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

See what’s new – exciting changes for the Library website

We’ve redesigned our homepage to better communicate with you and made our online help services easier to find. 

From Monday 6th July, you will notice some changes around the Library website.  

New homepage 

To help you discover Library initiatives and services, we’ve redesigned our homepage so you can see featured information without having to scroll down the page. 

Say hello to Live Chat, on all pages 

Previously called ‘Chat Now’, you’ll now find a ‘Live Chat’ tab in the lower right of your screen on all pages, so where ever you are on our website help is one click away. Even better, it’s now easier to start chatting with our staff – just type your message and connect instantly. 

‘Ask Us Now’ renamed to ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ 

This is the same service you know and love. Use Frequently Asked Questions to find the Library’s answers to your top questions, 24/7. Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? It’s still easy to send a new question our way. 

We’d love to hear your feedback about these changes as we continue to make improvements to the Library website.  

new homepage layout of Library website

Virtual Information Desk in Fisher Foyer

student speaking with virtual information desk staff

Remember when you’d walk up to the information desk and ask for assistance? Now we’re here, in virtual person, to help you.

In Fisher Library foyer we have our Virtual Information Desk to greet you and help you with any questions. There’s no need to log in and no mobile devices are required – just walk up and chat.

In the first weeks of reopening we’ve had enquiries ranging from how to find books at Fisher Library, to asking if the staff member they are talking to is real! Students love it and some feedback includes ‘Brave New World’, ‘Cool!’, ‘It’s great to be talking to a human!’

As Library staff we’ve enjoyed reconnecting with you face-to-face, even if it is virtual, and it was wonderful to be able to wish students good luck with their exams.

The Virtual Information Desk is open 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday. Come and have a chat, or wave and say hello!

student speaking with virtual information desk staff

Collecting your COVID-19 University Experience

section of quilt designed and made during COVID-19

We want to collect your stories describing your experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Library is creating a collection that documents the university experience of staff and students during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to collect your videos, personal reflections, artworks, photographs, stories, poetry and other expressions of your own experience to help us record this essential part of University history for generations to come. This collection will be made publicly available to be used in research, teaching and for public interest.

Not sure where to start? Consider writing a message to the future:

Imagine you’re sending a message to someone in the future. This may be your future self, your descendants, your community or even someone opening a time capsule from today in a future century. What would you like them to know about the pandemic as experienced through your daily life, your hopes, your fears, what you’ve observed or learnt, unexpected surprises and joys? Your message may take in any form – written, illustrated, composed, sound-based, video, a zine, 3D, or something else entirely. You can give it to us as a digital file(s), or a physical item.

Visit the Collecting COVID-19 website to find out how to share your story. All submissions will be reviewed in line with scope of this collection. Unfortunately, this means we won’t be able to accept everything for the final collection.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a particularly tough time for many people, please remember that there are ways for you to get support:

Support through the University of Sydney (for staff and students)

Other sources of support in Australia

Here are some of our submissions to inspire you!

Eight Million Gods in Nihon: the Practice of Shintō and the Japanese Culture

tower gate of Katori Shrine

Drawing on the Japanese pre-war postcards collection from the Library’s East Asian Collection, Rare Books & Special Collections student intern Jiawen (Chloe) Li (Master of Museum and Heritage Studies) introduces the practice of Shintō and explores its place in the Japanese culture today.


Shintō (神道) has been at the heart of Japanese culture since the country has named itself Nihon (日本), “the sun’s origin”. It originated in the relationship between ancient Japanese and the power they found in nature . Through centuries of recorded history, Shintō continues to take part in the framing of Japan both to the outside world and to the Japanese themselves. Shintō is a way of life and a way of thinking. Drawing on the Japanese postcard collection from the University Library’s East Asian Collection, this online exhibition is about to walk you through the spiritual Shintō world.

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Some Library spaces will reopen on Monday 15 June

reopen announcement image Fisher Library

For the most up to date information and what you need to know before you visit the Library, please see our COVID-19 page.  

The University of Sydney Library is happy to announce that five library spaces will be reopening for University staff and students from Monday 15 June 2020.

At this time access to Library spaces is limited to University staff and students via swipe with valid University ID only. 

  • Fisher and Law libraries will be open from 8am – 6pm every day.
  • Bosch Commons, Camden Commons and The Quarter will be open 24/7.  

As we open Library spaces and re-introduce services, the health and safety of students and staff are essential. Restrictions will be in place to ensure hygiene and 1.5m physical distancing at all times. Be considerate of the people around you and the spaces you occupy.

Fisher and Law libraries, Bosch and Camden Commons and the Quarter will open with access to study spaces, meeting rooms, books, journals and DVDs.

Online and modified services will continue to replace face-to-face services at this time.

  • Chat Now – live online chat service with Library staff
  • Research Consultations – online meetings with Academic Liaison Librarians 
  • PeerConnect – 1:1 video chat with a Peer Learning Advisor
  • Virtual Information Desk – face-to-face virtual help in the Fisher foyer

For a full list of available services, please see the COVID-19 page.