Open Day in the Library – 27 August 2016

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Published on: 22 August 2016

Come and visit the Library on Open Day, Saturday 27 August to visit our pop-up technology playground or join us in a tour of the Fisher Library!

ThinkSpace is a technology showcase and creative play space, aimed at sparking ideas and providing opportunities for collaboration. See our 3D technologies at work, experience the world of Virtual Reality and program our BB8 Droid! Our friendly staff will be on hand to explain the technologies and show you some of the other great features of our Libraries.


When: 27 August; 11am to 3pm

Where: Fisher Library foyer

What you will find:

  • Makerbot 3D printer
  • Carvey
  • BB8
  • Google Cardboard
  • iPads with hologram activity materials
  • 3Doodler

Try it out yourself, or ask any question you might have and get expert advice from our Library staff.


Tours through Fisher Library

Come into Fisher Library to join us on a tour through Fisher Library.

When: every hour starting at 11am

Where: meet your tour guides at the Fisher desk in the foyer


ThinkSpace launch on 1 September

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Published on: 22 August 2016

Join us to celebrate the launch of the ThinkSpace, the Library’s new experimental technology-driven creative space on Thursday 1st September from 11am-5pm


The launch will consist of a day of workshops, quick bites talks, and “play stations” where you can experiment and engage with new technology and ideas. There’s lots of ways to get involved:


  • drop by throughout the day to enter the world of virtual reality with Occulus Rift, play with the HP Sprout to scan and manipulate objects in 3D, program our BB-8 droid or have a go using our 3D carving machine or 3D printers and pens.


  • register (links below) to participate in a workshop on wearable electronics using the Arduino and conductive thread, get stuck into a design challenge in our Design Thinking workshop, hear about research-based projects that are using new technologies or follow the entrepreneurial journey as innovators take us from idea germination to prototyping, the market and beyond.

The ThinkSpace is a technology showcase and creative play space, designed to spark ideas and provide opportunities for collaboration.. Currently there are two 3D printers, a desktop carving machine, and graphic design facilities in addition to a plethora of other technologies, including the soon to be completed 1 Button Recording Studio. These technologies are supported by our Peer Learning Advisers (PLAs) who guide, support and assist entrepreneurs and innovators, staff, researchers and students, tinkers and thinkers in using the space.


Spaces are strictly limited so get in quick to secure your place at the workshop sessions!*



Technology “play stations”

A curated hands-on display of technology from around the University. See and play with a range of technologies including 3D, Virtual Reality and electronics and see some of the outputs from ThinkSpace so far. No need to register, just pop by!


Data visualisation and data rescue

Do you work with lots of data? Ever wondered what the best way to manage it, store it, and showcase the results?

Discover the Library’s Digital Scholarship Studio services in this short presentation which includes data visualisation and analysis, data rescue, and 3D printing.

Register here 


Research innovations; from the edge of science to bone flutes

Find your research technology match in these quick bite presentations: from data visualisation of scientific literature, recreating the past using 3D printing, to using social media as a ‘think space’- we’ve got it covered.

Register here


Introduction to Coding

Are you an absolute novice when it comes to programming? Are you interested in learning about the basics? If yes, this is the session for you. Register for this 30 minute introduction on how you can get started on programming using free and simple tools.

Register here


Design Thinking… WHAT is it?

This fast-paced hands on immersive workshop will take you through a full design thinking cycle. You will get inspired, explore methods, generate ideas and prototype a new solution that is meaningful to you and other people.

Register here


3D Printing- Designing for the market

Ben Qin, president of the University of Sydney 3D printing club will do an introduction to 3D printing and discuss his experience in using the technology to prototype an idea and eventually take it to market.

Register here


“Wearables/Soft Electronics” Workshop

This workshop will give you an overview of the world of electronic wearables and soft electronics. You will build a small electronic softie project: a rainbow flower that you can take away at the end of the day. In the process, you will learn about the Arduino open‐source electronics platform, fabric and stitch electronic circuits, including conductive thread and how to control basic electronic components like a colourful LED.

Register here


Student competition

Current students will be challenged to a 24 hour 3D printing design competition. The design brief will be released 24 hours before the launch date at 9am on Wednesday 31st August and competitors will have 24 hours to submit their entry for the chance to win fame, glory and a fantastic prize! Watch this space!

Spaces are limited so register to secure your place for the sessions* or pop in on the day to explore, discover and play with technology.

*See links in the program list for sessions that require registration

Special thanks to our contributors from ICT, faculties, research centres, clubs and societies and the educational innovation portfolio. We look forward to seeing you there!
For enquiries, please contact Megan O’Brien Assistant Manager, Site Services at the University of Sydney Library at



Level 2, Jane Foss Russell Building (mezzanine above the SciTech Library)

Opening hours:

Monday- Friday



Creating a 40,000-year-old bone flute using 3D printing technology

When I was travelling in 2012, I saw a fragment of a bone flute in one of the European museums. The object was old and it piqued my interest. And it changed my understanding of music history. Before this encounter, I had associated the beginning of music history with ancient Greece and Rome. The fact is that people have played music for much longer than that.

