Monday, 7 December 2009

ADCS 2009 (Australasian Document Computing Symposium)

The Fourteenth Australasian Document Computing Symposium (ADCS) was held in conjunction with The ARC Network in Human Communication Science (HCSNet) SummerFest at UNSW on 4 December. ADCS is a major forum for Australasian researchers and practitioners working in the areas of document management, information retrieval and digital libraries. This year's presentations covered a variety of topics within these areas, including collaborative recommender systems, text categorisation, sentiment analysis, search log analysis of Wikipedia use and information retrieval (IR) system evaluation. Mark Sanderson's plenary speech provided an overview of the history of IR evaluation in the construction of test collections and recent trends in user evaluations that move beyond simulations of search performance. Of particular interest are the papers that attempt to model human judgment behaviour, including Newman and Karimi's 'External evaluation of topic models' and Turpin and Scholer's 'Modelling disagreement between judges for information retrieval system evaluation.'

I had a chance to talk to other IR researchers who are also interested in user interactions with IR systems from RMIT and CSIRO. Since this conference is part of HCSNet week long big bang event, it provides the opportunities for connecting with related areas of research, such as speech and language technology and music communication science. Overall, this conference is well-planned and very successful in promoting innovative interdisciplinary research.

Friday, 27 November 2009

IR (Information Retrieval) Talk at CSIRO ICT Centre

Dr Ying-Hsang Liu gave a presentation to a group of researchers with special interests in information retrieval, data mining and document computing at CSIRO ICT Centre in Canberra on 23 November.

His presentation was concerned with the impact of state-of-the-art controlled vocabularies, exemplified by MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), on search effectiveness by different types of searchers in the genomics domain. The study suggested that MeSH terms were more useful for domain experts than for search experts in terms of the precision measure, even though domain experts did not perceive that MeSH terms were useful.

He also met several researchers at CSIRO whose current research projects range from distributed IR (also known as federated searching in information studies), enterprise search, patent classification, tweets as annotations to intelligent search tools for answering clinical questions. The knowledge sharing in this discussion group has stimulated many exciting ideas for future collaborative research.

SWITCH: Public Libraries in a Changing Environment

Suzanne Lipu reports that:

The Public Librarian's Conference (in Sydney Sunday 22 November 2009 to Tuesday 24 November 2009) went well, and the SIS booth was well attended. There were 290 delegates with a good number of local government councillors, 5 representatives from Wagga City Library, a couple of mayors, and of course lots of metro, regional and rural librarians (including an Indigenous Knowledge Centre librarian from WA). Many of the attendees were library managers and/or team coordinators. We had some excellent talks from Hugh McKay, Frank Panucci (Director, Community Partnership of the Australian Council of the Arts) and Michael Pascoe (a very entertaining and amusing presenter for an economist!). All other papers (including mine) was presented as part of either a Social Sustainability, Economic Sustainability, or Cultural Sustainability strand - 4 speakers in each - followed by an interactive panel with the audience for about half an hour. This was facilitated by Lucy Broad from the ABC and this arrangement fostered lots of discussions, and questions directed to me.

My talk focussed on the new courses available, particularly the Community Networking strand (since these were public librarians) and as a result of the talk I got many queries about that strand, as well as the change in courses and other offerings.

Next year the South-West Zone of Public Libraries NSW Country will be holding a conference in Albury from 13-16 July at the Albury Entertainment Centre for those of you who might be interested.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Usability Laboratory

Earlier this semester Dr. Asim Qayyum of the School of Information Studies and Alice Ferguson of the Division of Library Services hosted an open house of the new Digital Library Usability Lab. The Lab has been setup to facilitate Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research and transform the experiences that people have with new technologies.

The objective is to study the needs of computer users to evaluate and develop technologies, and to ensure that the needs and practices of users are reflected in future software applications and information technologies.

Primary activities will include carrying out research to study and design user interfaces, and to carry out usability studies.

CSU Researchers can book the facilities available in the lab for project use.

