Posted by: eheino | September 24, 2014

Study Visit Day 2

RMIT Swanston Campus Library


This was the most valuable visit to me as a teacher librarian. It enabled me to paint a complete picture of the information needs of current university students, and highlighted the changes in university libraries in the 10 years since I was an undergraduate. I learnt that physical loans are dropping significantly every year, and that students today are much lazier about searching for information than they were 10 years ago, expecting to get results without the effort of learning library systems. The library combats this with a strong marketing program, which successfully teaches students how to use the library to complete assignments to a higher standard through YouTube clips and social media. I thought this was a great idea, which could also be utilised by underperforming public libraries.

Evaluation                                                                                                                                 Rating 5/5

This visit was a very well-rounded experience as it gave us information about everything from front of house, to collection development, to marketing. I feel that as a result of this visit, I have a very good understanding of how university libraries are run, and how they contrast from school libraries, yet complement student development. There were no real weaknesses to this visit for me, all the speakers were engaging, passionate and willing and able to answer any questions asked of them.

Touring the facilities

Touring the facilities

Library of the Federal Court


I learnt a lot from my visit to the Library of the Federal Court, and it was quite interesting comparing this special library to the NML yesterday. Unlike NML, they still rely heavily on paper resources, as the primary users are judges that need to take documents with them to court. It was also interesting to learn that the collection is generally not weeded at all, as even old law reports, some as old as the 18th and 19th centuries, are needed relatively regularly to create authorities for cases. The lending methodology was also quite different to other libraries I have been to. Although the public can visit and borrow resources, they must leave a deposit to ensure its return as there are no due dates, and all items can be recalled if a judge needs them.

Evaluation                                                                                                                                 Rating 5/5

I thought visiting the Federal Court Library was a very valuable experience. The librarian was very knowledgeable and seemed keen to share the secrets of his collection with us. I loved being allowed to look at and touch such old documents, and learning about how these old documents are still relevant today. There were no real weaknesses to the visit; being in such a large group in such a full library made it hard to hear and see at times, but that was in no way the fault of the library itself. Perhaps having this library as one that smaller groups visit would be a good idea, but I definitely recommend it for other study visits.

Some of the many very old books kept at the federal court library

Some of the many very old books kept at the federal court library


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