What to read during the mid-semester break

Photo of girl reading a book

It’s almost mid-semester break! We bid you a fond farewell… for a whole week.

Now, we know you don’t really get a break. Yes, there’s no class, but you still have a gazillion assignments to do.

But if you do have a spare moment and would like to achieve more than a selfie with the latest Snapchat filter, you could read a book. And we have plenty of books to keep you entertained for days or minutes (whatever you have time for); we are a library after all.

So this is the point where we usually bang on about eBooks and our amazing range of eBook databases (eBrary, EBL and Books 24×7). But not today. We mean actual books that you can hold, flip and sniff.

We checked the library catalogue to see what delightful fiction novels we hold on our shelves. And we seem to have quite the range – young adult fiction, adventure stories, graphic novels and historical fiction, to name a few.

Here’s a selection of books that have won prestigious literary awards (because you only have time to read the best of the best, right?):

The Pause / John Larkin
Random House Australia, 2015
Declan seems to have it all: a family that loves him, friends he’s known for years, a beautiful girlfriend he would go to the ends of the earth for. But there’s something in Declan’s past that just won’t go away, that pokes and scratches at his thoughts when he’s at his most vulnerable. Declan feels as if nothing will take away that pain that he has buried deep inside for so long. So he makes the only decision he thinks he has left: the decision to end it all. Or does he?

All the birds singing / Evie Wyld
Vintage Books Australia, 2013
Who or what is watching Jake Whyte from the woods? Jake Whyte is the sole resident of an old farmhouse on an unnamed island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. It’s just her, her untamed companion, Dog, and a flock of sheep. Set between Australia and a remote English island, All the Birds, Singing is the story of how one woman’s present comes from a terrible past.

Breath / Tim Winton
Penguin Books, 2009
More than once since then I’ve wondered whether the life-threatening high jinx that Loonie and I and Sando and Eva got up to in the years of my adolescence were anything more than a rebellion against the monotony of drawing breath. Breath is a story about the wildness of youth – the lust for excitement and terror, the determination to be extraordinary, the wounds that heal and those that don’t – and about learning to live with its passing.

All the lights we cannot see: a novel / Anthony Doerr
Scribner, 2014
A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks. In Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie Laure.

City of Bohane: a novel / Kevin Barry
Graywolf Press, 2013
Set 40 years in the future, the once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is in terminal decline, with vice and tribal splits rife. Logan Hartnett, godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang has been in charge but his nemesis has arrived back in town, his henchmen are becoming ambitious, his wife wants him to give it all up and go straight and, he has his mother to contend with.

What is critical thinking and how can I do it?

Did you know that critical thinking is not synonymous with being negative and critical? Critical thinking could involve criticizing an argument, but it’s more than that. It’s thoughtfully reasoned consideration.

But don’t take our word for it, watch this YouTube video on critical thinking by the Center for Innovation in Legal Education. It provides a useful, everyday definition of critical thinking and shows the purpose and value of critical thinking.

Want some more help? Check out these critical thinking resources:

Thinking critically (online guide)
Griffith University Library
Provides advice and links to resources.

5 tips to improve your critical thinking (video)
Samantha Agoos describes a 5-step process that may help you with any number of problems.

Critical thinking (video)
A look at some of the principles of critical thinking.

Critical thinking skills for dummies (eBook)
Cohen, Martin
John Wiley & Sons, 2015
Offering expert guidance on sound reasoning and textual analysis, this accessible and friendly book provides hands-on, lively, and fun exercises that you can put to work today to improve your arguments and pin down key issues.

Critical thinking: a concise guide (book)
Tracy Bowell and Gary Kemp
Routledge, 2015
This book provides you with the tools to become a successful critical thinker; one who can act and believe in accordance with good reasons, and who can articulate and make explicit those reasons.

A practical guide to critical thinking: deciding what to do and believe (eBook)
Hunter, David, A.
John Wiley & Sons, 2014
Pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to critical thinking, this book is a unique presentation of the formal strategies used when thinking through reasons and arguments in many areas of expertise.

Save files to your student Google Drive


Did you know your student Google Drive has unlimited storage?

You can save all your uni assignments, group projects, research or general what-have-you to Google Drive, and you’ll never reach your maximum quota. Because, well, there is none.

The only limitation is the size of the file, and even then it’s nothing to worry about. You can store files up to five terabytes (TB). To give you some perspective, five TB is approximately 1,250,000 songs or 380 hours of video. It’s seriously massive.

So if you are saving your work to a USB, CD, H Drive or the desktop, it’s time to diversify.

Now, we aren’t suggesting you save your work exclusively on Google Drive. Save files to multiple places in case something goes horribly wrong.

For example, save it to a USB, Google Drive and email yourself a copy. That way, the risk of losing your gazillion-word essay is minuscule.