Equipment available in the lab:

  • Three high end desktop PCs running on Windows XP, equipped with microphones, headset, and Webcam.
  • Morae 3 software with Manager, observer, and recorder modules to record interactions.
  • Two rooms to accommodate researcher and experiment participants.
  • One way mirror between rooms to facilitate observation.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

ASIST 2009 Annual Meeting: Thriving on Diversity - Information Opportunities in a Pluralistic World

Each year the American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) holds an annual meeting. It is a key conference for those working and researching in the field of information science and technology. Ideas and research are shared, networks formed and agendas set. The theme for the conference this year was “Thriving on Diversity: Information Opportunities in a Pluralistic World”. This year I was privileged to attend the 2009 ASIS&T conference in Vancouver as an invitee to the Doctoral Seminar for Research and Career Development. There was such a wide variety of papers I won’t attempt to do a summary, but from the Keynote presentation by Tim Bray of Sun Microsystems were three pithy lines which represent some of the topics. “The killer app of the Internet is people”; “What happens on the Internet stays on the Internet … forever” and “The culture of online is epistolary … we are in a golden age of writing …”.

While at ASIS&T I met many interesting people, including Dr Heidi Julien from the University of Alberta who we will welcome as a visiting professor at CSU next year. I also met Chang Liu, who was co-author of a poster paper titled “To Search is to Believe: A Comparative Study of health Information Use” with our own Dr Ying-Hsang Liu. Attached is a picture of Chang Liu with their paper. There were many interesting and creative papers, panels and workshops. One particularly interesting session which focused on future directions for information behaviour research mentioned the work Dr Annemaree Lloyd is doing in the area of information practice as something to watch.

Vancouver is a beautiful city. I did not really have the opportunity to explore, as I was only there for such a short period. I did, however, manage a daily walk, on one of which I discovered their very interesting city library building pictured here.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Doctoral Paper Award - Congratulations Sally Burford!

The SIS Research Development Committee (RDC) is pleased to report that the winner of the SIS Doctoral paper award for 2007-2008 and the accompanying $500 prize is Sally Burford for her conference proceeding:

Burford, S. 2008, “Understanding How Organisations Achieve Effective Web Information Architecture using a Grounded Theory Approach.” AusWeb 08: The 14th Australasian World Wide Web Conference, 5-9 April 2008, Ballina, NSW, Australia: Conference proceedings. AusWeb 08.

After reviewing the paper, the Committee agreed that it was an interesting paper on an interesting topic. We should acknowledge that Sally also received the best paper award at the AusWeb 08 conference for this paper. CONGRATULATIONS SALLY!

The RDC would like to encourage Doctoral students to take this Doctoral paper award as an incentive to publish their work as they progress through their studies and to submit their papers for awards as opportunities arise to do so.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Dr. Jennie Bales wins Beth Southwell Award

Congratulations to Dr. Jennie Bales, a recent PhD graduate of ours, who has won a Beth Southwell Research Award for Outstanding Educational Thesis from 2008! This award is from the NSW Institute for Educational Research and nominations are limited to one per university. Beth Southwell was a well known educator and academic who gave many years of committed service to the NSW Institute for Educational Research. This award perpetuates her memory.

Dr. Bales' thesis, "Supportive Online Learning Environments for Primary Students: Literature Circles in an Education MOO", is attracting a great deal of favourable attention from the educational community. Well done, Jennie!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Annual Conference Brisbane 2009

Australian Society of Archivists - Annual Conference Brisbane 2009

The Australian Society of Archivists recently held their annual conference in Brisbane this year as a joint event with the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand (ARANZ) and PARBICA (the Pacific and Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives). The theme for the conference was Voyaging Together – Integrity, Memory, Sustainability.

With over 200 delegates, and a busy program of workshops, papers and panels, the event provided archivists, records managers and related professionals with a range of opportunities to share knowledge, network and socialise. Two CSU staff were involved. Sigrid McCausland was a conference organiser and co-presented two workshops – Advocacy for Small Archives (with Desley Soden of the Anglican Diocesan Archives of Brisbane) and Review of the Statement of Knowledge for Recordkeeping Professionals (with Marian Hoy, Professional Development and Education Officer of the Records Management Association of Australasia). Bob Pymm presented a paper on the 9/11 Virtual Archive in the US and was a panel member for a discussion on Educating Archivists: Life after Bradley.

