PeerConnect – Video chat with a Peer Learning Advisor

peer learning advisor on laptop screen

With everyone studying from home there are a lot of us feeling isolated and alone, so it’s more important than ever before to stay connected with your tribe.  Some of us didn’t even have the chance to meet our classmates this year! We have a solution 😊

We’re really proud to introduce PeerConnect – video chat with PLAs!

Who are Peer Learning Advisors (PLAs)? We are students who have been there and are doing it! We know how to help you because we share your interests and challenges in University life.

You can drop in to PeerConnect for a virtual social chat, share stories on how you’re dealing with things or ask for advice. While you’re there maybe we can also help you navigate the resources available to you for study and research or connect you to people who can help you. If you need support in other areas of your life we can also put you in touch with the best services to help you.

We’re looking forward to meeting you online!

Stay safe and stay connected,

From your friendly PLAs.

Free access to online reading material from SUP!

book covers

Sydney University Press have compiled some of their favourite free reading material from their own open access collection and from around the world. There is history, Australian poetry, classic children’s picture books and much more to choose from!

SYDNEY OPEN LIBRARY

In our Sydney Open Library, you’ll find all of SUP’s open access books, including history, biography, politics, literary criticism, public health and more, all free to read.

AUSTRALIAN POETRY LIBRARY

Created by the University of Sydney and the Australian Copyright Agency, the Australian Poetry Library hosts tens of thousands of poems by Australian writers, plus recordings of poets reading their work.

INDIGENOUS MUSIC OF AUSTRALIA

Several books in our Indigenous Music of Australia series have companion websites, where you can learn about the music of Indigenous communities and stream audio and video recordings of musicians performing their songs

Book cover: Fighting Nature by Peta Tait

From Sydney Open Library:

Throughout the 19th century, animals were integrated into staged scenarios of confrontation, ranging from lion acts in small cages to large-scale re-enactments of war. Fighting Nature is an insightful analysis of the historical legacy of 19th-century colonialism, war, animal acquisition and transportation.

Book Cover: Singing Bones - ancestral Creativity and Collaboration by Samuel Curkpatrick

From Indigenous Music of Australia:

Manikay are the ancestral songs of Arnhem Land, passed down over generations and containing vital cultural knowledge.

Singing Bones foregrounds the voices of manikay singers from Ngukurr in southeastern Arnhem Land, and charts their critically acclaimed collaboration with jazz musicians from the Australian Art Orchestra, Crossing Roper Bar. It offers an overview of Wägilak manikay narratives and style, including their social, ceremonial and linguistic aspects, and explores the Crossing Roper Bar project as an example of creative intercultural collaboration and a continuation of the manikay tradition.

Studying from home? The Library’s got your back.

student studying online

The shift to online learning has happened pretty quickly, and you might be wondering where you can get help and support. Well don’t worry – Academic Liaison Librarians continue to be available to help with your research.

We already have a huge bank of resources to help you prepare for assessments, whether that’s for finding information or referencing. You can check out our Subject Guides for starter resources and top tips for university research. If you’re an international student, you might want to check out our special guide.

The Library’s youTube channel also has great introductory skills videos – and if you’re looking for a way to take a break from your studies, why not check out some of our Rare Bites talks? (Dr Karl’s talk on Principia is a classic!)

Many of our in-person workshops are now being offered via Zoom. If you want to tune in for a class experience and learn with other students, head over to the Workshops page on the Library website and join in from the comfort of your couch or bed or breakfast table! Over the next month we’ll be adding even more opportunities to learn about research, so keep an eye on the Library’s social media channels and check in on the workshop calendar.

You’ll probably find that your faculty or school Academic Liaison Librarian already has some presence in Canvas, but you can also reach out by email by visiting our Meet with a Librarian page. And if you can’t find an answer by email, we can arrange a one-on-one consult via Zoom.

And if you’re a Higher Degree by Research student or a member of academic staff, we’re here to help you with research metrics, publication, reference management and more.

So while we’re staying physically distant, there’s no reason to be socially distant – your Academic Liaison Librarians are here for you!

student studying online

The Library is your safe space.

The world may be in lockdown but our LGBTQIA+ community spirit and support is not! While we are in physical isolation it’s even more important to reach out.

The University of Sydney Library is dedicated to providing a safe, inclusive environment for people who identify as LGBTQIA+ and our Liaison Officer is here to offer support to staff and students who need help.

We are working with the University’s Pride Network and can ensure those who need help are able to identify and access the services they require.

  • Be referred to support services including counselling services
  • Connect with supportive communities within the University including the Pride Network and Queer Action Collective

If you need support contact your Library LGBTQIA+ Liaison Officer Sam Farrell at librarypride.support@sydney.edu.au. Sam has had extensive experience working in various support roles for the LGBTQIA+ community including her role as a crisis counsellor with Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter, event facilitator with ACON Newcastle coordinating Wear It Purple Day events and facilitating anti-discrimination workshops in high schools.

The Library is also proud to be part of the Welcome Here Project. The Welcome Here Project supports businesses/organisations throughout Australia to create and promote environments that are visibly welcoming and inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) communities. You may notice Welcome Here Project stickers at the entries of all our Library sites.

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Contact your Library LGBTQIA+ Liaison Officer at librarypride.support@sydney.edu.au

New to Uni? Learn Essential Information & Digital Literacy Skills in LIBR1000

LIBR1000 is an online course available through Canvas aimed to equip first year students with the essential information literacy skills needed to excel during their time at Uni. The course has been developed specifically for Arts and Social Sciences students however, it will benefit all First Years Students especially those with information & digital literacy course requirements.

Almost 70% of students that responded to the course survey in 2019 said that LIBR1000 would be useful for their future studies. Here are some of the things they said:

“One of the best things about this course is I actually applied what I have learned here to my actual study and assessments.”  

“The topics were very useful in helping me learn proper citations and how to use Library Search.”  

“It allowed me to evaluate my knowledge of referencing and citation as well as what sources to use and when.”

“It provided a good introduction on how to use information literacy most effectively in our studies, and how the library resources facilitate this.”

Coordinators can enrol their unit by contacting Rosemary O’Donnell: rosemary.odonnell@sydney.edu.au

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