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Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Welcome to the School of Information Studies

40 years of Library and Information Science Education

The School of Information Studies has overall responsibility for the courses and research undertaken at CSU in the field of Library and Information Science (LIS). With over 2,000 students, the School is the leading provider of LIS education in Australia.

News from the school

Dr Jessie Lymn joins the School of Information Studies

Dr Jessie Lymn has commenced with CSU as a lecturer in Information Studies. Jessie will initially be teaching in the area of Collections and continuing in her existing research practices. Jessie has a PhD from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), a Master of Arts (Information & Knowledge Management) from UTS and a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) from the University of Adelaide. Jessie's doctoral research focused on the archival practices of subcultural communities and how these practices further temporal and spatial understandings of archives. She has published in Archives and Manuscripts, the Journal of Library Innovation, The Conversation and Artlink. Jessie has lectured and tutored in the Information Studies programs at both CSU and UTS. Jessie also extensive professional experience, including positions held as a Web Manager at the Australian Tax Office, Archivist at a small community archive, Data Archivist at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Data Archive, Information Management Consultant on an AusAID Pacific Governance project overseas, and prior to starting at CSU was a Research Officer at the UTS Centre for Local Government, with a research focus on public libraries.

OLT secondment for Philip Hider

Prof Philip Hider has been awarded a part-time secondment worth $150,000 by the Australian Government's Office for Learning & Teaching (OLT) to develop 'an effective, accessible and sustainable digital repository of OLT learning and teaching resources.' The secondment will build on a project that Prof Hider and his team completed in 2015 for the OLT, which reorganised and reindexed the OLT's online Resource Library. Other members of that project team will also be involved in this new project, including Pru Mitchell, Manager of Information Services at the Australian Council for Educational Research. The project aims to develop a costed proposal for a sustainable repository that meets the sector's needs and protects existing resources, as well as to engage stakeholders in the future of the repository and its assets. It will address sustainable solutions for a repository that is accessible, discoverable and usable, and that meets current standards for content, researcher identifiers, technical infrastructure, indexing, metadata, information architecture and archiving.

SIS @ CSU visits partners at HKU SPACE

The School of Information Studies has had a partnership with HKU Space ( to deliver the Bachelor and Master of Information Studies to students in Hong Kong for over 20 years. Each year staff in the School of Information Studies are privileged to join our graduating students in Hong Kong and to deliver an orientation and residential school for newly commencing students. On the 31st October, Drs Mary Carroll and Kim Thompson were very pleased to attend the 2015 graduation ceremony.

During the following week Drs Carroll and Thompson joined by Dr Mary Anne Kennan, conducted a busy teaching schedule in the evening , met with HKU SPACE staff, practitioners, students and HKU Space tutors and were lucky enough to visit a number of interesting and innovative library services . On Thursday the 5th of November Drs Kennan and Thompson delivered a well received and attended lectures at the Hong Kong Public Library. This event was organised by the Hong Kong Public Library Association (HKLA). It was a wonderful experience meeting the dedicated staff, tutors and enthusiastic students, who we wish interesting and enjoyable studies, followed by a wonderful career.

The visit concluded with a lunch celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Hong Kong GraduationHong Kong 2015

Hong Kong DinnerHong Kong library visit

Top left: Graduation ceremony

Top right: Students doing small group work

Bottom left: Celebration with HKU Space tutors and staff of the SIS 40th anniversary

Bottom right: Dr Kim Thompson, Dr Mary Carroll, Dr Kan, Ms Annabelle Pang, Dr Mary Anne Kennan, Ms Ying Ying Lu 

Public lectures for the Hong Kong Library Association

On Thursday the 5th of November Drs Kim Thompson and Mary Anne Kennan were invited to deliver lectures to a public meeting of the Hong Kong Library Association. Kim's talk was title "Evidence-based Design of Library Services for Immigrants" and Mary Anne's "Open Access: Whipping boy for problems in scholarly communication?" based on a paper she co-authored with Dr Danny Kingsley, Head of Scholarly Communication at Cambridge University Library.  The lectures were well attended and well received and generated lively discussion. The School would like to thank the Hong Kong Library Association and HKUSpace for organising the lectures. 

