R U OK? Day

R U OK? Day graphic
R U OK? Day graphic

This Thursday, 9 September is R U OK? Day. It’s a national day of action, to remind ourselves that every day is the day to ask, “are you OK?” if someone in your world is struggling with life’s ups and downs.

This year it’s more important than ever to check in with our friends and colleagues. There are some great activities you can join in through the University and lots of online resources to help you have those conversations with people around you.

Speed Meet and Chat

Friday 10 September 2:00 – 3:00pm

One of the toughest things about studying remotely during the pandemic is how hard it is to meet new friends!

For R U OK? Day the Library is hosting a special edition of our excellent socialising event Speed Meet and Chat!

Register here to join the fun!

Virtual Dance Workout Session

Thursday 9 September 9:00 – 9:30am

As an educator, Dr Ehssan Sakhaee focuses on balancing engagement and performance with overall wellbeing. Start the day by joining Dr Sakhaee for a 30-minute virtual dance workout. You’ll need a space of at least 2m squared.

Dr Sakhaee also runs regular online meditations.

For more information and to register for the Zoom event use this link.

R U OK? Day ‘lunch’ webinar

Thursday 9 September 12:30 – 1:30pm

Join the hosts and guest speakers in this online event to learn when and how to ask R U OK?, so you can have a conversation that could change a life.

You might laugh, you might cry but most importantly you’ll feel empowered because asking, “Are you OK?” when someone’s struggling with something big, something small, or nothing at all, shows them you care.

To register for the Eventbrite event use this link. If you can’t attend you’re encouraged to register and receive a recording of the event.

R U OK? Day x Ther-E-Paws

Thursday 9 September 4pm

Having ruff time? Need some paws-itivity? Join FASS Student Representatives and staff for Ther-E-Paws, an online therapy dog event discussing mental health and wellbeing.

Come along to de-stress, have discussions about mental health, meet our esteemed furry and four-legged guests, and introduce us to your own pets!

To register for the Eventbrite event use this link.

The R U OK? Day official website guides you through the steps you can take in starting a conversation and then how you can respond if that person needs help. There are also Zoom backgrounds and posters to download.

Wear It Purple Day 2021

graphic for Wear It Purple day 2021
graphic for Wear It Purple day 2021

Wear It Purple Day 2021 –
Start the Conversation 

Wear it Purple is an international movement all about creating a supportive, safe environment for rainbow young people that is both empowering and inclusive. 

Wear It Purple was founded in 2010 in response to global stories of rainbow teenagers who suffered heartache and took their own lives because of bullying, harassment, and lack of acceptance of their sexuality or gender identity. It was established to show young people that there are people who support and accept them and that they can be proud of who they are. 

The four core principles of Wear It Purple are: 

  1. Advocate for and empower rainbow young people 
  1. Celebrate and promote the value of diversity and inclusion in all community setting 
  1. Raise awareness about sexuality, sex and gender identity and challenge harmful social cultures 
  1. Champion rainbow role-models to help young people establish the confidence to be who they are

(Wear It Purple, 2021) 

The University of Sydney Library supports Wear It Purple Day. The theme for Wear It Purple Day 2021 is Start the Conversationand it serves to remind us about the importance of conversations around gender identity and sexual orientation.  

What can you do to show your support on Wear It Purple Day, August 27? 

For Wear It Purple Day 2020 we had staff on-site at Fisher and purple gorgeousness like this illuminated our Library spaces. Join us from wherever you are right now and decorate yourself, your home and your zoom backgrounds to celebrate Wear It Purple.

New pathways to library support

laptop and plant on desk

The Library is making some changes to the way we support our students, researchers and staff. Scroll to the relevant heading below to find out more about what support you can access and how. 

Undergraduate & postgraduate by coursework students

  • You can get help when you need it through our Live Chat Service, including evenings and weekends during semester. Live Chat is accessible from any page on our website or via our app. Our team can also refer you to a librarian for live support between 10am – 5pm on weekdays during Semester. 
  • You can join a drop-in session for your Faculty or University School at key times during Semester.
  • You can get help researching for your assignments via our online training, or you can get more tailored guidance through our Subject Guides
  • The library will continue to work with your lecturers to ensure you have access to your reading materials, and to develop targeted support in some Canvas sites for core units of study.

See our Contact a Librarian page for additional information. 

Researchers, postgraduate by research students, & honours students

In addition to requesting help through our Live Chat Service and using our self-help resources to develop your research skills, you can also access further support by:

  • sending queries to a team of dedicated librarians looking after your Faculty or University School
  • booking an appointment with a librarian
  • accessing a range of self-help resources on planning for strategic publishing & to measure the impact of your research

See our Meet with a Librarian page for key areas where we can provide advice.

Staff in University Portfolios and Professional Services Units

For general enquiries about borrowing or accessing resources you can request help through our Live Chat service.  For more complex support requests please contact the most appropriate member of our library leadership team for support.

