Friday, September 23, 2016

Banned books week: Celebrating diverse books and the freedom to read them

Banned Books Week Cover Art
Image by Banned Books Week Coalition
Banned Books Week has rolled around again, and unfortunately we still have the need to support it.

Why is there a Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week started in the USA in 1982, a response to the number of school, libraries and bookstores banning certain books. 
The official logo for Banned Books Week
Frequently books are banned, both in the USA and here for the diverse content contained challenging perceptions of difference.  Most often this means books about people and issues in relation to: gender, sexual preferences, people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities, in other words books that give diverse perspectives on what it is "to be".

Banned Books Week is about recognising that we are capable of recognising for ourselves what is suitable  to read, and giving everyone the freedom to read

The top ten most challenged classic books 

(compiled by ALA 2016)
Links to library copies are given below, many are also available in other formats (audio book, DVD, eBook)
  1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
  7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  9. 1984, by George Orwell
  10. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

Some of the reasons given for challenging books:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mac Users! EndNote X7 Compatibility Issue

Compatibility issues have been identfied between EndNote X7 (Mac) and the new macOS Sierra.
Thomson Reuters (TR) have released the following announcement:

"In preparation for Apple’s release of macOS Sierra on September 20, we have been testing various versions of EndNote. Through our testing, we discovered some issues with the EndNote PDF viewer.

These issues have been reported to Apple, but in the meantime, we recommend that you DO NOT upgrade to macOS Sierra. We are not currently planning a fix to EndNote X7, but will continue to work with Apple to resolve these issues for X8. EndNote X8 should be fully macOS Sierra compatible."

EndNote X8 is scheduled to be released in November 2016, but may not be deployed immediately by CSU, subject to QA testing in the CSU environment, and compatibility with other CSU applications and services.

If you'd like to know more about the current compatibility issue, try the Thomson Reuters knowledgebase article on the topic, or view the Thomson Reuters forum updates here.

Extended Library Hours in the Lead-Up to Exams

Your replies to our recent Extended Hours student survey told us you want more! Well, we heard you - Bathurst and Wagga campus libraries are providing extended evening hours in the lead-up to exams! This means that on top of the existing 24/7 zones across multiple levels at each campus, you'll also have extended access to the collection for borrowing, staff at the AskUs service desks, and additional quiet study spaces!
From Monday, September 26th, until Sunday, October 23rd, Bathurst and Wagga library hours will be as follows:
  • Monday-Thursday : 8:30am-9pm
  • Friday : 8:30am-7pm
  • Weekends : 1pm-6pm
And don't forget, you'll still have your 24/7 spaces as well! Add to that Orange and Port Macquarie which are now both fully 24/7, and the existing 24/7 zones in Albury, and that's a whole lot of time for you to get a whole lot of studying done!

So come in, and make the most of it! For more information, you can view our opening hours here, or Contact Us!

Friday, September 16, 2016

What you need to know about managing your data as a student

This is one subject we usually don't think about until we have an unfortunate incident. Do any of the following sound unfortunately familiar?
  • Your computer crashes and you loose all your work
  • The information you found on a public computer only saved to the computer's D drive and not your thumb drive
  • One hour before your assignment was due Endnote and Word glitched and you managed to delete half of your assignment, and it wouldn't come back
  • The SD card with your favourite photos is lost.
  • Your portable hard drive dies and you can't recover the files on it
  • Data on floppy discs 
  • Obsolete operating systems?

Data management is all about ensuring the above scenarios don't happen to you. Some commonly recommended measures to ensure the longevity of your data:

Back up active files on your PC regularly - daily or hourly 

Word's auto recover feature is great, but if you're using a non-Office program, or your whole computer crashes, or the file becomes corrupted it isn't going to help you. 
We recommend that you back up data onto a thumb drive, external hard drive or cloud storage system (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc). 
  • Your best option is to use a device/software that automatically back ups files in another location, so you should always have two relatively up-to-date copies of active files. 

Backing up Image files, videos and other large file types

Photos taken on a standard digital camera are saved onto SD cards. SD cards are usually reliable and should remain functional for 10 years. Their lifespan can be limited by erasing/rewriting data, but this is only going to occur after thousands of erase/rewrite cycles.
However, SD cards are tiny and easily lost, and data may become irretrievable due to data inactivity (i.e. the card not being used) or exposure to extreme temperatures or radiation.