 Hong Kong Library Association lectureHong Kong Library Association lecture

CSU Regional Archives/School of Information Studies Scholarship

CSURASince 2013 the School of Information Studies (SIS) has funded the cost of a scholarship at the CSU Regional Archives, for a student enrolled in either the Bachelor or Masters of Information Studies course. 

The summer scholarship program has been running successfully at the CSU Regional Archives since 1997, and originally targeted undergraduate students who were keen to use an archival collection to produce a research report. However, in recent years the Archives has opened the scholarship up to Information Studies students giving them an opportunity to gain some practical experience in working on archival collections in an archival setting. 

CSURA itemsStudents are encouraged (with the help and supervision of professional archival staff) to locate a collection which is of interest and has yet to be processed. They are then expected to produce an archival finding aid, an administrative history of the collection, a written report of their scholarship experience and deliver a presentation. Importantly, the students are able to learn and apply the archival principles of arrangement and description, sentencing and disposal on the chosen collection.

Applications for the CSURA/SIS scholarship will be open in November & December 2015. The scholarship is offered on a competitive basis and is open to all students enrolled in an Information Studies course. Applicants are required to provide the names of two academics who support their application, a copy of their most recent transcript and a brief statement outlining how they will benefit from undertaking the scholarship.For more detailed information on applying for the scholarship, and past scholar's reports please visit:

SIS @ CSU 40th anniversary celebrations

In 2015 School of Information Studies (SIS) celebrates its 40th anniversary. SIS, under a slightly different name, was set up to teach librarianship in 1974 and began teaching in 1975 as a part of the Riverina College of Advanced Education (RCAE).  In 1984, the institution changed its name to Riverina Murray Institute of Higher Education (RMIHE) and with that change, and mergers with new colleges, came the introduction of teacher librarianship. From the RMHIE, Charles Sturt University (CSU) was established in 1989.

Through all those years SIS under one name or another has remained, teaching initially librarianship then teacher librarianship, then adding other information specialisations such as records and archives, information architecture, knowledge management and so forth. 

To celebrate, SIS has been hosting 40th anniversary celebrations in Melbourne and Sydney, to coincide with our study visits. The celebrations have involved a panel of our professional and passionate alumni sharing their thoughts on the information professions, looking forward and looking back, with guests consisting of other alumni, special guests from the information professions, staff and students.

We were fortunate to be able to hold our celebrations in two iconic buildings for the library profession in Australia, the Queen's Hall, State Library of Victoria, and The Dixson Room, State Library of New South Wales.

We'd like to thank all who attended to help us celebrate our 40th, especially our curious and passionate panellists:

From Melbourne: SIS 40 - SLV

Nicky Hayward-Wright, Manager, Knowledge and Capability & Culture,  GS1 Australia

Troy Watson, Manager, Library and Learning, Moonee Valley Libraries

Pru Mitchell, Manager of Information Services, Australian Council for Educational Research

Paula Kelly, Manager, Learning Communities at Hobsons Bay City Council

From Sydney: SIS 40 - SLNSW                    

Beatriz Aroche, Library Manager, TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute

Kathy Tritsaris, Team leader, Surry Hill Library, City of Sydney

Mylee Joseph, Consultant, Public Libraries and Engagement Division, State Library of NSW

Claire McKenzie, Outreach Librarian, Humanities, Creative Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW Library


Lisa Given honoured with Vice-Chancellor award for Research Supervision Excellence

On Wednesday, 5 August Prof Lisa Given was honoured with the Charles Sturt University Vice-Chancellor Award for Research Supervision Excellence. This award recognises an exceptional record supervising higher degree by research students, measured in terms of feedback from students and/or graduates, time for completion, research publications of current and previous students, and levels of assessment by examiners.

