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Swinburne Library News

Abraham Lincoln said, "the best way to predict your future is to create it." This issue is all about the Library of the future: the new law collection and law librarian, plans for more efficient Library services and more welcoming spaces; a roadmap through the complicated world of open education licensing and copyright; new ways of collaborating between teachers, technologists and librarians.

Staff profile - Mike Marriott

Mike Marriott
Mike Marriott

Mike Marriott will lead liaison and information management services for the new Swinburne Law School. Mike's professional experience spans both and public sectors, most recently at the global law firm, K&L Gates.

What attracted you to the law?

I started in public libraries, which I greatly enjoyed, but I wanted to enhance my professional skills–to push myself. So I spent a considerable part of my career in professional accounting and law firms. In those firms there can be challenging clients, but there's also the chance to work on diverse and interesting projects. I've managed special research projects and been involved in the design and build of internet/intranet sites and document management systems. These have been excellent learning experiences; they are what motivate me as a professional librarian.

You've been busy setting up Swinburne's law library; tell us about the process

I've been working to make sure our law collections support the courses we will teach. This means reviewing publisher catalogues, identifying prescribed texts, key journals and research materials. Specialist law collections and databases from publishers such as LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters are also on our acquisitions list.

We haven't forgotten physical spaces, either. Plans are underway to create a dedicated space on level three of the Library for the print law collection. I'm enjoying the process, especially the opportunity to meet with academics in the Faculty of Business and Enterprise; they are passionate about the law school. We've chatted about Library resources over coffee and they've been generous with their time and subject knowledge.

What will be different about the Swinburne Law School?

The law school will build on Swinburne's strengths. There will be a strong focus on copyright and intellectual property, technology and innovation. The law intersects with many of our courses and research areas, from biotechnology and engineering to computing, biosciences, media and communication and social sciences. The law school will offer students more choice and foster collaboration between academics across diverse departments in the university.

Open education licensing: supporting Australian universities

Robin Wright
Robin Wright

A joint project lead by Swinburne and the University of Tasmania will make it easier for Australian universities to navigate the complex world of licensing for open education.

Early next year, the project team will survey Australian universities about their business plans for open online education. They will use the information to create an open education licensing toolkit. The toolkit will be open to professionals across the sector, from teaching academics and learning technologists to business planners and policy makers–anyone who is involved in open education practices (OEP). It will describe the different types of open education licences and how they relate to business and policy decisions.

"The toolkit will help Australian universities make decisions about OEP," says project leader Robin Wright, of Swinburne's Copyright Office. "We want to help them be competitive in the global market for online education."

The project was made possible by a $222,000 grant from the federal government's Office for Learning and Teaching.

Carpe Diem: creativity and getting the job done

Heather Coutts
Heather Coutts

Swinburne's Liaison Librarians are embracing Carpe Diem, the two day workshop in online learning design developed by Professor Gilly Salmon.

"It's a demanding process," says Heather Coutts, Liaison Librarian for the Faculty of Business and Enterprise, "but by the end of the two days a well-designed unit is prepared with input and ideas from participants with a range of expertise."

Librarians work in teams with academics and educational technologists from the Learning Transformations Unit. They find and curate educational content and also advise on copyright–what can and can’t be used online. The focus is on developing e-tivities (online activities). "The e-tivities are often based around video or images," Heather says, "because the unit needs to be engaging and these formats promote that."

The Library website is a rich source of content, with copyright help, online video, Ebooks, EndNote tutorials and Swinburne Commons all on offer.

All e-tivities are 'reality tested' by other teams and an action plan developed. Any follow up work needed to complete the unit is done in the days following the workshop. Creativity and getting the job done is the main thing. "There isn't time for anyone to be precious about any idea," says Heather. "Many ideas are thrown around and the best ones prevail."

Photographic exhibition captures Swinburne's past and present

Burwood road facades Swinburne's newest buildings feature in a beautiful exhibition by photographic artist Peter Garnick. Thanks to the generosity of the artist, the photos are available online in Swinburne's open access image collection, Swinburne Image Bank.