  • External hard drives can be used as an alternative, but they are not reliable for long term storage, and may sometimes fail without any warning.
  • Uploading images to a cloud storage facility may ensure backups of large files are done automatically, but upload speeds may be substantially slower than download speeds and the amount available to upload under your internet plan may be restrictive, meaning this option is not always practical. You also need to consider that sometimes cloud storage businesses go out of business, taking your files with them.
  • The best long term storage device: manual back ups onto DVDs and print out your photos. Old fashioned, we know, and still not indestructible (scratches, direct sunlight and high temperatures can compromise data retrievable), but the best long term option. Archival gold CD-R discs are the best option. A thin reflective layer of gold prevents oxygen from corroding the silver reflective layer, the main issue of data degradation on regular CDs. Depending on brand, gold CD-R discs are claimed to safely store data for between 100 to 300 years.

A final note on storing data: Accessibility

Backing up data onto other devices, onto the cloud and other locations still is not going to assist in data being retained if the file types and the systems needed to access the data become obsolete. This is already an issue with many types of research data created in non-Microsoft software and data stored on floppy discs. Know anyone who has a computer with a floppy disc reader these days?
Some issues to consider for long term data storage:
- choose what to keep . Good storage will cost money and effort
- periodically copy data to a new storage device and check it is still accessible and not corrupted
- as needed migrate data to new software formats
- keep more than one copy
- consider keeping one copy of data in pdf format (one of the most durable and accessible formats)
- consider keeping information about your data, for example what is contained in the file, why it was created, who has an interest in the data. 

CSU and the Library are proud supporters of Research Data Australia (RDA), a web-based portal for the reuse of Australian research data. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Exam Preparation Help - Meet your ALLaNs!

Now is a good time to begin, or advance, your exam preparation for Session 2. Did you know, CSU’s ALLaN team (real humans!) can help you to prepare for each of your upcoming exams, via Skype or over the phone?! 

In these one-on-one appointments, ALLaN Advisers can help you plan a study schedule, assist you with revision techniques, discuss what to expect on exam day and teach you strategies to stay calm and focused. You can book an appointment for Saturday and Sunday, if that best suits your schedule - as well as weekdays.
Or, if you would prefer to take part in an online workshop alongside other students, register for ALLaN’s Sitting exams – strategies and tips workshop. 

Upcoming sessions include:
  • Sunday 18th September at 3pm
  • Wednesday 21st September at 11am
  • Saturday 24th September at 1pm
  • Tuesday 27th September at 6pm 
Use this link to register now

Friday, September 09, 2016

Endnote Online Workshops in September and October: Making referencing easier

Just in time to help with your final assignments for Semester Two the Library will be running Online Workshops introducing Endnote, a bibliographic software package for managing references and automatically inserting citations and references into word documents. 

Endnote is compatible with both Macs and PCs, and is a free download for CSU staff and students. We have an Endnote Resource Guide that answers commonly asked questions and steps you through the steps of setting up an Endnote library and inserting citations and references correctly.

The Endnote workshops will help you realise all the benefits of Endnote and how it can make referencing so much easier, with Endnote to organise and add references in your assignments.

Workshops can be attended from anywhere as long as you have a mobile device or desktop computer with a good internet connection.

Register for individual workshops to be able to attend. 

Getting Started With Endnote (PC users) Tuesday, September 13th 6:00 pm AEST

Take the pain out of referencing and get better marks for your assessments by learning how to use EndNote. Designed for students who have never used EndNote, will have you up and running in no time.

Getting More Out of Endnote (PC users) Tuesday, September 20th 6:00 pm AEST

Are you getting the most out of EndNote? More than just a referencing tool, EndNote is also invaluable for organising and managing your references, saving you valuable time and effort. This workshop builds upon the basics covered in Getting started with Endnote (PC users). 

Getting Started With Endnote (Mac users) Thursday, September 29th 6:00 pm AEST

This session is designed for students who have never used EndNote and who use a Mac, will have you up and running with EndNote in no time.

Getting More Out of EndNote (Mac users) Tuesday, October 4th 6:00 pm AEST

Are you getting the most out of EndNote? More than just a referencing tool, EndNote is also invaluable for organising and managing your references, saving you valuable time and effort. This workshop builds upon the basics covered in Getting started with Endnote (Mac users).

Before entering any of the online workshops

  • Ensure you have selected your preferred audio listening device to avoid issues with a lack of sound in the workshop "room".

Having issues accessing the workshop "room" or picking up audio?