So how do you get a student Google Drive? If you are a Griffith student, you get one automatically! Actually, you get access to a student Google Apps account, which also includes Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides and Google Calendar (to name just a few).

You can store any file in Drive: pictures, drawings, videos, and more. You only need to store a file in Drive on one device, and it will automatically be available on all your other devices.

There are three ways to get your files into Drive:

  • Upload files to Drive on the web
  • Store files using a desktop sync client
  • Upload files from your phone or tablet

Go to the Google Apps Learning Centre to find out how!

And the winner of the #libraryshelfie comp is…

Winner of the Library Shelfie 2016 Competition

Winner of the Library Shelfie 2016 Competition

The #libraryshelfie comp is nearly done and dusted for the year. We had a bunch of creative entries, a handful of weekly winners and literally hundreds of votes for the overall winner.

Now, the only thing to do is announce the winner, right? But we can’t just go boom, this is the #libraryshelfie champ for 2016. We need build-up, fanfare, and speeches. No, just me?

So after nearly two weeks of voting, we have our prize winner. Without further ado, the winner of #libraryshelfie 2016 is @vitdoan2796.

Congratulations @vitdoan2796! Enjoy spending (or saving; no judgment) your massive $200 prepaid Visa Card. We all loved your #libraryshelfie entry. It was creative, clever and seriously cool!

Thanks to everyone who entered, voted, or simply watched from afar. You are all winners in our humble opinion. You win… our most heartfelt thanks.

Want to know the voting breakdown? Go to the Vote for your favourite Library Shelfie post on the Library Blog and click View Results at the bottom of the poll (near the Vote button).

Call me maybe: free video calls with Jabber Guest


Do you have a library-related question but can’t make it to a campus library? Maybe you are stuck at work. Maybe you live a gazillion kilometres away. Maybe you are too gosh darn comfortable in bed.

Well, you can still ask your question in person (virtually). Make a FREE video call to library staff using Jabber Guest. Log in to MyGriffith, click Study Support, and you’ll find Video call the Library listed under Contacts.

You will need to install a plugin or app before you can use Jabber Guest. It’s really quick (and painless, we promise). Head to the Jabber Guest Self Help page for super helpful installation instructions.

You can use Jabber Guest on a desktop computer or laptop (e.g. Mac or Windows), or a mobile device (e.g. mobile phone or tablet). You will require a camera and microphone-enabled device to use this service.

To find out more about using Jabber Guest, visit the Jabber Guest Self Help page.

Meet QCGU’s Guitar Heroes…

Monday, you're axed!

Monday, you’re axed!

How many strings does a classical guitar have? Come along to our Queensland College of Art Music in the Library performance and find out!

That’s right, it’s time for another Music in the Library performance from the super talented kids over at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (QCGU). Today we’ve got not one, not two but eight classical guitar musicians joining us at South Bank’s QCA library.

Today’s performers have had the pleasure of learning from one of the best – Karin Schaupp. Karin is a Griffith lecturer but she’s also a seasoned performer and the most outstanding guitarists on the international scene.  She performs widely on the international stage as a recitalist, concerto soloist and festival guest, and has given countless recitals in Australia, Europe, Asia, the US, Mexico and Canada.

So safe to say her QCGU students will also be crazy talented! Come along at 1pm and hear some tunes live in your library. After all, science says music helps you study!

The 2016 Music in the Library Series is an exciting innovation that aims to enliven the campus Library spaces and give QCGU students a chance to build valuable performance experience.

Got a lecture and can’t make it? Don’t worry we’ve got more Library performances on the way. You’ll have plenty more chances to enjoy the music across Semester 2 as students from the Queensland Conservatorium-Griffith University (QCGU) will visit each campus to showcase their talents.


P.S. a classical guitar has 12 strings!

Recycle your old mobile phones and batteries


Each year, more than 8,000 tonnes of batteries end up in Australian landfills, and an estimated 16 million out-of-service mobile phones are lying around homes and offices across Australia.

It is important to recycle your old mobile phones and batteries to lessen hazardous waste disposal and its impact on our environment. And you can dispose of these items at your (environmentally) friendly Griffith University library.

Large e-waste recycling containers are available at the Nathan and Gold Coast libraries. Smaller recycling containers are available at the Logan, Mt Gravatt, South Bank libraries.

So what type of batteries can you recycle? You can toss any of the following into our e-waste recycling containers: laptop batteries, household batteries (e.g. AA, AAA, C, D and coin/button batteries) and mobile phone batteries. Don’t forget to throw in your old mobile phone as well.

Recycling station locations

Gold Coast

  • Library
  • The Chancellery (G34)


  • Library
  • Student Centre (L04)

Mt Gravatt

  • Library
  • Student Centre (M06)


  • Library
  • EcoCentre (N68)

South Bank

  • Library
  • Student Centre (S01)

Find out about Griffith’s other recycling initiatives.