Friday, 23 October 2009

SIS students excel at workplaces

Always is good to hear about the good things our students are doing:

From: Sally Kudrna []
Sent: Tuesday, 13 October 2009 3:14 PM
To: Pymm, Robert
Cc: Claire Eggleston
Subject: CSU students who volunteered at the Australia Coucnil for the Arts

Hi Robert,

Three students from the post graduate Library and Information Studies course volunteered to help us with a stocktake here at the Australia Council for the Arts.
Ellen Fitzgerald, Antonia Wall and Jess Irwin.
They have been extremely keen to learn about our library and library management system. They have been hard working and their time has been recognised and valued by us in the library, our directors and the finance division of the Australia Council.
When I am next asked how to become a librarian I will definitely be recommending CSU by correspondence.

Thanks again for posting our work experience opportunity on your forum. We have really enjoyed having work experience student here and I hope they learnt some things and enjoyed their time with us as well.


Sally Kudrna
Research Librarian
Research and Strategic Analysis, Arts Development

Australia Council for the Arts
PO Box 788 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012 Australia

SIS at the Institute for Information Management Annual Conference in Canberra

On Wednesday October 8th Bob and Mary Anne took information about the new SIS Courses to the annual conference of the Institute for Information Management Conference “Managing Information Today and Tomorrow” in Canberra. We met lots of interesting people, including past, present and hopefully future students of SIS.

The conference provided a forum for both information practitioners and solution providers to come together in order to develop their understanding of theory and practice in all aspects of information management. The conference had interesting papers in three streams:

  • Governance, Risk and Compliance
  • Enterprise Content Management
  • Business Intelligence
In the afternoon there was a panel discussion on "Freedom of Information (FoI) and Web 2.0". Panel members included Vladimir Videnovic, Institute for Information Management; Tony Corcoran, Department of Defence; Christine Johnson, National Archives of Australia; Thomas Kaufhold, Records Management Association of Australasia; David Eade, Objective; Peter Outteridge Australian Computer Society; and Mary Anne. A large part of the discussion centred around education in the changing information landscape.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Study visit to Sydney 13th to 16th October 2009

A group of 45 students from the masters degrees in library and information management, information studies and teacher librarianship, and the undergraduate degrees in library and information management and information studies, visited a range of libraries in Sydney from 13-16 October. The group were guided by SIS staff James Herring, Kim Thompson and Roy Crotty. The students all visited the Ultimo TAFE library on Tuesday morning and the University of Technology Sydney library on Friday morning. In between, students had a choice each morning and afternoon of 3 different libraries, including public libraries, a medical library, the state records, the parliamentary library and other special libraries.

The photos below show a group of students at the Australian Research Museum library a) under a spectacular peacock and b) next to a very tall but remarkably well behaved ostrich. The library has a notice saying that animals such as this would not be exhibited in today’s more enlightened times.

The Sydney Royal Botanic Garden Library visitors were shown a remarkable rare books collection and learned about how a small special library survives by working extensively with volunteers.

On the Friday morning, in the debrief session at UTS, students were given an outline of what ALIA can do for them as information professionals by Nikki Kallenberger.

At the debriefing, students were asked to reflect on the value of the visits to the various libraries and students noted the enthusiasm of the librarians they had met, especially those working under severe financial restrictions. Students also saw the study visit as an excellent opportunity to meet both the staff (James, Kim and Roy) as well as other students on their own course but also on other courses. The studetns were full of praise for the organisation of study visit, including all the preparatory work done by Carol Morton, the professional experience officer. Students were split into groups to discuss their findings.

At the close of this very successful study visit, Nikki Kallenberger kindly took a group photo of SIS staff and students.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

How I use classification and thesaurus at home?

