USQ is committed to investing and focusing on building research outcomes for issues that are vital to our regions and communities. USQ Library supports this ambition through our Research Support services that enable the discovery and dissemination of USQ research to industry and the community. USQ librarians and learning advisors contribute their wealth of experience to enable resource discovery and description; scholarly publishing and open access; delivering training programs and supporting students and staff through the research life cycle.
USQ Library supports the principle that as a default, government-funded research data and findings are made freely and publicly available immediately upon publication.
Research support without walls
Leonie Sherwin, Manager (Research Support)
The beginning of the pandemic resulted in restrictions requiring work and study from home. Within this rapidly evolving situation, quality research support services from USQ Library did not stop.
Within lockdowns, researchers focused on writing, wrangled bibliographic software and implemented new ways of collecting data to be compliant with ethics and COVID-19 requirements. This led to an influx of enquiries with March – June 2020 having an increase of almost 75% in research consults for the Library’s Research Support Team compared to the same period for 2019.
In a challenging 2020, researchers may have felt a sense of inequality for support services due to their location being far from a campus. However, USQ Library’s Research Support Team was there to provide support using emails, phone, Zoom, MS Teams and other tools to engage with USQ staff and research students regardless of where they were located in Australia or around the world.
USQ Library Makerspace PPE project
Steph Piper, Coordinator (Community Engagement)
The USQ Makerspace is a community space for hands-on making with new digital fabrication technologies and traditional crafts. The Makerspace is often used for extra-curricular projects, bringing new, hands-on tech skills to students who do not have the opportunity to learn through coursework. Students can begin to develop a portfolio of projects that have been crafted through personal interest and passions with 3D printing, electronics and crafting. The makerspace is part of the Library, making the space accessible and easy to use regardless of discipline or study area.
The USQ Makerspace lead the Darling Downs PPE project in March, 2020, mitigating some of the early PPE shortages for healthcare workers in the Toowoomba and wider area. Makers around the world launched PPE projects, and the Darling downs area was no exception, creating face shields that could be 3D printed and laser cut. These shields are a critical protection for healthcare workers who are treating contagious coughing and sneezing patients, protecting the eyes, nose and mouth from droplets. In total, 370 face shields were created for hospitals, aged care homes and healthcare providers in the Darling Downs and wider rural areas.