By Ludwig Sugiri

bone flute
In 2008, Professor Nicholas Conard, an archaeologist from the University of Tübingen, excavated fragments of bone flutes in Hohle Fels in Southern Germany. The stratigraphic positions and associated radiocarbon dates suggest that one of the bone flutes dates to ca. 40,000 years ago. The finding was published in Nature in 2009 and that discovery placed a new dot at the beginning of timeline of music history. I wanted to see with my own eyes the earliest musical instrument known to mankind.


A few days ago I experimented with our 3D printer and created a replica of the Hohle Fels bone flute. I love showing it to musicians, musicologists and music enthusiasts. We learn better when we have a tangible object that we can touch and feel, especially when we are telling a story of how music has existed since at least 40,000 years ago.


3D printing technology allows us to recreate objects of the past or things that are otherwise inaccessible or invisible to the naked eye. These objects can be used as effective teaching tools and can help with communicating research outcomes, leading to greater engagement.


Library 3D printers are available to all students and staff.

For more information see


Ludwig Sugiri is an Academic Liaison Librarian, Conservatorium Library


Stop the presses – we’ve got a new website!

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Published on: 1 July 2016

two mobile phones

After months of hard work, we are delighted to officially announce the launch of our new website.

The Library website has been evolving organically over the years with ongoing integration of new services and software. Over time the website has grown too confusing, too complex and too difficult to navigate. There was a need for a complete redesign in order to make the website simpler to use, responsive for mobile devices, and reflective of the changing role that the Library plays in the University community.

So what’s new?

The new website has been optimised for smart phones and tablets, allowing staff and students to access the Library content on the go. But that’s not all. It has a simplified navigation and clear visual hierarchy, prioritising the most frequently used features. It has consistent, intuitive and clear labelling to enable easy access to study and research materials. It highlights new library services. Finally, the new website makes it easier and quicker to find what you need wherever you are.

The new look and structure of the website is based on in-depth interviews with staff and students, and extensive user testing of the prototype. We are grateful to all involved, including Library staff who worked tirelessly to finalise the website in time for Semester 2.

We look forward to hearing any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments about the new website.

Exhibition: ‘Objects in the Mirror’

Come and check out the final 2016 installment of our Ex Libris Fisherarium Series featuring students from the Sydney College of the Arts curated by Associate Professor Michael Goldberg.

When: 20 June – 31 December 2016

Where: Fisher Library F03; Levels 2,3, and 4

This exhibition features Alex GAWRONSKI and Jelena TELECKI. ExLibris Fisherarium June 2016: Alex Gawronski setting up the exhibitionIt consists of a series of 10 book titles removed from their original contexts. Each title was chosen for its uncanny or humorous connotations once removed from its wider context. Considered collectively, these titles suggest a type of quasi-Dadaist poetry whose combined effect hints at alternative critical, playful and/or possibly even pataphysical, readings.

Graphically the original layout of each book title has been retained although now each has been rendered in watercolour as a ‘painting’. These works further reference the importance of text in contemporary art and artists as diverse as Ed Ruscha and Marcel Broodthaers. Accompanying these text works are figurative paintings by Jelena Telecki. These all respond to the book titles. Together the appropriated titles and their figurative interpretations, establish an open dialogue of fairly infinite suggestability.

‘Objects in the Mirror…’ (may be closer than they appear – as the warning goes) speaks of how texts and images continually interpolate one another while remaining fundamentally differentiated. The juxtaposition of text and image in this instance may be considered a type of improvisation that draws out the latent possibilities concealed behind the most ordinary words and the words that underlie the most stubbornly elusive representations.

Exhibition: From Phlogiston to Oxygen

Where: SciTech Library exhibition spaceSciTech exhibtion

When: during SciTech opening hours

Before the discovery of oxygen, a substance called phlogiston was thought to exist. As scientists experimented on the substances of air, they published their accounts and theories. Some of these publications are now on display at the SciTech Library. Works by the brilliant Robert Boyle; “Hard Luck” Scheele; the philogistically faithful Richard Kirwan; and the first to publish on oxygen, Joseph Priestley and Antoine Lavoisier. By 1789 oxygen was firmly placed on the basic table of elements.

contact: Julie Price P: +61 2 9114 2321

Lunchtime Quick Bite talks: punchy research support in a bite-sized package

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Published on: 24 June 2016


Ever heard the phrase that “good things come in small packages”? This sentiment epitomises the University Library’s new Quick Bites program, a series of short, sharp research support sessions developed by the Academic Services Division and aimed at Higher Degree Research students and Early Career researchers.

By Kate Mastersquickbites ads - screens and social media

We know that researchers are busy people, so have boiled key research topics down to their very essence. We’ve already run sessions on the following topics, both of which were very well attended in person and via video-link:

  • Open Access publishing: how to sort the predatory from the legitimate

We give you the drum on the best options for making your work open, and show how to pick the good from the very, very bad.