Prof Given expresses many thanks to the current and former doctoral students who nominated her for this award! 

SIS success at the 2015 Faculty and Division awards

The School of Information Studies made an excellent showing at the CSU Faculty and Division Awards in 2015. At the ceremony Ms Tanya Tye, School Office Manager, received an award for performance excellence. Tanya's performance has been exceptionally high for many years, but has been particularly outstanding in the past three, since appointed Office Manager. In this time, Tanya developed a very cohesive and extremely effective team of administrative support staff, leading very much by example, with a commitment to the functioning of the School's operations that far exceeds the call of duty. As School Office Manager, Tanya has contributed numerous innovations that have both increased efficiencies and improved the effectiveness of the School's activities. Tanya's meticulous approach and careful planning has been important for the School and contributes enormously to the School's teaching and courses.

Also awarded although unable to be present was Dr Barbara Combes who received an award for Academic Excellence. Since joining the School in 2012  Barbara has demonstrated academic excellence in many ways, including delivering a range of teacher librarianship subjects to a high standard, and in a very collegial fashion, drawing on her considerable academic and professional experience and expertise. Barbara has also achieved significant and tangible results as a teaching-professional academic, most notably as President of the Western Australian School Library Association, which has been running strong professional development and advocacy programs under her leadership, and as Secretary of the Literacy and Reading Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) with Barbara organising the Section's program at the annual World Library and Information Congress.

SIS staff also received a number of awards for teaching excellence: Dr Jennie Bales; Marion Bannister; Carole Gerts; Giuseppe Giovenco; and, Penny Whitten all received well deserved awards. Each of these people bring passion, commitment, enthusiasm and professionalism to their teaching and their colleagues and students value their contributions enormously.

SIS @ CSU jointly hosts the 12th annual meeting of the Document Academy

From 20 to 22 July 2015, the School of Information Studies at CSU, jointly with the Faculty of the Arts and Social Sciences at UTS, hosted the 12th annual meeting of the Document Academy (DOCAM 2015).  Conference co-chairs were Paul Scifleet from Swinburne University, Maureen Henninger from UTS, and Mary Anne Kennan from CSU. DOCAM conferences provide a unique multidisciplinary space for reporting experimental and critical research on the concept of the document and documentation, with participants from fields as diverse as information, media, museum, archives, culture, and science studies.  Delegates came from 16 countries and papers were innovative and exciting. The keynote speaker, Professor Geoffrey Bowker (pictured top right), opened the conference with a challenge to participants to think beyond boundaries, to question and explore. Professor Bowker is the Director of the Laboratory for Values in Design in Information Systems and Technology at the School of Information and Computer Science, University of California.


Left: CSU staff member Dr Sigrid McCausland at the DOCAM registration desk.

Right: DOCAM attendees 

Waseem Afzal awarded research grant

The School of Information Studies congratulates Dr. Waseem Afzal who has won a research grant funded by the Australian Army. This research project will examine 'how properties of information in a connected informational terrain influence public perception'.  We look forward to reading about the results! 

New ARC Linkage funding for Lisa Given

Information Seeking and Research Adoption: Assessing Communication Strategies

Congratulations to Professor Lisa Given, who will lead a study funded by the Australian Research Council ($191,394 over two years) aiming to change the way the Australian wine industry puts research into practice. The project's co-investigator is Professor Alain Deloire, Director of the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (an alliance between CSU, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the NSW Wine Industry Association).

Industry Partners include the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; Australian Wine Research Institute; Wine Grape Marketing Board; Australian Grape and Wine Authority; Cumulus Estate Wines; Philip Shaw Wines; McWilliam's Wines; Lallemand Australia; Treasury Wine Estates Vintners Ltd; De Bortoli Wines; and Jarrett Agricultural Trust.

