R U OK? Day

This Thursday, 8 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.


R U OK? Day Activities and Initiatives

The University and Library have organised events to help facilitate conversations and support the student and staff communities:


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.

Sydney Rare Book Week 2022

sydney rare book week with images of old and valuable books

The Library is once again celebrating
Sydney Rare Book Week! 24-28 October 2022

Sydney Rare Book Week is an exciting, free program of events celebrating special collections and literature, at a number of cultural institutions and businesses across Sydney. During Sydney Rare Book Week, we celebrate these rich and valuable items from our Rare Book and Special Collections, that have made an impact across our cultural history.

Sydney Rare Book Week is being held in association with the 2022 Sydney Rare Book Fair, to be held from 28-29 October at MacLaurin Hall.


Sydney Rare Book Week 2022:
Portrait of a Lady’s Commonplace

As part of Sydney Rare Book Week, the Libary will be hosting a talk with Julie McElhone on an 18th-century commonplace held at Fisher Library that book belonged to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

She will talk about the process of following the textual threads that connect the manuscript to Lady Mary’s reading and writing, while also looking for evidence of how the book came to be presented by the 5th Earl of Harrowby in 1925 to the Fisher Library which had opened in 1909.

To join this wonderful talk, click on the button below to register via Eventbrite.


Virtual Reading Room Program

If you can’t make it to Sydney Rare Book Week, why not try accessing our rare books with our new Virtual Reading Room program?

Our Virtual Reading Room uses special cameras and video conferencing to provide remote access to our special collections, making our Rare Books and Special Collections more accessible.

You can book one hour for free, with a two day advance notice, so we can check the requested items are suited to the service, before emailing a Zoom meeting link.

Celebrating Wear it Purple Day 2022 on August 26!

August 26 is Wear it Purple Day! The University of Sydney celebrates this event annually to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for rainbow young people.

The Wear it Purple Day movement was founded in 2010 following several rainbow young people taking their own lives following bullying and harassment resulting from the lack of acceptance of their sexuality or gender identity. Wear it Purple has developed into an international movement, with new generations continuing to be dedicated to promoting the annually expressing support and solidarity with rainbow young people.

The Library’s visible support for LGBTQIA+ students and colleagues on Wear it Purple Day includes a fabulous purple VIP welcome carpet at the entrance of Fisher Library, decoration of all Library service points with purple regalia, frontline staff wearing official Wear it Purple Day t-shirts, and all staff being encouraged to dress up in their finest purple attire. We will also have special giveaways for clients on the day, including pronoun badges and Wear it Purple bookmarks.


There are many ways you can show your support for the LGBTQIA+ community on Wear it Purple Day. Here are some helpful resources:

Display the official WiP Day background in Zoom meetings.

Print out WiP Day posters and cards for your work area or friends.

Display the official WiP Day collateral on your social pages.

Have some fun with this printable Instagram frame.

Check out the videos about Wear it Purple.

Learn more about using inclusive language and avoiding misgendering.

New Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Resources Page

Our new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources page highlights a selection of materials in our Library, focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and topics.

After the Library has rolled out and started the implementation of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Protocols in 2021, we have adopted various cultural competent practices in the collection management, striving to provide a more ethical and diverse representation of knowledge and perspectives. 
 
Leveraging our Library service platform’s collection discovery feature that enables users to navigate defined collections owned by our Library, we will be launching the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources collection to highlight some of the materials in our Library that are either by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, or cover Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander topics. 
 
Users can sort the items within this collection either by “relevance,” “date-newest,” ‘date-oldest,” “title” and author. Although it is essentially a browse interface, the collection page also has a search function that matches users’ search queries against search fields, such as “title,” “author” and “subject”. 

 
Launched as the Library’s first featured collection, the aim of this collection is to encourage engagement with the Library’s First Nations content and enhance their discoverability for great reach. 
 
The Library not only acknowledges the need to respect and promote but also takes pride in our capacity to maintain this significant cultural collection. We understand the journey of curating this collection does not just end at its launch. Its development is truly a work in progress. So, please do let us know if there is any other material in our Library that should be included in this collection!

The Library App has integrated with the Sydney Uni App

Streamlining and improving the user experience of our community – the Library app as integrated with the Sydney Uni App.

In line with the University strategic objective of creating a single port of call for students and staff; the functionality of the Library App has been integrated with the SydneyUni App. This removes the need to install multiple apps and reduces maintenance workload.

Using the Sydney Uni app you can now:

  • Access Live Chat
  • Book a Desk, Study Space or equipment
  • Manage your item requests
  • Look up Library Opening hours and locations
  • Click through to the Library website to search databases, contact a librarian, keep up with the latest Library news and events, or do a virtual tour of our spaces!

It’s like having the Library in the palm of your hands!


Frequently Asked Questions

Have some questions about our mobile app?  Check out our Frequently Asked Questions where you can quickly find answers to the most commonly asked questions about the Library App integration with the Sydney Uni app.


Download the FREE Sydney Uni App via the links below:

Iconic: The Use and Misuse of the Red Cross Emblem

The Red Cross is one of the most identifiable icons of all time – since its inception in the 19th century, the Red Cross emblem has come to symbolise care and protection for people who are sick or injured. 

The Red Cross can be seen everywhere – on toys, medical supplies, and costumes. However, the Emblem is not meant to be a logo – it is a symbol that has its origins in an international law designed to protect the wounded and sick members of the armed forces during times of armed conflict, as well as to protect the persons who care for the wounded and sick. The Red Cross, and its associated Emblems, the Red Crescent, Red Crystal, and Red Lion and Sun, are meant to be used to denote the care and protection of the most vulnerable populations during times of armed conflict, and in certain strictly regulated situations outside of armed conflicts.

The iconic nature of the Red Cross emblem, and its connotations of care and protection, have seen the Emblem misused and misapplied in manifold ways.  What many do not know is that the Emblem is protected under both international and domestic law, and misuse of the Emblem is an offence under Australian law and may be, in specific circumstances, a war crime under international law – this includes both misuse of the Red Cross emblem, as well as displaying a white cross on a red background.

Iconic: The Use and Misuse of the Red Cross Emblem showcase some of the most common ways the Emblem has been misused in everyday life.  The aim of the exhibition is to educate and inform people that the Red Cross has a special meaning that should not be devalued.  The objects on display are shown in conjunction with the selections from the University’s rare book collection, which illustrate how the Red Cross came into being, how it has been protected in law, and how it has been used in practice in the century a half since its inception.

WHEN: 23 July 2022
WHERE: Fisher Library, Level 3 corridor