View presentation

  • Finding collaborators for your research

Looking for like-minded partners? Let us introduce you to the academic equivalent of

View presentation

Registrations for the following upcoming sessions are filling up:

  • Smart social media

Twitter, and LinkedIn, and ResearchGate – oh my! Are you being strategic in your use of social media to promote yourself and your research?

Monday 27 June, 1:00pm – 1:30pm


  • Ensure your audience finds your paper

Don’t scrimp on things like author supplied keywords if you want to be found in Google Scholar and other places.

Wednesday 29 June, 12:00pm – 12:30pm


All talks are being hosted in the Charles Perkins Centre, Level 6 Seminar Room. We plan to launch another series of Quick Bites talks in Semester 2 – stay tuned for details!


Fisher and Law Libraries go 24/7!

FB-banner-247v4Following the successful launch of The Quarter, Bosch and Camden Commons at the start of Semester 1, Fisher and Law libraries will be open 24/7 from the start of Semester 2. Great news for students with no hanging around at 10pm to get into the small level 3 space. Staff can also take advantage of this new service. Students and staff will have:

  • access to all collections including 2 hour loans and holds
  • 2713 study spaces
  • print/copy/scan facilities
  • bookable discussion rooms
  • kitchen facilities
  • self-issue machines to borrow books
  • self-service returns.

Both libraries are going to be staffed by security personnel only, which means that some of the library services are not available, including:

  • bonus and interlibrary loan pick-ups
  • help through staffed Information and ICT points
  • SYDPAY card encoding
  • paying fines in person.

Please remember to bring your student or staff card as you will need this to access the building. If you have any more questions, please ask a member of staff.

Seminar and hands-on workshop: Blending virtual and physical reality to engage the next generation of students

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Published on: 23 June 2016

On the 4th July, please join us to hear about and experience virtual reality (VR) technology and discuss its possibilities for teaching in the STEM lab environment.

When: 4 July 2016; 12.00pm – 1.00pmMichael_VR

Where: Exhibition Space, SciTech Library

Cost: Free;

This event is presented jointly by Educational Innovation, ICT and the Library. A seminar will run from 12-1 pm in the Exhibition Space in the SciTech Library (booking required via the ‘Registration’ button below) followed by a drop-in, hands-on workshop in the Library’s exciting new ThinkSpace directly above (no booking required). Maaroof Fakhri, from Labster will be talking about how the capability of virtual reality (VR) technology has accelerated recently with the cost of devices falling to enable most phones to be adapted for a few dollars and how VR helps immerse students in experiences too expensive, too inaccessible or simply too dangerous than would normally be possible. For more information, see details below or watch the recent TED talk.

All are welcome – please pass on to interested colleagues including undergraduate and research students.

  1. Seminar and Q&A: Extending the Laboratory – How Virtual and Physical Reality can blend to engage the next generation of STEM students

Virtual reality is poised to become part of everyday campus life. Discover the practical and pedagogical side of VR and how it can transform learning, extend the impact of the laboratory and motivate students. Includes Q&A, discussion, and the latest VR tech.

Seminar date: 4 July 2016, 12-1 pm
Venue: Exhibition Space, SciTech Library (next to the entrance to the library)

Register here. 

  1. Hands-on workshop: Implementing gamified virtual lab simulations in University of Sydney courses as pre-lab exercises

This interactive hands-on session will involve using curriculum-ready gamified virtual laboratory simulations (computer-based) to enhance biology and chemistry courses through blended learning, and will include trying latest virtual reality technology.

Workshop date: 4 July 2016, 1-2.30 pm
Venue: ThinkSpace, Level 2 JFR plaza (mezzanine area above the SciTech Library)

No booking required.



New book: Gardens of History and Imagination

Categories: Library, New releases, SUP, SUP News
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Published on: 23 June 2016


“making a garden was not only an act of settlement – it was one of hope, promising productivity and beauty and, in these creative endeavours, establishing a new life and even a new identity.” (Gretchen Poiner)

By Agata Mrva-Montoyagardens cover rgb full cover

To celebrate the bicentenary of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney University Press has released the much anticipated Gardens of History and Imagination: Growing New South Wales, edited by Gretchen Poiner, an honorary associate in the Department of Anthropology, and Sybil Jack, an honorary associate in the Department of History at the University of Sydney.

The book features ten scholars, members of the Independent Scholars Association (Sybil Jack, Janet George, Gaynor Macdonald, Ailsa McPherson, Colleen Morris, Gretchen Poiner, John Ramsland, Stuart Read, Catherine Rogers and Sue Rosen) exploring the significance of gardens in the history of New South Wales, and is richly illustrated with rarely seen images from the State Library’s Mitchell collections.

The authors explore the role of gardens in health and wellbeing, in social and cultural life, and in attempts to exercise moral control over the state’s citizens. They consider how changing fashions in garden design have reflected shifting economic, cultural and technological conditions. And they tell the stories of individual gardens and the gardeners who made them, from suburban veggie patches to grand country estates.

The book will be launched on 23 June 2016 at the Mitchell Library, the State Library of NSW.

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