The exhibition spans the construction of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC) and the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre (AMDC) over three years, from first designs to final touches. It records everything from the faded Victorian facades on Burwood Road to the construction of Swinburne's high technology initiative, the Factory of the Future.

View the full exhibition on Swinburne Image Bank.

Copyright made easy

Susannah Bell
Susannah Bell

A new online tool, Copyright for Students will help students understand and use copyright material for study. "It describes typical scenarios students encounter when working on assessment tasks," says Susannah Bell, Copyright and Digital Content Management Officer.

Students often want to use copyright-protected material in creative works, essays and reports. The tool shows them how. It covers using images, video, text and music. And there’s more copyright help on the way. A Copyright for Teachers tool is in development; to be launched later this year.

Tell us what you think, email us at For more information about copyright see the website.

Better, faster, smoother service at Swinburne Library

Book shelfRFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is coming to Swinburne Library in 2015. "It's a major undertaking," says Kim Tairi, Associate Director, Information Management. "It will enable the Library to move to a one-stop-shop Library Service desk at Hawthorn campus and improve self-service for people using the Library."

A project to tag the whole collection at all three campus libraries will begin in November and end in February 2015. The Rover and Library Service desk will be integrated and relocated, making it easy to get answers to Library and IT questions in one place.

Better customer service and state-of-the-art self-service kiosks for borrowing and renewing are just two of the benefits on their way.

"The RFID project is part of a larger plan to make the level two Hawthorn library entrance more inviting and a space to be proud of," says Kim. "We want a bold space that says, 'we are here to help you.'"

More information will follow as we move closer to kick off in the next phase of the project. Want to know more? Email Kim Tairi at


A new look for Swinburne Commons

Commons Swinburne Commons is better than ever, with a great new look and exciting new features. The open access collection has quality digital media and teaching content produced by Swinburne staff and students. It now features enhanced streaming video players, support for more complex objects, improved statistics tracking and more accessibility support. Swinburne Commons will continue to distribute this content to YouTube and iTunes U.

The TV and radio collection has more than 1400 TV and radio programs requested by staff and copied under Swinburne's Screenrights licence. It now features the ability to search across all content, faster availability in Search the Library and easier options for managing copyright compliance.

Do you have content you'd like included in Swinburne Commons? We can make it happen! Contact us at


Closing remarks

Teula Morgan
Teula Morgan

As always, we've had great help from our customers: thank you to all those who completed the client survey in May. We received 1335 responses and 610 written comments about Library services. The Library's scores on overall performance and satisfaction both increased this year. The Library's users are diverse; however, some themes do emerge.

What we do well

Library staff are fair, approachable, provide accurate answers to enquiries, are available to assist and provide face-to-face service. You like us and think our staff are doing their jobs well.

Next are wireless access and opening hours, off-campus access to Library resources and services, self-service facilities and access to online journals and databases. You think we are doing all these things quite well.

What can we improve?

Computer availability, a quiet place to study and space to do group work are three areas you think we can do better. The study space app and the opening of two new quiet study spaces at Hawthorn campus in the SR and BA buildings should help with the availability of space. We also have rostered staff to walk through these areas more often. We encourage you to book computers and we are trialling a new virtual environment on computers in Semester 2. It has the potential to make specialist applications available on more computers.

Search the Library is next on the improvement list. A software upgrade has brought three major improvements. First, it has reduced the number of failed searches. Second, searches now return a smaller number of more relevant results. Third, Search the Library now works better when users paste a citation directly into the search box.

Last on the list are our online journals and databases: how can we ensure they are relevant? We'll continue to analyse our usage statistics, to help us work out what resources are important to our users. Our Liaison teams are also working closely with researchers and teaching staff to identify and purchase resources that better meet teaching and research needs.

Thank you for your feedback, for letting us know what we do well and where we can do better. We'll be working on these things as we plan for 2015 and beyond. The client survey is a key driver for our planning and the needs and wishes of Library customers will help us determine what we do and where we put our resources.

Teula Morgan

Director, Information Resources Group




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