Sharyn Mayne is my student in INF 116. She sent the following to the forum. It is interesting to see application of information organization at home:

I classify my food cupboard thus:

top shelf is items that are used most often like condiments, vegemite, salt, milo, etc.
2nd shelf down is that are used less often like canned goods. I classify them according to type of packaging with cans on the right and boxes and packages on the left.
3rd shelf (and least likely to make me bend as often) is items used least often like cereal, flour, vinegar etc.

So to summarise, my food cupboard is classified according to:
1. Need
2. Type of packaging

Now my bookshelf is atypical of libraries and very typical of my laziness... just like the food cupboard, my bookshelf is classified according to need with items I haven't read at the top. Books that have been read are moved to the bottom. BUT, when i do a spring clean, i often move my favourite series to the very top shelf, so I can admire them whenever I look at the bookshelf.
Other than need, the books are classified according to Author, then series. For example, the Eddings series is situated to the left of the Jordan series and each series is situated in numerical order e.g. Book 1 is to the left and progresses upward to book 12.

Now, my spare bedroom has been harder to classify and generally I use a Thesaurus which I created myself and use annually or bi-annually, depending on the amount of resources and their condition. It's called the JUNK THESAURUS and I think with a bit of marketing, could become a worldwide tool for household description.

My Junk Thesaurus is so easy to use that a baby could do it. It contains limited broad terms - namely "Junk" and "Useful Stuff". When I acquire new resources for this room, they are given the narrower term "junk to be sorted". Occasionally (i.e. once a year), I will find the need to add a new term, "Rubbish", to the Thesaurus when I reclassify the parts of the room.

Just like the traditional library stocktake, my stocktake of the Spare Bedroom involves alot of dusty moving of objects with 3M sticky notes that classify piles of resources related terms like "Rubbish Junk", "Junk" and "Useful Junk".

During the last stages of the classification, instead of using "Useful Junk", I assign the terms "Storage", "Kitchen drawer", "Bedroom" and "Study". At the end of the process instead of using a broad term like "Rubbish" I use a narrower term - "Garbage bin".

Friday, 9 October 2009

SIS at Oz-IA in Sydney, Oct 2-3, 2009

Here is Asim introducing our new curriculum to the country's Information Architects at Oz-IA in Sydney.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Welcome Tea for Dr. Kim Thompson

Here are a few photographs from the morning tea held to welcome Kim. Kim is on the far left in the upper one and in the middle (standing) in the next photo. And the food contributions were great also!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Dr. Jennie Bales nominated for national award

Each year, the Australian Association for Research in Education presents the AARE Award for Research in Education, which recognises and celebrates the achievement of an outstanding Australian doctoral thesis in Education. All Faculties of Education in Australian universities are invited to nominate one doctoral thesis that has been examined during the previous 12 months for consideration for the award. This year, Dr. Jennie Bales’ thesis ‘Supportive Online Learning Environments for Primary Students: Literature Circles in an Education MOO’ has been nominated for this award. Congratulations, Jennie, and best wishes at the next level of this competition!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Library & Information Careers Evening

Library & Information Careers Evening
Melbourne, May 2009

Held at Experimedia, State Library of Victoria, 26th May, 5:30-7:30pm.
Organised through the Australian library and information associations, and supported by the State Library of Victoria, the School Library Association of Victoria and Public Libraries Victoria.

The session was very successful, attracting 150-180 people interested in work and study in the field. It began with a panel consisting of a library technician, a teacher librarian (a CSU MEdTL grad), a university librarian and a special librarian who has a wide range of experience. Each of the panel members introduced themselves and described their work and how they felt about their careers in this profession. This was followed by a Q&A session, based on questions collected from the participants as they arrived.

It was particularly pleasing to hear Jodie Heath, a CSU MEdTL graduate on the panel. Jodie spoke extremely well, and very positively, about her DE online study with CSU.

After the panel session people were encouraged to visit the stands of the tertiary institutions. Roy Sanders was supported on the SIS/CSU stand by 7 of our students/graduates (list below), and between them estimate they talked to over 60 of the participants. Interest was pretty even between MIS, BIS and TL courses. All our brochures were taken, and at one stage we looked to have most of the attendees around us.

