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Swinburne Library News

Albert Einstein said, “I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” In this issue, it's all about learning in the online space: self-paced learning modules in Swinburne Commons; a suite of library orientation videos; legal research and copyright help online and new research resources spanning all disciplines.

Staff profile - Leanne Trembath

Picture of Leanne Trembath smiling
Dr Leanne Trembath

Leanne Trembath is the Manager, Library Teaching and Learning Services. Her previous roles at the State Library of Victoria include Manager, Access and Delivery, Learning Services Operations Manager and Innovations and Operations Manager, Vicnet. Leanne received her Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from Swinburne’s Faculty of Business and Enterprise, for her thesis: Determinants of success for online communities: an empirical study.

You've been involved in a range of projects in your career; take us through the highlights

Over the years I’ve had many opportunities to contribute to a diverse range of projects. While working at Vicnet (a community ICT-focused business unit of the State Library of Victoria), I managed several projects that increased the community's capacity to access technology and create online content.

For instance, the 'My Connected Community program' (Mc2), encouraged Victorian community-based organisations to engage in meaningful ways with their online memberships. The ‘IT for Kindergartens’ program supplied computers to government kindergartens and delivered an associated training program.

I've also managed some interesting web development projects on behalf of public libraries and the Victorian state and federal governments. The projects I found most interesting were the ones that resulted in broader user access and engagement opportunities for members of the community.

What Swinburne projects are you working on at the moment?

I'm excited to be working with the Design Liaison Team on the Special Collection Digitisation Project. The Design Special Collection includes historical material used by students and academic staff studying modernist design in Australia in the first half of the 20th century.

Much of the material is fragile and at the moment, only available to on-campus students and staff. We want to digitise the material (subject to copyright compliance) and make it available online to Swinburne students and staff.

I'm also working with the Library’s Digital Learning Cluster. The cluster is a group of Library staff who expressed an interest in collaborating to create digital learning content. It's been a great experience and we've learned a lot along the way.

A vision for Swinburne Library

Infographic of the Library vision statement

To create a promising future by connecting you with the right people, relevant information and quality solutions.

In 2014 Library staff came together to develop a vision for Swinburne Library. After consultation with stakeholders and many versions, a vision emerged. 

“The vision communicates our aspirations, what we do and who we are,” says University Librarian Kim Tairi. “It also helps us frame how we do business with our partners here at Swinburne and beyond.”

A student-friendly version is available on the Library website

New online collections a boost to teaching and research

Image close up of a typing hand

Scholarly journals from the Royal Society of Chemistry, Nature Communications and Nature Methods are among the Library's recent acquisitions. Joining those is ProQuest Central, a multidisciplinary database platform that includes science and social science, psychology, computing, education, health sciences, business and management collections.

"These new purchases consolidate our extensive online collections," says Fiona O'Donnell, Manager, Library Research and Collection Services. "They will support the university's teaching, learning and research activities and offer an even greater range of resources to our teachers and researchers and of course, our growing cohort of online students."

New specialist databases include the SAE Digital Library technical papers, law databases Westlaw AU, Westlaw International and LexisNexis and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Art Source has over 600 full text (complete) journals covering art, architecture and design topics. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global has over one million full text (complete) higher degree theses.

Sage Research Methods is a must for researchers and students in the social sciences. The collection includes books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks and videos. It includes the entire “Little Green Book” and “Little Blue Book” series on quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Student learning on Swinburne Commons

legs of man standing on books and old television with words Swinburne Commons

Introduction to Programming in Pascal and Statistical Analysis using R are just two of the video series available to students on Swinburne Commons, the university’s central repository of digital learning objects.

Swinburne CodeCasts is a suite of open access programming tutorials developed by Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology academics Dr Andrew Cain, Jake Renzella, Reuben Wilson and Cliff Warren.

“There are 26 episodes of Introduction to Programming in Pascal on Swinburne Commons,” says Nyssa Parkes, Online Projects Librarian. “Students can also subscribe via YouTube , iTunes U or RSS to work through episodes published each week.”

Using R for Statistical Analysis is a series developed by Faculty of Health, Arts and Design academic Dr Lyndon Walker. Students learn how to use the R statistical software. Topics covered include R syntax, functions, data visualisation, descriptive statistics, statistical inference, RStudio, and Shiny. Swinburne Commons and YouTube include 19 episodes. Students can also subscribe via iTunes U or RSS to work through episodes published each week.

Guiding students through the Library maze

Screen grab of the video

Introducing Library clips, a suite of six short videos introducing new students to the Library services and facilities available to them. "The videos aim to give students a sense of can-do," says Heather Coutts, Liaison Librarian and member of the project team.

Students learn how to set up Latelab and WiFi access, book computers and rooms and find a book on the shelves. The Design Special Collection is also included. This eclectic collection of material is used by students studying modernist design in Australia in the first half of the 20th century.

The clips are a project of the Library’s Digital Learning Cluster, a group of enthusiastic librarians whose aim is to create user-focused and engaging digital objects. A new suite of videos that will show students how to place holds (reservations) and find ebooks and journal articles is in development.

Copyright help for teachers

Picture of Susannah Bell
Susannah Bell

A new online tool, Copyright for teaching will assist teaching staff who want to use copyright-protected material when teaching. "It describes typical scenarios staff encounter when using copyright material," says Susannah Bell, Copyright and Digital Content Management Officer.

Teaching staff often want to use copyright-protected material in lectures and coursepacks, exams, on Blackboard or even outside Swinburne. The tool shows them how and provides copyright advice. Copyright for teaching is a companion to Copyright for students launched last year.

We welcome your feedback. Email us at For more information about copyright see the website.


Legal research and referencing help a click away

Picture of a screen grab of the AGLC web page

Three new videos will help law students understand and conduct legal research. The first in the suite, Introducing legal research explains legal research methodology in six steps. Finding Australian case law introduces students to case law research, with a special focus on CaseBase legal citator. The third video covers Finding Australian legislation and describes the two most helpful sites for legislation research.

The videos were conceived by Mike Marriott, Liaison Librarian for the Swinburne Law School and developed in collaboration with the Library's Digital Learning Cluster.

In addition, the Library’s online Referencing tool now includes guidelines and examples that follow the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC3). The tool shows students how to reference case law and legislation and covers books, articles, online sources and audio-visual formats.


Closing remarks

Picture of Kim Tairi
Kim Tairi

We’ve been thinking about how the Library is evolving to meet the needs of the university community. Our new vision, underpinned by the university's 2020 vision, places the Library as a partner in the educational, research and workplace achievements of the university. Our services and facilities continue to evolve. Did you know that over 90 per cent of our materials budget builds digital collections rather than print? There are many benefits to large online collections, including extensive subject coverage, currency and access.

Floorplan of the Library
Hawthorn Library floorplan

Our move to digital is also an opportunity for us to explore how our physical and virtual spaces best fit our users’ needs. We’re excited about the upcoming Library website redevelopment and we’ll continue to develop online help with tools like Library clips.

In Semester 2, we launch Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) with improved self-service kiosks at all campus libraries. The Wantirna and Croydon installation is underway and Hawthorn will go live in the first week of August. As part of the RFID project, level two at Hawthorn will be refurbished with a new Service desk, furniture and other features. For the first time the Library Rovers and research help will be available from one service point. 

In September we’re piloting a program with the Learning and Academic Skills Centre (LAS) to co-locate Rovers (Faculty Student Peer Mentors) in the Hawthorn library. The Rovers offer a wonderful service helping students with faculty-specific study questions. We’ve also joined Student HQ in going cashless for Library services such as paying fines, photocopying and printing. You may have already used one of the new kiosks.

We’re confident these projects will result in better service and facilities and we look forward to hearing what you think. To close, in the words of MF Ryan: “Each of us has the opportunity to change and grow. Happy creating.”


Kim Tairi
University Librarian




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