Posted by: eheino | September 25, 2014

Study Visit Day 3

Public Records Office of Victoria

Reflection

I chose to visit the Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) to discover more about another aspect to librarianship: archiving. This visit was very successful in that respect, and it taught me about the differences between archives and libraries. Archives approach their collections in a different way: they deal with protecting large collections of individual items, rather than approaching each individual item separately like libraries do. I found it interesting that individual items may not be looked at for years after arriving at the archive; they are more interested in cataloguing groups of items so the public know where to find them when necessary. I also found it incredible to think about the sheer volume of information stored there, particularly compared to the 1% that has been digitised thus far.

Evaluation                                                                                                                             Rating 3.5/5

The presenter at PROV was very knowledgeable and passionate about his work, and was willing to share his thoughts and opinions on both the value and future of the profession as well as on the work he did himself. The visit probably wasn’t that useful to me as a teacher librarian as there wasn’t a lot presented that I could use in my work, but it definitely provided me with extensive knowledge of another area of information studies, which is valuable in itself. I loved touring the facilities and seeing firsthand how archiving works, and it sparked my interest in perhaps volunteering with the NSW Public Records Office in the holidays to widen my areas of experience.

Checking out the Compactus

Checking out the Compactus

Some of the many Marriage Certificate Books

Some of the many Marriage Certificate Books

He opened up an old mug shot book from one of the prisons for us

He opened up an old mug shot book from one of the prisons for us

Ashurst Australia Library

Reflection

The Ashurst librarians had a very clear understanding of their role within the Ashurst Law firm: to help the lawyers find information for their clients in the most efficient way possible. They used this role as the rationale informing other aspects of their job like collection and professional development. The two things I found most interesting about this library were that they charged their client by the minute based on how long it took to find something, and that they had to be very careful about how they phrased answers to requests, as staff didn’t have a law background, and thus weren’t allowed to interpret the information found. These aspects emphasised to me that this was a corporate library, with a very specific and important role to its company.

Evaluation                                                                                                                             Rating 3.5/5

From a teacher librarian perspective, this visit was not particularly useful, as I think the needs of Ashurst’s users are very different to school libraries, requiring the librarians to respond in a different way to information requests. On the other hand, it was good to see a library that was intrinsically valued for the role it performed and where staff relationships were strong. It was also interesting to observe a library run by younger people, and see how they conceived and approached the job compared to the older librarians in other libraries. However, it would have been better if the speakers had shown us some concrete examples of what they do and how they do it rather than just talking about it.

No Photos in here either, again it was more like an office. We didn’t really get to look around in here either.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: