Protocols for cultural safety in our Library

Gadi tree at the University of Sydney

We are very proud to announce the launch of the Library’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Protocols, a sector-leading piece of work that will support our goal of making the Library a welcoming, inclusive and culturally safe space.

The Protocols were written during 2020 by Nathan Sentance, our Cultural Advisor in Residence, in consultation with key Library and University stakeholders, including the Library’s Wingara Mura Project Group, and the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services).

They are now available for anyone to read on the University’s repository.

The Protocols contain a range of commitments by the Library to promote culturally safe practices across services, spaces and resources. We will work to ensure that all staff, students and community members with whom we interact feel safe, respected and valued.

As a site of knowledge production and custodian of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, and the knowledges of other First Nations peoples, the Library is mindful of Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property (ICIP) and encourages ethical use of the First Nations cultural knowledge and culturally appropriate research practices.

There is still a lot of work to be done, beginning with the implementation of the policies and processes outlined in these Protocols through a series of specialised projects over the next couple of years. However, with the finalisation and publication of the Protocols, we have taken a major first step on this journey.

Gadi tree at the University of Sydney
Gadi tree on Eastern Avenue, Camperdown Campus, the University of Sydney

Jump Into Semester 2 With Our Online Study Tips Sessions 

desk with laptop

Calling all students keen on making a strong start to Semester 2, and who want to get motivated for online study, now! Calling all students who want to tackle stress, improve their personal organisation skills, and build a strong social network at uni! 

And…calling all academics and university staff who want to help their students start the semester on the front-foot: with healthy online study habits, a firm foundation of personal resilience, and the skills and confidence to tackle stress, and thoughtfully organise their time and their study routine! 

Your University Library is teaming up with the University’s Student Life portfolio, and Student Support Services, to present a series of Online Study Tips workshops. This innovative, cross-university collaboration will strengthen the virtual (and on-campus) student experience of new, returning and International Students.

Each session will be full of hints and tips to ensure participants get the most out of online study, and will be delivered twice weekly in a casual, conversational online environment. And best of all, they’re hosted by our experienced team of student peers, who – as currently enrolled University of Sydney students- have a wealth of practical knowledge about healthy study routines, and navigating the often-challenging world of university.

These sessions will also give students with English as a second or other language a perfect opportunity to practice their English in a casual, non-judgmental environment. 

 Topics covered include:  

  • Getting your study space ready for online study   
  • Managing stress and motivation   
  • Understanding Canvas   
  • Navigating your online classroom   
  • Organising your digital life

We know the last 6 months have radically changed the way we all study, learn and work, so these sessions are for all students, including new and returning students, International students, or anyone wanting a bit of support developing healthy study-from-home/online learning skills.   

To book, simply go to this page, scroll down and find the next Online Study Tips session (or sessions – you can attend more than one!) and register online. Academics and University staff – please pass this notice on to any students you think could benefit from it. 

We can’t wait to see you – or your students – there!  

desk with laptop

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!

New Library Hours & Extended Online Support for 2020

UPDATE***** 25/03/2020

Library spaces have closed and services have changed.

To prioritise wellness within the university community, all University Library sites on all campuses are closed from today, 6pm, Wednesday 25 March 2020 until further notice. This includes all 24/7 Library spaces.

For more information on the University Library’s response to COVID-19 and to learn about the library support available to you, please see our COVID-19 Support webpage: https://library.sydney.edu.au/help/covid-19/.

  • The Library will remain open online and continue providing support for research and study. A Chat Now service will be available Monday–Thursday 8am–10pm, and Friday 8am–8pm.
  • Additionally, the Library’s extensive electronic collection of more than 1 million scholarly ejournals and eBooks are available 24/7 from any global location.
  • External library return chutes will remain open at Fisher, SciTech and Health Sciences libraries.

We look forward to seeing and helping you soon online!


Starting Monday 24 February 2020, opening and information desk hours during semester will change in some Library sites.

We will also expand our online support available to staff and students through our live online chat service, Chat Now. From Semester 1, Chat Now will operate from 10am-10pm Monday to Thursday, and 10am-8pm on Fridays.

Chat Now is the Library’s live online chat service which enables clients to ask questions and talk to Library staff in real-time. The extended hours mean clients can access support when they need it most, wherever they might be: in the library, at home or anywhere in the world!

Changes across sites include the following:

Fisher and Law Libraries

Fisher and Law Libraries will remain open to staff and students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, Library information desks (and equipment kept behind the desk) will close at 8pm, Monday to Friday.

After 8pm, you can chat with Library staff online via Chat Now until 10pm, Monday to Thursday.

To provide more support to students on Sundays, the Fisher Information desk will open from 9am-5pm each Sunday. This means staff and students in Fisher and Law Libraries can get more in-person support Sunday mornings at the Fisher Information desk. However, the Law Information Library desk will be open on Sundays from 1-5pm.

  Monday-Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Fisher & Law Libraries 24/7 24/7 24/7 24/7
Fisher desk 8am-8pm 8am-8pm 9am-5pm 9am-5pm
Law desk 8am-8pm 8am-8pm 9am-5pm 1pm-5pm
ChatNow 10am-10pm 10am-8pm

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Members of the public, Alumni and community borrowers only have access to this space during information desk hours.

SciTech Library

SciTech Library will remain open to staff and students 8am-10pm, Monday to Thursday, with extended hours on Fridays. However, the SciTech Information desk (and equipment kept behind the desk) will close at 8pm, Monday to Friday.

After 8pm, you can chat with Library staff online via Chat Now until 10pm, Monday to Thursday.

  Monday-Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
SciTech Library 8am-10pm 8am-10pm 9am-5pm 1pm-5pm
SciTech desk 8am-8pm 8am-8pm 9am-5pm 1pm-5pm
ChatNow 10am-10pm 10am-8pm

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Members of the public, Alumni and community borrowers only have access to this space during information desk hours.

Nursing Library

Nursing Library will now open at 9am, Monday to Friday.

  Monday-Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Nursing 9am-7pm 9am-5pm
ChatNow 10am-10pm 10am-8pm

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Health Sciences and Conservatorium Libraries

In response to feedback from you, there are no changes to opening or information desk hours at the Health Sciences and Conservatorium Libraries.

  Monday-Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Health Sciences 8am-9pm 8am-6pm 10am-5pm 1pm-5pm
Conservatorium 8am-8pm 8am-6pm 10am-5pm
ChatNow 10am-10pm 10am-8pm

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Chat Now

We will extend Chat Now hours to provide you with live online support when you need it most! You can now chat live with Library staff with any questions you might have from 10am -10pm, Monday to Thursday and 10am-8pm on Fridays.

  Monday-Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
ChatNow 10am-10pm 10am-8pm

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All these changes will be implemented from Monday 24 February 2020.

For more information on Library site and opening ours, visit the locations & opening hours page on our website.

Staff and student questions, suggestions and feedback can be made through the Library’s Suggestion & feedback form