Other courses represented were Swinburne (LibTech) , Box Hill TAFE, RMIT and Monash.

Many thanks to our student and graduate Helpers on the night:
Tania Barry BALIS graduate
Deanne Shoosmith BASLIM graduate
Annie Reilly BASLIM graduate
Deborah Parkinson BASLIM, 4th yr
Lizzie Gilmour MASLIM, 1st yr
Lesa Maclean MASLIM, 3rd yr
Satu Alakangas BALIS + MASLIM graduate

Another doctorate for Information Studies

The Charles Sturt University graduation ceremony at Burlington, Ontario on 5 June 2009 was notable for the graduation of Dr Shelby Sanett. Shelby completed her doctoral studies while enrolled in the School of Information Studies, with Ross Harvey as Principal Supervisor. She chose to graduate at the ceremony held in Canada for the Ontario campus because she is currently working in the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. Her decision meant that Ross Harvey, currently based at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, Boston, and Professor Michele Cloonan, a co-supervisor of Shelby’s thesis and Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, Boston, could also attend. Shelby also gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the students at the ceremony. Congratulations, Shelby!

Drs Ross Harvey, Shelby Sanett, and Michele Cloonan

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Libraries in the Digital Age Conference

Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) May 25-30, 2009. Dubrovnik and Zadar, Croatia.
The University of Zadar

This annual conference, now in its tenth year, provides a good mix of papers presented in a beautiful environment. It is co-hosted by the University of Zadar and Rutgers University, New Jersey. This approach enables a wide range of speakers and topics including big names from the US – this year the invited speakers were Marcia Bates and Michael Buckland, together with Peter Ingwersen from Denmark. The conference attracts around 200 participants and runs for a week, starting and ending with workshops covering a range of topics including working with Dublin core tools and an introduction to the Digital Library Reference Model. The first two days were held in Dubrovnik, a jewel of a city and this year, extremely warm. The organisers then moved everyone to the University itself in Zadar – another Croatian town set on the water’s edge. Again, a beautiful setting with the University in a prime location and chandeliers in the lecture theatres!

Presentations were wide ranging and included CSU lecturer Bob Pymm’s paper on archiving television in the digital age.

Bob on the balcony of the lecture theatre

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

SIS student at Museum Victoria

Read all about how Daniel, a student from our school's library and information management program, spends his three week placement at Museum Victoria's Discovery center. Visit the museum's blog at Scroll down to June 10 entry titled "Thanks, Daniel".

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Joy McGregor at Canadian Library Association conference

Dr. Joy McGregor attended the Canadian Library Association 2009 conference in Montreal from 29 May-1 June, where she presented a session called “Smart Information Use: Generating Knowledge and Avoiding Plagiarism”, soon to be available on the CLA website at The presentation was based on the ARC funded research project she is concluding this year with Dr. Kirsty Williamson. It focused in particular on the understandings of plagiarism held by student, teacher, and teacher librarian participants and on the strategies developed by teachers and TLs to support students in avoiding plagiarism in their writing.

The conference was un-themed, with topics ranging across the spectrum of possibilities, from Joe Janes’ (University of Washington) opening keynote called “Rethinking the Library” to Helene Blowers’ (architect of Library 2.0: 23 Things) closing address, “The Experience of Play”.

An online community was created for this conference at Photos were posted to Flickr at Although these online communities attracted only small numbers of attendees this year, similar communities are bound to develop and grow exponentially over the next few months and years, as more people become familiar with social networking tools through their work. This trend of growing familiarity was apparent in many of the sessions Joy attended.

Since the Canadian Library Association/Association Canadienne des bibliotheques is bilingual, and especially with the conference taking place in Montreal, French language exhibits and sessions were everywhere.

A French language kiosk at a Montreal street fair, however, demonstrated an unexpected cross-cultural experience—one could purchase kangaroo sausages. When asked (through a by-stander/ interpreter) what their connection with Australia was, the merchants indicated that there was no connection whatsoever. Interesting to speculate how this French Canadian ‘sausage sizzle’ came to be….

