Welcome Week, Semester 2: the Library can’t wait to meet you!

cartoon graphic for welcome week 2021

Have you ever wondered what 5 million Library resources look like? The best way to get familiar with the services and facilities we have to offer is Welcome Week, Semester 2.

From Monday 2 August to Week 1 of Semester 2, we have a jam-packed schedule of awesome activities for you to take part in.

Learn about what study looks like at Uni with Welcome to your Library

Finding information at uni will probably be a bit different from what you’ve done in the past. At uni, you’re part of the scholarly conversation. Find out more about what that means, your responsibilities as a contributor, and how you can get the most out of it.

Get to know our friendly team at Meet the Library Online

The Library is a safe and inclusive community looking forward to welcoming you. Join us for an online Q&A session with Meet the Library Online. Our friendly team is here to answer all your questions about our services and how we can best support you to succeed at uni.

Meet your peers at Plan Your Semester & Think.Create.Innovate

Starting uni is exciting, but it can also be a little overwhelming. Peer Learning Advisors are current students who will share with you their tips on how to manage your time, refine your study skills, or just look after yourself. Come along to Plan Your Semester to organise your semester well ahead and Think.Create.Innovate to discover the coolest and most innovative spaces on campus!

Make new friends at Uni with Speed Meet & Chat and Ni Hao Mate

One of the most exciting things about starting uni is meeting cool and interesting people! Come along to Speed Meet & Chat get a chance to meet heaps of people in this fast-paced session and Ni Hao Mate to learn about Chinese and Australian culture!

Check out our full program of events of the Welcome Week website.

We can’t wait to meet you!

Pride Month at the Library: Wear it with Pride

arms wearing LGBTQIA Pride bracelets

At the Library, we’re dedicated to providing a safe, inclusive environment for everyone. In June, Pride Month celebrates people who identify as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community (LGBTQIA+).  

Pick up your free, Library Pride wristband 

An easy way to show your support is by wearing one of our rainbow wristbands. The wristband is a simple conversation starter, and a colourful reminder of progress made towards true equality.  

Visit an Information desk at the Conservatorium, Fisher, Sci-Tech, or Susan Wakil Libraries to pick up your free, Library Pride wristband before the end of June. 

Find LGBTQIA+ support at the Library 

We have a dedicated LGBTQIA+ Liaison officer, Sam, who promotes our inclusive Library environment. Sam can connect you with the people and services you need to make uni-life as rainbow as can be. 

Learn more about Library LGBTQIA+ support 

Listen to the Library LGBTQIA+ playlist 

To celebrate the diversity and creativity of the community, the Library has created a LGBTQIA+ themed Spotify playlist. Why not tune in for some great sounds, including some classic party anthems. 

Listen to the Library Pride playlist on Spotify 

Happy Pride Month everyone! 

Celebrating NAIDOC Week

Decal inside the Fisher Library

In 2020, NAIDOC Week (8–15 November) is dedicated to the theme ‘Always was, always will be’, celebrating the 65,000+ years of Indigenous custodianship of this continent.

If you’d like to get involved in this year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations, why not explore some of the Library’s First Nations resources? Below are some highlights. Keep an eye on our social media (Facebook and Twitter) for other NAIDOC Week activities.

First Nations voices in the Library collection

Our Aboriginal Studies Guide is where you will find books, news, journals and video featuring Aboriginal languages and culture, as well as links to websites and other resources with Aboriginal perspectives.

Earlier this year, Nathan mudyi Sentence, the Library’s Wingara Mura Librarian, put together a reading list of books and articles written by First Nations authors, with an emphasis on history, truth-telling, and self-representation.

Jazz Money

Throughout NAIDOC Week, the Library will be showcasing video works by Jazz Money, a Wiradjuri artist commissioned by the Library through a Wingara Mura grant for a Digital Placemaking Project to develop a series of artworks for Library spaces.

These pieces from Jazz’s collection are a response to the devastation of the bushfires that closed 2019 and heralded in the new decade. Titled ‘living landscape’, ‘burnt’ and ‘slow water’, these videos on display in Fisher Library reflect the artist’s grieving for Country and kin, as they seek out hope amidst the helplessness of mass destruction.

Wajarra from Wave Hill

On the Library website, you can watch and listen to performances of wajarra, public songs sung by the Gurindji people of the Northern Territory. Gurindji stock workers including Vincent Lingiari famously led the 1966 Wave Hill walk-off, a major victory in the Indigenous land rights movement.

The wajarra performances on the Library’s website include the ‘Freedom Day song set, which commemorates and celebrates those events. These recordings accompany the book Songs from the Stations, part of the Sydney University Press Indigenous Music of Australia series.

The series has also featured wangga singers from north-western Australia; you can hear their voices and learn more about wangga in the Library’s digital collections.

Indigenous languages

The Library is working to make it easier to search and discover items in our collection that feature Indigenous Australian languages, by adding AUSTLANG codes to relevant catalogue entries.

