Info@library 1/2016

University Librarian’s Message

Welcome to the first issue of info@library for 2016. There has been a very exciting start for the year with the new Library Services Platform going live on Wednesday 10 February 2016 — the most significant technological development undertaken by the University Library in recent years.

This is the culmination of the major project that the Library undertook throughout 2015 to procure and implement a new platform that will support the requirements of a 21st century university library and enhance the user experience of our clients. The project was supported by the Senior Executive as a business critical system for the University and funded by New Initiatives funding in the 2015 budget. 

Support from across the University from Strategic Procurement, Legal Office, Strategic Projects, and Information Technology has played an important part in achieving this milestone.

Ex Libris Primo and Alma were selected as the cloud-based unified resource management and discovery platform.  UNE will be joining an extensive community of Ex Libris customers globally. In Australia, eighteen university libraries (in addition to UNE) and two state libraries have implemented (or are in the process of implementing) the Ex Libris Alma and Primo solutions.

The new platform went live only one day later than the exacting schedule set when implementation commenced in September 2015.

There are some features that have yet to be enabled as some prioritisation was necessary to maximise achieving the transition to the new system in the narrow window of opportunity between Trimester 3 examinations, intensive schools, and the start of Trimester 1. Nevertheless we have had positive feedback from clients regarding the new Search. There is more information on Search elsewhere in this issue of the newsletter.

This achievement is a credit to a dedicated team of Library staff. Additional features will appear incrementally over the coming weeks and months. As a hosted software-as-a-service solution, regular releases of enhancements to both the resources management system Alma, and Primo which provides the public facing services via Search, will result in a dynamic and constantly evolving service delivering improvements to students and staff.

Other highlights from 2015

While much of the focus in 2015 was the implementation of the Library Services Platform, other achievements of note were:

  • UNE research outputs were made discoverable via Google, Google Scholar and the National Library of Australia’s Trove.
  • Non-Traditional Research Outputs were processed in the research publications repository (e-publications@UNE) to form part of the University’s Excellence in Research Australia submission.
  • Trial of a solution for the research data registry was successfully completed and the business case approved for procurement and implementation.
  • A set of integrated online tutorials for undergraduate students focusing on the research skills needed to complete different kinds of assignments was developed: eSkills 2.0.
  • Short library help and training videos were produced which can be communicated and accessed via a tweet: QuickTips.

Barbara Paton
University Librarian

About Search

The Library Services Platform incorporates a discovery layer called Search. Search delivers:

  • Single point of access to the Library’s electronic and print collections.
  • Access to full-text online.
  • Relevance ranking of search results..
  • Article recommendations.
  • Device-agnostic access: mobile, tablet or desktop.
  • Engaging, friendly interface.
  • Quick and easy requesting and delivery of library resources.

Search offers many of the services clients are already familiar with such as renewing loans, checking status and saving searches for later use.

New features will allow online students living outside the Armidale area to order books, videos, digitisation of content and many other features directly via Search.

Help with Search can be found here.

2016 Library Operational Plan

The University Library Operational Plan for 2016 has been developed in the context of the UNE Strategic Plan 2016–2020 and is in draft form and will be finalised following release of the University Business Plan and other key operational plans for research and learning and teaching.

A full outline of the operational plan will be available on the library website soon.  Some key action areas for the year are:

  • Extend and improve access to UNE research outputs and data by implementing a research data registry in collaboration with Research Services and ITD.
  • Support the academic community to establish ORCID identifiers to provide consistency in the collection and reporting of research outputs.
  • Provide leadership and advice in understanding current and emerging e-textbooks models and their pedagogical and financial implications.
  • Optimize opportunities for service and process improvements enabled by Alma and Primo.

We’re Going Green

As of Trimester 1 2016, the University Library no longer provides paper receipts for loans issued to clients.

Instead clients receive a receipt with the due date for return of the loan via email. This information can also be found online through My Account.

