Nursing Library moving to a new home

Nursing Library

Today (Friday 27 November) is a significant day for the University of Sydney Nursing Library – this is its last day in Mallett Street on the second floor of the old Bonds Factory (originally built in 1917). After its doors close today, the library’s collections and staff will be relocating to the new Susan Wakil Health Building Library, opening in February 2021.

The Nursing Library housed the collections for nursing and midwifery, as well as material on the social sciences and biology. Students enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere and large space to spread out and focus.

Take a trip down memory lane

Watch this virtual tour of the Nursing Library (from 2012), featuring a young librarian who might now be one of the Library’s directors!

Learn about the history of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sydney

Photo gallery

Introducing Leganto: a new reading list platform

Pile of books from the Library

In a year in which teaching support has never been more important and equitable access to online reading material is one of the highest priorities, we’re pleased to announce a transition to an enhanced Unit of Study reading list platform, Leganto.

Leganto has a cleaner and more intuitive interface, creating a better user experience for teachers and students.

After running a pilot with a small number of courses in January 2021, we will roll out the new platform to all University schools and faculties for the start of Semester 1, 2021.

A better user experience

A major advantage of the new system is that it is part of the Library Services Platform (LSP). When a coordinator or instructor in a course locates a resource through the Library website, they can ‘drag and drop’ it straight into their reading list. A list can be composed very quickly and easily with this function. Furthermore, the ‘Cite-It’ widget allows the addition of content from anywhere on the web, opening up the use of open-source material.

In addition to electronic resources being more easily accessible, Leganto provides better functionality in creating access to physical items, scanned files and AV materials.

Another advantage is reading list analytics: a highly sought-after feature, according to consistent feedback from academics. Course coordinators will be able to use Leganto to track engagement with course material and update their list accordingly.

Training and support

The Library will support academics’ familiarisation with Leganto through a robust training program that will commence in January and continue into first semester 2021. In addition, we will provide real-time support in the peak lead-up and post-semester periods, to troubleshoot any issues encountered.

For academics who have a current eReserve list, the Library will transition this list to Leganto prior to the first semester start.

We are already consulting with faculties and schools as we approach the start of the pilot in January 2021 and we look forward to working with you.

For more information

If you have any further questions, please contact Adi Piersol, Associate Director Site Services ( or Michael Arndell, Associate Director Academic Services (

Health Sciences and Nursing to come together in a new library

Susan Wakil Health Building

Our Nursing and Health Sciences libraries will close on 27 November and 11 December 2020 respectively, in preparation to move their collections, staff and services to a new home at the Susan Wakil Health Building Library, opening in Semester 1, 2021.

This move is part of the relocation of the School of Health Sciences, School of Nursing and Midwifery and Central Clinical School to the Camperdown Campus by 2021.

University Librarian Philip Kent described the transition as a “historic moment”.

“Library colleagues and collections that have been central to nursing and health science communities for decades in our predecessor institutions will unite. We will deliver contemporary library services in a purpose-built new facility,” he said.

In the intermediate period between the Health Sciences and Nursing libraries closing and the new Susan Wakil Health Building Library opening in February, the resources from these collections will be temporarily unavailable.

If you need any of these resources in the interim, you will need to borrow them before the libraries close; alternatively you can use Resource Sharing to access material from one of the University’s partner libraries.

Key dates to remember

The Nursing Library will close on Friday 27 November 2020. The Health Sciences Library will close on Friday 11 December 2020.

Last date toNursing LibraryHealth Sciences Library
Borrow an item27 November11 December
Return an item27 November11 December
Request to collect an item16 November27 November

If you need to return any borrowed items to these libraries after the relevant closing date(s), please take them to one of our other Library locations. 

Any requested item not collected by the relevant closing date will be available for pick-up from Fisher Library the day after. This excludes 2-hour collection items which will be available from the Fisher Library slightly later: from 2 December (Nursing Library items), and 16 December (Health Sciences Library items).

Learn more

If you have any further enquiries or wish to provide feedback, please contact Adi Piersol, Associate Director Site Services, University of Sydney Library (

Susan Wakil Health Building

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.

Creating and keeping our digital content

Celebrating World Digital Preservation Day – 5 November 2020

Academic, cultural, business and scientific organisations around the world celebrate World Digital Preservation Day. It is a day where we acknowledge that for our digital content to have an enduring lifespan, it must be cared for.

Sometimes it is easy to forget where exactly digital content we captured or created is stored. Understanding ‘cloud’ services where we may keep our content are also rarely transparent to us as individuals.

In this year of COVID-19, we’ve become further dependent on the digital environment. The Library’s digital collections projects have continued this year, digitising and making available collection items from our Rare Books & Special Collections, and supporting the Open Access publishing of Higher Degree by Research digital theses – all content that can be accessed remotely.

We have also created new initiatives for students, staff and alumni, such as ‘writing a message to the future’ or contributing digital content created to our COVID-19 collecting project. Now more than ever it is essential we act responsibly; stewarding our digital content in the present, to ensure its availability in the future.

A large proportion of the digital content in our collections needs to be preserved. Prior to the pandemic reaching Australian shores, in early 2020 the University of Sydney Library became a member of the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC). Being a part of the this international community helps us to:

  • develop staff skillsets through training opportunities
  • share specialist technical knowledge
  • discuss organisational change strategies
  • learn from similar institutions.

The University of Sydney Library has begun its journey of preserving its digital content in our collections, yet we are aware of the many challenges that lie ahead.

We know ‘dark archives’ are required for the long-term storage of our ‘preservation master’ files.

We are also aware that libraries such as ours have content on older carriers, which can take effort to transfer from, due to fragility of the carriers and requiring legacy equipment to read it.

Older storage media such as CDs, zip drives, floppy disks

The University of Sydney Library is committed to providing the best experience for teaching and learning. A key consideration is how we can protect and preserve valuable resources, and provide access to these collections now and into the future. Join us in celebrating World Digital Preservation Day in recognition of these efforts.

Extended open hours

The Library will be extending its opening hours for five weeks, from 9 November to 12 December, to support our community during the examination period.

See the full list of Library locations and current opening hours.

Summary of changes

From Monday 9 November 2020, the Library will be updating the following services:

  • Extended opening and information desk hours Monday to Friday at Fisher, Law, SciTech, the Conservatorium, Health Sciences and Nursing libraries.
  • Extended information desk hours on weekends at Fisher Library.
  • Live Chat will operate 10am to 10pm Monday to Thursday, 10am to 8pm Fridays and 10am to 2pm on weekends.

ThinkSpace and Rare Books & Special Collections will continue to be accessible by appointment only. Academic Liaison Librarians will be available for in-person and online research consultations by appointment.

Library locations are only accessible by currently enrolled University of Sydney students and staff. You will still need to swipe in with your Student or Staff ID card when entering our spaces.

We ask visitors to our Library locations to continue to follow our Conditions of Entry to help us all stay COVID safe on campus.