For more information: CSU media release

Lisa Given- WIN News 

Studying 'Research' in Australia's Library and Information Profession

Lisa is also co-investigator on another ARC Linkage project led by Professor Helen Partridge from the University of Southern Queensland, along with industry partners, the Australian Library and Information Association and State Library of New South Wales. This three-year ($219,959) project will help Australian libraries contribute in a more powerful way to national productivity by developing a national database of research evidence and creating a framework to help professionals to make tough decisions.

 SIS student wins archives scholarship

Nathan Sentance, a Bachelor of Information Studies student, has won one of two Loris Williams Scholarships offered by the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) in 2015 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who wish to train for careers in archives and records management. Scholarship winners receive financial assistance and mentoring support from the ASA. The Scholarship is named after Loris Williams who was an Aboriginal woman of Mulinjali (Beaudesert, South East Queensland) descent through her father, and Birri Gubba (Ayr, North Queensland) descent through her mother. She was the first Aboriginal person from Queensland to gain professional archival qualifications and only the second Aboriginal person to do so.

Nathan is a Wiradjuri descendant from the Wellington area in NSW and he works in the Indigenous Services Branch of the State Library of New South Wales. He hopes to make a difference to knowledge of Indigenous intellectual property issues and to improve access to archives for Indigenous people.

Congratulations Nathan!

Further information is available from the Australian Society of Archivists at:

Judy O'Connell elected as Standing Committee member of IFLA School Libraries Section

SIS extends its congratulations to Courses Director Judy O'Connell who has been elected as a Standing Committee member of the School Libraries Section for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). Her term of office will commence at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress August 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa, and runs to August 2019. 

The School Libraries Section concerns itself with the improvement and development of school libraries and resource centres worldwide, especially advocacy for qualified and adequate staffing. It provides an international forum for exchanging ideas, experiences, research results and advocacy. As the School of Information Studies delivers the largest school library program in the Southern Hemisphere, the Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship), this involvement in advocacy and international developments will be valuable for the School and also the discipline in Australia. 

Kasey Garrison wins the Virginia Hamilton Essay Honor Award

Lecturer Kasey Garrison's article, 'Curation in Translation: Promoting Global Citizenship through Literature', has won the 2015 Virginia Hamilton Essay Honor Award. The article was co-authored by Danielle E. Forest and Sue C. Kimmel, and was published in School Libraries Worldwide (vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 70-96). Established in 1991, the Virginia Hamilton Essay Award recognizes journal articles which make a significant contribution to professional literature concerning multicultural literary experiences for youth. The award is given annually at the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature, the longest running conference dedicated to multicultural literature for youth in the US.

New book by Kim Thompson and colleagues

Dr Kim M. Thompson had recently published a book with Rowman & Littlefield entitled Digital Literacy and Digital Inclusion: Information Policy and the Public Library. Her co-authors are Paul T. Jaeger, Natalie Greene Taylor, Mega Subramaniam and John Carlo Bertot, all from the University of Maryland Information Policy and Access Center.

Digital Literacy and Digital Inclusion: Information Policy and the Public Library examines the interrelationships between digital literacy, digital inclusion, and public policy, emphasizing the impacts of these policy decisions on the ability of individuals and communities to successfully participate in the information society. This book is the first detailed consideration of digital literacy and digital inclusion as policy problems and as core issues in information policy and libraries.

New book by Lisa Given

Professor Lisa Given has recently had a new book on qualitative research published by Sage, 100 Questions (and Answers) About Qualitative Research

Exploring 100 key questions (and answers) on the nature and practice of qualitative inquiry, this unique book addresses the practical decisions that researchers must make in their work, from the design of the study, through ethics approval, implementation, and writing. The book's quick-scan, question-and-answer format make it ideal as a supplementary text or as a ready reference for graduate students preparing for comprehensive exams and writing research proposals, undergraduates in affiliated programs who will not be taking a primary course in qualitative research methods, and researchers working across disciplines in academic or practice environments. 

See past news items