How we’ve improved our study spaces

Following our Lion’s Den challenge and recent surveys, Library staff have been working hard to introduce new ideas into our spaces to make student experience even better… just in time for first semester exams.

Improvements we’ve been working on include: 

Improved Kitchenette facilities

In Fisher Library, we’ve improved our kitchenette facilities with new microwaves and seating areas. Don’t forget – there’s also vending machines and a 24/7 coffee machine available for late night study energy boosts.

More study spaces & standing desks

We have installed over 190 new study spaces across SciTech, Fisher and Law Libraries, equipped with power and USB outlets. Prefer studying standing up? We have new high-level standing desks on Level 6 of Fisher Library.

Silent Zones

Noticed our new blue ‘Silent’ signage around our spaces?  Last year our Library staff conducted surveys on our 3-tiered Quiet, Silent and Group zoning. Results showed that this system was generally too confusing, therefore the new scheme simply has specific marked silent zones and all other spaces are unmarked.  

If you want a quiet place to study, head for a spot with blue signage.

Printing in central locations

All printers in Fisher Library are now located on levels 3 & 4. There are also quick print service ICT kiosks available for your convenience.

Uncover the Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections Treasures in our series of lunchtime talks

Rare Bites is a series of 30 minute lunchtime talks held monthly during semester. Each talk features an expert speaker spotlighting specific Rare Books and Special Collections resources that are part of their field of study.

The series gives the opportunity for staff & students to learn about some of the treasures and lesser-known gems within Rare Books & Special Collections.

Talk One:
More than just its prayers: A late medieval Dutch Prayer Book in Fisher Library

Our first talk More than just its prayers: A late medieval Dutch Prayer Book in Fisher Library is by Dan Anlezark- McCaughey Professor of Early English Literature and Language; Director, Medieval and Early Modern Centre; Associate Dean Research (Education) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of English who will be talking about the book from our collection: Add. Ms. 342

[A prayer book in Latin and Dutch]. 1501. Netherlands.

Add. Ms. 342 is an unstudied late medieval prayer book in Middle Dutch and Latin. This late fifteenth-century manuscript, written on paper, is only minimally decorated, and is the kind of book that was the output of mass production in the Low Countries in the later Middle Ages. The book appears to have remained in private ownership from the time it was made until relatively recently, as is indicated by the inscription of a number of names (including those of children) up to the early nineteenth century.

This short talk will provide a brief overview of the book in its evolving historical contexts, from the time of its manufacture, until it was acquired by the Fisher Library.

Cost: Free

When: 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Wednesday 20 March 2019

Where: Fisher Seminar Room (218), level 2

Register online (places limited)

Talk Two: Illustrations to micrographs: Visualising patterns in Botany

Learning about the world around us involves observing and recognising the patterns. In science, learning is about sharing and challenging “the what” and “the how” of our observations through discussion within the classroom and with the scientific community at large.

Botanische Wandtafeln (1874-1911), RB Elephant Folio 580 2
Online at https://digital.library.sydney.edu.au/nodes/view/6401

Join Associate Professor Rosanne Quinnell from Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science discussing Botanische Wandatafeln – a series of technical scientific illustrations (1874-1911) distributed globally as teaching tools to support student learning in botany.

Reliance on these illustrations of resources fell out favour for a number of reasons including the advent of digital imaging which coincided with the explosion in the number of online resources (including the University’s eBOT collection). Re-utilising Leopold Kny’s series in a digital platform allows for an enriched dialogue about how science, in general, and botany, is communicated.

Associate Professor Rosanne Quinnell is from Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science. Dr Quinnell’s research and teaching focus on plant sciences and the use of technology-enhanced solutions to improve student learning e.g. Botany, Zoology and Human Biology virtual microscopy slide collections, eBOT botanical image repository, electron laboratory notebooks, CampusFlora apps.

Cost: Free

When: 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Wednesday 17th April

Where: Fisher Seminar Room (218), level 2

Register online (places limited)

Stay tuned for details of more upcoming Rare Bites talks throughout the year.

2019 Printer in Residence announced!

Barbara Campbell, 2016


The Library is excited to announce Artist Barbara Campbell as the 2019 Printer in Residence.

With an extensive creative practice spanning printmaking, performance, bookmaking and concept-driven enquiry, Barbara Campbell will take up residency in the Piscator Press workshop during Semester 2.

You can explore her work on her Vimeo page.

Her project ‘A Bird is in the Library’ brings together her passion for print techniques, text, libraries, and birds. It anticipates engagement with library users in an imaginative journey via letterpress and the architecture of the library and its systems.

Stay tuned for more updates coming… Watch for the birds!

Lunchtime Connections: Next steps after uni

It’s never too early to start planning your next steps after Uni.

Come along to our first Lunchtime Connections for 2019 and chat to Career Development Officer, Daniel Laurence. Daniel can help you to start planning your career, build you network, give you pro-tips to improve your employability, what to expect when starting in a new role, starting your own business or taking a gap-year or working holiday.

Daniel has worked in over 5 countries and can offer a wealth of knowledge whether you’re an international or domestic student or if you hoping to build a career in Australia or abroad.

This is an informal drop-in session so there’s no need to book. Just come along and chat to Daniel in the student kitchen on level 3 of Fisher Library from 12.00pm – 1.00pm on Wednesday 17th April.

6 ways to use the Library’s Digital Collections in your research

A sample of the resources available through the new Digital Collection platform

The Library has launched the new Digital Collections platform making the Library’s digital resources more accessible. Over 5,600 digital items are now available to search online in one place.

Here are seven ways to use the Library’s new Digital Collections platform in your research:

1. For the first time, you can search across many of the Digital Collections

2. You can now save and sort resources according to your research projects under ‘My Collection’

3. You can view your ‘browsing history’ making it easier to find what you were previously searching for (this is automatically cleared once you leave the website for your privacy)

4. The search expands access to the Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections through making more of our digitised collections available

5. The platform has a mobile friendly interface, allowing for easier sharing and engagement

6. You can search across the text of collections like Hermes and Honi for the first time as our new system detects and uploads text from each page of our items

Browse and explore the Library’s Digital Collections.

The Golden Age of Dutch Printing

In the seventeenth century, a period known as the Dutch golden age, Dutch book production led the world.

Atlas minor…noveau revue, et augmente / Gerardus Mercator (1512-94). Amsterdami, excusam in aedilus Judoci Hondii [1613]. RB 6113.1

Dutch dominance of European printing at this time can be attributed to two main factors: the Dutch Republic’s position as a centre of international trade, and its relative freedom of the press. This exhibition showcases some examples of fine Dutch printing held in Rare Books & Special Collections.

When: 18th March – 23rd September 2019

Where: Fisher Library, Level 1