Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University


2014 News

CSU team wins 2014 ALIA Research Grant Award

Research project: Natural Search User Interfaces for Complex Biomedical Search

Congratulations to Dr Ying-Hsang Liu who led a CSU Team (with Marijana Bacic, Paul Thomas and Tom Gedeon) which is the recipient of the 2014 ALIA Research Grant Award that will focus on the design of search interfaces.

The practice of using controlled vocabularies, such as MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), costs millions of dollars, however, the usefulness of these terms for information search has not been rigorously evaluated in interactive search environments.

The research team will conduct a series of user experiments to inform the design of search interfaces which could guide the development of better information retrieval for experts in the biomedical domain.

Anyone interested in further information about the project is invited to contact Dr Liu:

Course Director keynotes at EDUTECH

Course Director Judy O'Connell presented a keynote at the EDUTECH national conference in Brisbane on June 3, addressing an audience of K-12 educators, leaders and library managers, as well as leaders and technology managers in higher education, VET and workplace learning. Chaired by Adam Spencer, Judy's  session set the scene for Sir Ken Robinson's plenary session on Day One. The focus for the conference was on the changing demands in learning needs, delivery, and pedagogical shifts that underpin the world of 21st century learning. Judy's presentation responded to the changing contexts of the information environment and influences on learning designs, providing a summary of key features, ranging from access to influences on areas as diverse as creativity, knowledge networks, and information architecture which underpins digital innovation. The slides for the presentation are available online.

Lecturer wins CALA Jing Liao Award

Congratulations to SIS Lecturer, Dr George Yi, who has won the Chinese American Librarians Association's Jing Liao Award for the Best Research in All Media for 2014, with his paper, 'Setting goals for change in the information age: Approaches of academic library directors in the USA,' published last year in Library Management 34 (1/2): 5-19. The citation comments that 'the article provides a useful overview on how the directors set goals for change, the approaches they used, and the factors that influenced their decisions. It should be beneficial to current and future library directors, managers, and librarians alike to gain an understanding of the administrative/operational skills that required for academic library directors.' The CALA Jing Liao Award was established in 2011 to honour the memory of the late CALA member, Jing Liao, a devoted and accomplished librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mid-year Intakes

Applications remain open for mid-year admission into the School's main programs, including the Bachelor and Master of Information Studies, and the Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship), with Commonwealth Supported Places available in all three programs. New subjects this coming session include 'Community Informatics', which will provide the foundation for the reconfigured Community Informatics specialisation in the Master of Information Studies. The final closing date for applications is 9 June 2014.

Outstanding Paper Award

Congratulations to the SIS faculty, Annemaree Lloyd, Mary Anne Kennan, Kim Thompson and Asim Qayyum, whose paper, "Connecting with new information landscapes: information literacy practices of refugees", has been selected by the Journal of Documentation's editorial team as the Outstanding Paper for 2013. The paper focused on how refugees learn to engage with a complex, multimodal information landscapes, and how their information literacy practices are constructed to enable them to connect and be included in their new information landscape.

Lloyd, A.,Kennan, M.A,. Thompson, K. and Qayyum (2013) "Connecting with new information landscapes: information literacy practices of refugees", Journal of Documentation, 69(1): 121-144.

LIRT Paper Award

Information Studies Professor Lisa Given and SIS Adjunct Professor Heidi Julien's article, "Information literacy proficiency: assessing the gap in high school students' readiness for undergraduate academic work", has been selected by the ALA Library Instruction Round Table's (LIRT's) Top Twenty Committee as a 2013 Top Twenty article. In selecting this article, the committee especially noted that "This article contributes to the research that is being completed in the area of the high school to college transition period [...] [I]t provides an example of how undergraduate students may value information literacy at the college level but do not know where to get help with acquiring these skills." During the review process, the selection committee read over 160 articles this year.

The article appeared in Library and Information Science Research, 35(2): 88-96, in April 2013, and was co-authored by Jorden K. Smith, Dana Ouellette and Kathleen DeLong.

Barbara Combes, PhD

The School congratulates teacher librarianship lecturer, Dr Barbara Combes, on the conferral of her PhD. Barbara's thesis focused on information-seeking behaviour of young people (aged 18-22) – the so-called Net Generation, Generation Y or Millennials. Her research investigated the Net Generation's personal perceptions of how they use a range of technologies and their emotional response (confidence levels) to using these technologies according to the Net Generation attributes as outlined in the practitioner literature and the popular press. It then examined closely how a group of young people were actually using these technologies to find information using the Internet and electronic resources, to determine whether the Net Generation attributes accurately reflect what young people are doing in practice.

RAILS Submission Deadline Approaching

Just a reminder that the submission deadline is Monday, 10 March, for the 2014 Research Applications in Information and Library Studies (RAILS) Conference with Australian Information Educators Symposium (AIES) and Doctoral Forum.  We specifically encourage budding researchers and potential HDR students to submit proposals and attend the conference.

The School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University is proud to be hosting RAILS in Canberra this July.

New lecturer joins SIS

The School of Information Studies welcomes a new lecturer, Lee FitzGerald, who joins CSU after involvement as an adjunct lecturer for some years. She has had a long career as a teacher librarian in primary and secondary school libraries, both independent and public. She brings with her a passion for school libraries, teacher librarianship, and an appreciation of the value of the Information Search Process of Guided Inquiry. Lee is a long time advocate of the teaching role of the teacher librarian, especially as it is facilitated by inquiry learning. She is also interested in applying evidence-based practice to confirm the growth of deep learning through inquiry.

Lee works in Sydney, where she is maintaining a connection with Loreto Kirribilli, her most recent school, to further investigate the success or otherwise of Guided Inquiry. In recent years, Lee has also worked with the Loreto community in Darjeeling District in India to set up and maintain a small, manual library in the tea gardens district below the Himalayas at Loreto Panighatta near Siliguri. Literacy is crucial to children of the tea garden workers, to break the cycle of poverty, so endemic in the district, and to avoid the threats of child trafficking and early, arranged marriages. Lee will mainly teach in the Teacher Librarianship program.

Dr Williamson retires after 17 years at SIS

Dr Kirsty Williamson, Senior Research Fellow, has retired after 17 years of part-time work for the School. Kirsty has made some very significant contributions to the School's research activities over the years, both individually and as a leader of various teams and groups. Her record of Australian Research Council grants and of highly cited publications has been outstanding. Of particular note is Kirsty's extensive work on every-day information seeking and her formidable methodological expertise. She has been a wonderful supervisor for a series of PhD students and a valued mentor for many faculty. A large number of staff past and present attended Kirsty's retirement dinner in February. Dr Williamson will continue to be affiliated with CSU as an adjunct senior research fellow.

Office for Learning & Teaching grant success

A team led by A/Prof Philip Hider has been successful in winning the commission for a Commonwealth Government Office for Learning & Teaching (OLT) project, entitled 'National Learning and Teaching Resource Audit and Classification'.  The OLT will provide $149,000 for the project, which aims to improve access to the OLT's resources through a systematic review of the metadata currently provided in its database, and the development and implementation of a new schema, taxonomies and guides to support the use of the database into the future. It will also undertake an audit of the existing resources, so as to identify areas of strength and gaps where more work in the area of learning and teaching in higher education is needed.