And many more ideas…

Other great ideas that were presented on the night were short-term lockers at study desks, standing desks, stationery vending machines; massage chairs and short-term lockers in the Library. All of the students did a wonderful job presenting their ideas, as did the MC Danny Giles in hosting the night. The judges didn’t hold back in their questions and the contestants all did superbly in defending their pitches.

It was a great night, and provided the students with a wonderful opportunity to develop their proposal writing and pitching skills, and also allowed the Library to see some great ideas that we can use to help develop client-centred services.

Well done everyone!

Art and Nature: Antidotes to anxiety

Emma is hard at work in Fisher Library bumping in her fabulous exhibition Art and Nature: Antidotes to Anxiety, as part of the Big Anxiety Festival

In this new exhibition artist and Sydney University PhD student Emma Robertson suggests a combination of art and nature as antidote to anxiety.

When: 20 September-14 October 2017; 10am-5pm

Where: Fisher Library levels 2, 3 and 4.

Art and nature both provide antidotes to feelings of anxiety, as shown by recent research into biophilia and ecopsychology. This exhibition, in glass vitrines across three floors of the Fisher Library at Sydney University, explores images of plants which enhance a calm meditation, and a mindful response. Observing natural forms has been statistically proven to reduce blood pressure, increase immune responses, and help alleviate depression and anxiety. Reflecting on images of nature can provide us with a source of healing and improve well-being, and the exhibition is part of a community of activities that form part of the Big anxiety festival of arts + science + people

About the artist:

Emma Robertson is an award winning artist, whose work is in several public collections in four countries. The Hospital Trust for Scotland purchased two works for their permanent collection, which were commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council for the exhibition Woodworks. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Sciential Education Fellow / Associate Professor at UNSW, and a previous Artist in Resident at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

Quick Bites: Open-everything? Transparency in peer review

Hot on the heels of our last offering on external engagement in the humanities, arts and social sciences comes this Quick Bite focused on the concept of transparency in peer review. Register below to secure your place and keep your eyes peeled for upcoming Quick Bites throughout Semester 2…

Open-everything? Transparency in peer review

Academic publishing is changing, and fast. In a landscape of increasingly open scholarship, open peer review is gaining momentum – inviting questions about what transparency actually means and how we can achieve it.

Coinciding with Peer Review Week, this Quick Bite talk will look at emerging trends in peer review, and offer guidance in evaluating journal editorial guidelines and processes.

Hosted by the University Library in collaboration with the DVC Research Portfolio, this interdisciplinary event is primarily targeted at HDR students and ECRs, although all academic and professional staff are invited to attend.


Presenters: Edward Luca, Academic Liaison Librarian, University Library
Muriel Swijghuisen Reigersberg, Research Development Manager (Strategy), DVC Research Portfolio
When:  Wednesday 20 September, 12:15pm-12:45pm
Where: New Law School Annex -Seminar Room 444


This presentation will be recorded. Slides will be uploaded to the Library’s Quick Bites You Tube playlist approximately one week after the event.

Provocations: Avant-Garde Art in China in the 1980s

Cover image: Plate 18: Zhang Peili X? Series: No. 4 1987 Oil on Canvas; 31 1/2 x 39 3/8 in. (80 x 100 cm); private collection

An exhibition curated by Bingqing Wei and Minerva Inwald

Plate 18: Zhang Peili X? Series, 1986. Oil on Canvas; 31 1/2 x 39 3/8 in. (80 x 100 cm); private collection From Inside/out : new Chinese art / edited by Gao Minglu ; with essays by Norman Bryson ... [et al.].

Where: Exhibition Space, Level 2, Fisher Library

When: 31 August 2017- 15 July 2018.

or check out the Virtual Exhibition:

The 1980s was a period of dramatic political, cultural, and economic change in the People’s Republic of China. During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), socialist ideology penetrated every facet of China’s social and cultural realms. After the Cultural Revolution concluded, the Chinese Communist Party shifted towards a policy of “opening and reform.” China’s cultural authorities loosened their control over the artistic sphere, ushering in a period of discussion, debate, and artistic experimentation. For thirty years, official cultural policy had demanded that artistic production “serve the masses” and “serve politics.” In the liberal atmosphere of the mid-1980s, a new generation of path-breaking artists emerged across China, forming “avant-garde” groups collectively known as the ’85 New Wave movement. Concerned with the future of China’s artistic culture, ’85 New Wave artists critically engaged with Western artistic and philosophical concepts and experimented with artistic form, expanding and diversifying the artistic field. Supported by a coterie of art critics, theorists, and curators, these avant-garde artists held provocative exhibitions and published iconoclastic manifestoes. In 1989, the government’s violent crackdown on student protestors brought a decisive end to this period of avant-garde exploration, extinguishing the optimistic spirit of avant-gardism that characterised the 1980s.

This exhibition introduces materials relating to China’s avant-garde held in University of Sydney library collections, including the East Asian Collection and the Schaeffer Fine Arts Library. Focusing on important Chinese fine art periodicals donated to the University of Sydney by Professor John Clark, this exhibition explores the artworks, exhibitions, and ideas that animated the Chinese art world of the 1980s. Supplementing these primary sources with important art historical texts, this exhibition seeks to demonstrate how materials in University of Sydney library collections can be used to explore this dynamic period of art history.


Rare Breeds: The Dogs of Rare Books and Special Collections

Topsell, Edward. The history of four-footed beasts and serpents. London : Printed by E. Cotes, for G. Sawbridge ... T. Williams ... and T. Johnson, 1658. RB Wing G624.


When: Until 31st January 2018

Where: Level 3 Corridor, Fisher Library F03 and Scitech Library


They pursue ill-fated hares across the pages of treatises on hunting; captivate poets and artists as the subjects of dedicated portraits and odes; linger quietly as background figures in illustrations and paintings; and populate narratives in all manner of roles from protagonist to confidante.

Dogs appear frequently in cultural records of many kinds dating back to antiquity. This is hardly surprising, given the longevity and strength of their relationship with humans. Their companionship and utility to man have been extensively documented and discussed by historians, scientists and enthusiasts. Also evident is their ability to captivate the human imagination as exemplars and symbols, positive and sinister, from models of loyalty to harbingers of death.

This exhibition presents a selection of cultural depictions of dogs found in Rare Books & Special Collections, and thus a snapshot of the canine-human relationship as expressed in art and literature. From the wild and mysterious to the familiar and faithful, dogs of all kinds have been coaxed from their kennels, dens and chaise-lounges into the spotlight. No doubt there are many more waiting to be found.

Quick Bites – Kick starting collaborative research partnerships

The Library’s Quick Bite program – a series of short, sharp presentations targeted at Higher Degree Research students and Early Career Researchers – is back and better than ever! Register for our first offering below and keep your eyes peeled for upcoming Quick Bites throughout Semester 2:


Kick starting collaborative research partnerships in the humanities, arts and social sciences

Interested in translating your academic research into real world social impact? Have a potential research partner in mind but unsure of how to forge a research collaboration?

Coinciding with Innovation Week, this Quick Bite will outline tips, tools and strategies to help you navigate the world of research partnerships.

Target audience

Higher Degree Research students and Early Career Researchers



Emma Petherbridge, Academic Liaison Librarian, University Library

Anna Noonan, Business Development Manager, Commercial Development & Industry Partnerships


When:                              Wednesday 16 August, 12.15pm-12.45pm

Where:                             New Law School Annex – Seminar Room 446



This presentation will be recorded. Slides will be uploaded to the Library’s Quick Bites You Tube playlist approximately one week after the event.