Academic staff

Academic Liaison Librarians (ALLs) are now allocated client group responsibilities at the Faculty or University School level rather than the faculty school/department level. This means that you will be supported by a team of ALLs, rather than an individual. Within each team, ALLs have areas of specialisation across Education, Research, and Research Education, which means that depending on the area of your enquiry you may be supported by different ALLs.

Our Meet with a Librarian page will be updated with your team email contacts by the beginning of semester 2 2021.

To better support student learning outcomes, we have developed a new Tiered Service Model for Learning Experiences, which outlines how the Library supports information and digital literacy skills development within the curriculum. 

We will continue to support existing teaching commitments for Semester 2, 2021, before transitioning to our new model for Semester 1, 2022. The new model will provide higher quality, pedagogically-sound IDL programs and a broader range of self-help resources.

Feedback and questions

These changes will assist the Library to support students and researchers in a more sustainable and efficient way. We look forward to continuing to partner with you as we transition to our new ways of working. We are eager to manage this transition well, and we want to ensure that services to staff and students remain of high quality. We will also be conducting a post-implementation review at the end of Semester 2. If you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to discuss this further, please don’t hesitate to contact Elizabeth Litting (Associate Director, Research Education) at elizabeth.litting@sydney.edu.au.

laptop and plant on desk

Be our guest on PeerPod!

PeerPod imagery of recording studio

About two years ago, the Library’s Peer Learning Advisor (PLA) team were looking for a new way to reach out to students and help enhance their student life. As current postgraduate students, they felt they had a wealth of knowledge and experience to share, which could be a useful guide for all students looking to understand and make the most of university life.

Their answer: PeerPod – a bi-monthly podcast series in which the PLAs discuss topics and issues related to student life and share their own stories, experiences and advice.

Since its creation, PeerPod has covered all kinds of subjects, from how to start semester and make new friends, to bouncing back after failing an exam. We’ve heard stories from PLAs and advice from experts, but this year we’d like to add something more. We want students of all levels to join us in the recording studio and share their voices, opinions and experiences!

Do you have a unique insight into student life? Some handy advice that you want to share? Maybe a suggestion for a topic you’d like us to cover?

Email us at peerpod.pla@sydney.edu.au and let us know what topic you’d like to talk about as a guest speaker, and why!

Check out PeerPod on our website or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Find out more about the Peer Learning Advisor team and how we can support you.

Overdue fines waived for the new year

Stack of books

To give you a fresh start in the new year, we’ll be waiving all overdue fines on Monday 11 January 2021.

To continue our support throughout the year, we’ll also be suspending overdue fines during 2021. From Monday 18 January 2021, we will no longer charge you for returning an overdue item. However, fines may still be charged on items borrowed from other institutions via Resource Sharing if they become overdue.

Read more about these changes to our fines and fees.

Help everyone get the most out of the Library by practising good library etiquette and always being considerate of others. When you borrow an item, please follow our updated borrowing terms and conditions so that everyone has access to our collections.

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Jamieson, Assistant Manager Site Services (mark.jamieson@sydney.edu.au) or Jeff Cruz, Associate Director Site Services (jeffery.cruz@sydney.edu.au).

Celebrating International Day of People with Disability

International Day of People with Disability logo
International Day of People with Disability logo

As the Library celebrates International Day of People with Disability (which is today!), we’d like to tell you about some easy steps anyone can take to contribute to a more accessible world. Here are our 5 top tips. If you’d like to add any of your own, feel free to comment below!

  1. Increase the accessibility of the videos you make for people who are deaf or hearing impaired, by including captions.
  2. When presenting, don’t rely on visuals from your slides: explain everything audibly.
  3. When creating documents, make them as accessible as possible by using informative text for descriptive images, and Word’s ‘Headings’ feature to produce consistent, hierarchical styles. For more tips on producing accessible documents, read this resource produced by the Victorian Government.
  4. Design webpages with all users in mind. For example, use “alt text” for text-reader compatibility (see instructions below), describe your links, and make your page usable without a mouse – that is, make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  5. Explore the various resources available to aid accessibility, from apps such as Be My Eyes, to the Library’s own Assistive Technology rooms, which contain specialist software and hardware for users registered with University Disability Support Services.

How to add alt text

Informative images must have alternative (alt) text applied. Alt text should be accurate, succinct and provide information that isn’t already provided in the surrounding text.

To apply alt text to images:

  • Right-click on your image, select “Format picture”, then click “Alt text”.
  • Add your description.

For decorative images, Word doesn’t provide the ability to enter a null alt attribute. Add ‘decorative’ as the alt text or a brief description, such as “image of a middle-aged man sitting on a park bench”.

Find out more

Learn more about the Library’s accessibility resources including our Assistive Technology rooms, a campus-wide access map, and links to the University’s Disability Support Services.

Assistive Technology lab screen magnifier