Posted by: eheino | September 23, 2014

Study Visit Day 1

I am loving this study visit already. Today we went to the State Library of Victoria and the National Meteorological Library. I am just going to copy and paste my Reflections onto my blog as I think they pretty much sum up my thoughts on the day.

State Library of Victoria

Reflection

I had only been to the State Library of Victoria (SLV) to view an exhibition, so I learnt a great deal from this visit. It was particularly interesting comparing the functions of this library to public libraries. Unlike public libraries, State libraries are legal deposit libraries, whose main function is to collect items for posterity. I learnt that SLV is a non-borrowing library, and 90% of the collection is in storage, only retrieved upon request from users. It was interesting learning about the way that volunteers are utilised in the library; I didn’t know that tours were given by volunteers and that people who donate collections get to be involved in curating them.

Evaluation                                                                                                                                 Rating 4/5

The biggest strength of this visit was touring the facilities. Without the tour I never would have known what resources the library offered, or had the confidence to explore it myself, as it can be quite an intimidating place on first visit. I would love to spend more time there now I know how easy it is to request things, and even just to look at what is on offer in the rooms, particularly the small gallery. Cathy Miller’s talk about the volunteers was also valuable. However, I thought Sarah Slade’s speech would have been more interesting if it was focussed on how they digitally preserve things rather than about the group that evaluate how successful they do it, as that is something I have always wondered about.

P1060042 P1060043 P1060045 P1060046 P1060049

National Meteorological Library

Reflection

The National Meteorological Library (NML) is designed to provide information primarily to the Bureau of Meteorology to help them make better decisions about climate-related issues. Unlike the SLV, the collection is very specialised, with the majority of its resources located at 551.5 in the UDC, which reflects its aforementioned goal. This library is open to the public, however I think the complicated series of steps required to enter would discourage most people from visiting. As I had never visited such a specialised library before, Rosa’s presentation provided me with a vast amount of new information about how small libraries are run, as well as what the meteorological library itself is all about.

Evaluation                                                                                                                                 Rating 4/5

Although this library is far removed from the school libraries I am used to, I found visiting the National Meteorological Library to be a very valuable experience. Rosa’s presentation was engaging and very comprehensive and it gave us a great understanding of how it is run, and the decisions that need to be made by such a small staff in order for it to be successful. I think it would have been even better had we been taken on a tour of the physical collection, as small as it is, and told about what patrons use the information for and how it is used. However, I definitely appreciated that some of their rare items were taken out of storage for us to look at individually, as this made the visit a richer experience.

No Photos in here, it wasn’t a particularly photogenic place, it looked more like an office.

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