For example, whether your preferred spelling is “Kamilaroi”, “Gamilaraay” or Gamilaroi, you will now be able to find resources like Gagan = Colours, a picture book written for Gamilaraay language learners by Suellyn Tighe, a Gamilaraay woman and University of Sydney graduate.

Celebrating LGBT History Month with Peter de Waal AM


In celebration of LGBT History Month, the University of Sydney Library and the Pride Network are proud to be co-hosting a presentation by a trailblazing activist of the Sydney LGBTQIA+ community, Peter de Waal AM.

The presentation will be held online, via Zoom, on Thursday 29 October from 2 to 3pm.


Register for the talk here.

Peter de Waal (left) with his partner
Peter Bonsall-Boone

Peter will speak about what it was like being a homosexual couple in the 1960s and 1970s and the challenge of being ‘out’ in that era. After sharing this personal story, Peter will participate in a 30-minute Q and A session about his work as an activist.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet a true pioneer of LGBTQIA+ rights as we commemorate the fighting spirit of all those, like Peter, who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of so many.

About the speaker

Peter de Waal AM is a long-term LGBTQIA+ rights activist and author. Among his many achievements, he was a foundation member of CAMP Inc (Campaign Against Moral Persecution) in 1970, the first national homosexual rights organisation in Australia and publisher of the monthly magazine CAMP INK, from 1970 to 1977.

Peter was involved in the first homosexual rights demonstration in Sydney in 1971 in support of law reform. In 1972, he appeared on the ABC program Chequerboard, together with his partner Peter Bonsall-Boone. In 1973, they established the first Australian volunteer homosexual telephone help line, Phone-A-Friend, now called Twenty10 – Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service.

A few years later, Peter’s initiation of the first-ever Tribunal on Homosexuals and Discrimination resulted in the NSW State Government developing anti-discrimination legislation. Peter became a member of the Sydney-based Gay Task Force in the late 1970s, and participated in the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978.

During the 1980s, Peter was a health promotion coordinator at the Bankstown Community Health Centre, and a volunteer immigration advisor with the NSW Gay and Lesbian Immigration Task Force from 1989 to 1998.


Digital Placemaking Project

interior Fisher Library foyer

When you visit our library sites do you ever think of the story of these places, the culture of millennia integrally connected to the land we are on?

The Library has an exciting new project announcement! We’re commissioning digital artwork by First Nations artists to inform and celebrate cultural and historical context for our physical library sites and incorporate an Acknowledgement of Country. These artworks will be displayed on screens throughout library sites and on our huge ThinkSpace video wall.

This opportunity to highlight the story of the culture of the region is part of the University of Sydney 2020 program focussing on diversity and inclusion through a Wingara Mura grant from the Deputy Vice Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Services.

Visit our web page for more details and to access the link to the ‘Expressions of Interest’ document which contains the full artwork scope and specifications, key elements, timelines and terms and conditions.

Submission close 31 July 2020

Sydney Rare Book Week: Free events this October!

The Library is excited to announce that this October, together with the State Library of NSW, we will be hosting the inaugural Sydney Rare Book Week: A week-long program of free talks and events to celebrate the importance of everything books: literature, publishing, book production, collecting & more.

Sydney Rare Book Week will be held at venues across Sydney from Sunday, 27 October to Saturday, 2 November 2019. There is something for everyone – talks and lectures, walking tours, exhibitions, hands on workshops, and behind the scenes visits.  The free events held here at the University of Sydney include:

Introduction to hand printing on the Albion Press Workshops

Have you ever used a letterpress? This workshop is an introduction to hand-printing using the University of Sydney Library’s Piscator Press. The course includes an overview of the history of letterpress printing, showing examples from our Rare Books & Special Collections.  Register for your opportunity to try the Piscator Press yourself & create your own print to take home.

Evening lecture: Giorgione in Sydney

Rare Books & Special Collections at the University of Sydney Library holds a first edition copy of Dante’s Divine comedy printed in Venice in 1497. In 2017 a chance discovery by a Librarian of an inscription and sketch in the back of this book has revealed the inscription to be a notice of the death of the elusive Venetian Renaissance artist, Giorgione, and the sketch, of the Madonna and Child, has since been attributed to him. 

Join Jaynie Anderson, Professor Emeritus in Art History at the University of Melbourne, and international expert on Giorgione discussing this remarkable find and its implications for rewriting Venetian art history.

Thursday 31 October 2019, 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Places are limited, please register your attendance online.

Sydney Rare Book Fair

Sydney Rare Book Week will conclude with the Sydney Rare Book Fair at MacLaurin Hall on Friday 1st November 1pm to 7pm & Saturday 2nd November 10am to 4pm.

Hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), Australian and international booksellers will display a broad, diverse and interesting selection of books, maps, manuscripts and ephemera, including early printed books, historical accounts of travel, prints, literature, art, militaria, and children’s books.

Whether you already have your own personal library and wish to add to it or would like to know more about book collecting, this is your opportunity to explore the world of rare and antiquarian books with experts in the field.

For the full program of events, and to register your attendance, visit the State Library of NSW Website

#SydneyRareBookWeek