Monday, 1 June 2009

Roy is in SMH!

Roy Crotty, an associate lecturer at SIS was recently interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald on School Libraries. The online version of the full article on SMH can be accessed through this link:

Roy is also the president of the Australian School Library Association in NSW.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Sydney study visit

See more photos about this visit on CSU Information Studies.

SIS staff members Suzanne, Maryam, and Asim recently led groups of students on a tour of various libraries and museums in Sydney. This picture shows the magnificent new Law library at the University of Sydney. Click on the photo to visit our school's photo collection on FLICKR.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Tanya receives her award from VC

Pictured here are Professor Ian Goulter (VC), Dr. Joy McGregor, Tanya Tye, and Dr. Annemaree Lloyd. Joy and Anne nominated Tanya for this well deserved award.

See more award ceremony photos on CSU Information Studies.

LIM graduates 2009

Many of our Masters (LIM and TL) and PhD graduating students attended the ceremonies on April 1 here at the Wagga Campus. Well done!

See more graduation photos on CSU Information Studies.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

SIS booth in ONLINE conference

Online Booth 5
See more photos of the event at CSU Information Studies.

SIS recently set up and managed a booth at the ALIA sponsored ONLINE conference 2009. Here you can see Bob Pymm putting up all his charm to attract visitors.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Steve Hutchinson visits SIS/CSU

Steve speaks at a seminar arranged at SIS during his visit to CSU on Tuesday, February 10, 2009.

School photos 043
Originally uploaded by CSU Information Studies.

Steve is Director of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in the Faculty of Education and Language Studies at the Open University. The PGCE is a unique pre-service course in initial teacher education for graduates and since its inception in 1992 it has contributed 5000 new teachers to the profession; many of whom can only train through this route.

Steve's research uses Activity Theory to investigate the problems, dilemmas and opportunities facing student teachers as they move between the university and schools; as they cross boundaries between and within each of these settings.
Prior to his appointment to the Open University in 1997 he taught music in Secondary schools in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

SIS res school in pictures

On Jan 29, the incoming students started a three day long residential school on Wagga campus. Here is one picture from the event.

School photos 026

For more pictures, including those of students and staff going wild, visit our photo gallery in FLICKR at CSU Information Studies.

BBQ at the SIS res school

The master chefs in our BBQ team - Roy Sanders, Roy Crotty, & Bob Pymm

CSU Graduate plans new Library Building

These links take you to a website, and to a virtual tour and sound interview in which one of our BALIS & MASLIM graduates, Cathryn Harris (Library Manager, Mount Gambier Public Library ) discusses plans for the new Library building in Mt Gambier.

Cathryn says:

“Work on our new library has commenced with a completion date Nov/Dec 2009. I have attached the website below for you have a look at. The design and floor plan has taken 3 years to develop and we have looked at many libraries in Australia and New Zealand for inspiration and have tried to incorporate many of the good elements from a number of other successful libraries.”

Friday, 23 January 2009

Dr. Williamson visits Univ. of Washington

Geoff, Kirsty, & Terry
Originally uploaded by CSU Information Studies.

Dr Kirsty Williamson is currently in the United States meeting with Terry Asla, an international PhD student in the School of Information Studies. Here is a photo of Kirsty and her husband, Geoff, with Terry outside the University of Washington Library. Kirsty and Terry were invited to the University of Washington by Professor Bruce, Head of the Information School at the University of Washington while he was in Australia conducting the Information Studies School Review. It sure looks cold there!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Seminar on Broadband, libraries and the creation of Australia’s digital culture

This seminar, the third in a series jointly supported by the National Library of Australia, Charles Sturt University and ALIA, was intended to provide a broad overview of what the creation of Australia's digital culture means for libraries and information agencies in strategy and in practice. It was held in the National Library, Canberra, on Tuesday 18th November 2008.

The proceedings and mp3 recordings of the lectures are now available. To access these, click on the title of this post or the direct URL is