This change has been made in conjunction with the implementation of the new Library Services Platform and as a part of the Library’s contributions towards reducing paper use and protecting the environment.

Current Exhibitions in Dixson Library

Judith Wright: Country that built my heart

(Until 31 May, 2016)

2015 marks the centenary of renowned Australian poet Judith Wright’s birth. Her and her family’s connection to the New England region was fundamental to her writing, and she described it in her poem Train Journey as ‘country that built my heart’.

This exhibition draws together items held by the Heritage Centre, Dixson Library and the UNE Art Collection to illustrate the mark left by Judith Wright on the ‘high, lean country’ of New England.

And the winners are....

(Until 31 May, 2016)

The University of New England School Acquisitive Art Prize (UNESAP) was established twelve years ago by the School of Education to encourage talented young artists throughout regional New South Wales. It is open to all school students aged 5 to 19 years and culminates in the Let’s Hang It! public exhibition held at the New England Regional Art Museum.

In 2015 over 700 students from 39 regional schools sent in artworks. From these entries only 62 finalists were chosen for exhibition. The best artworks in four categories were selected this year by guest judge, the well-known professional artist and educator, James White.

The winners are acquired into the UNE Art Collection.

Archives and Heritage Centre News

Record Keeping and Public Memorials

For thousands of years people have used the creation of memorials as a way of documenting the actions of groups or individuals in order to inform the public. All around us are items or activities that we often don’t identify as memorials.These memorials can be intangible, like a memorial prize, lecture or performance. A memorial might be transient, like a funeral pyre designed to cremate and scatter. A memorial might also be designed to transcend the generations, like a headstone or public monument.

In the Heritage Centre, we have a responsibility to capture the records of these memorials and to be able provide historical facts behind the monument. This might be as simple as keeping a record of the award of academic prizes and scholarships to students or as complex as holding a physical memorial after the original site has been destroyed. Frequently, the record of dedication of a memorial will be part of the public record in newspapers or the governance records of an organization, such as official minutes of meetings.

The blocks around Armidale’s Central Park provide several examples of old memorials from the past.  In 1965 The Animal Welfare League and Lions Club erected a memorial birdbath to the late Reverend Reginald Arthur Harris. We found this reference whilst researching a photograph album in the Heritage Centre documenting the Reverend’s service in the Australian Imperial Forces as a chaplain during World War One. A check for the physical memorial to the Reverend revealed no existing plaque but a water fountain with an attachment for watering pets as well as people.  The Reverend’s album depicts many of the animals he saw in his travels.  A diligent local historian captured the original memorial in a photo.

The Central Park was also the site of war memorial trophies after World War One. Guns captured by Australian troops including the locally raised 33rd Battalion were returned to Australia and issued to local communities. Photographs from the 1920s and 1940s showed the Armidale gun in the park prior to its removal in the 1950s. No representation of this memorial remains in the park. Changing public priorities and high maintenance costs see the loss of memorials over time. The important task is to retain the documentation behind the memorial’s creation.

Not far from Central Park an unusual memorial was dedicated on ANZAC Day in 1972 in the grounds of St Mary’s School Armidale. Violette Szabo was a fallen member the World War Two French Resistance Movement whose family migrated to Australia. Recently donated images show a former staff member of the Armidale Teachers College, Madame Lilly Piel dedicating this memorial. Madame Piel was also a French resistance member. She was asked by the Returned Services League to officiate at the opening. Recently we were able send details of this memorial to France in order to inform a new generation of people about this memorial so far from the events it commemorates.

Society generates a continual demand for new memorials both public and private. Our cemeteries are a prime example, but so are financial contributions to a trust or charity. What underpins all this activity is our desire to project living memory beyond the generation that creates those memories into the future. Time begins eroding memorials immediately they are dedicated, making the role of an archive integral to our urban planning discussions about these spaces.

Bill Oates
University Archivist