State Library of Victoria
Reflection As I had never been in any state library before, I learnt a great deal and was inspired by this visit to the State Library of Victoria. I learnt that as a non-borrowing deposit library for the state of Victoria, it serves a different purpose as a library – one of collecting for posterity as a cultural institution. As only 5% of resources are on public display, users must be accustomed to searching the catalogue and be able to articulate the resources they want, without the option of browsing the shelves or finding related resources on the same shelf, having to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours to their resource to be available, which I feel must limit the type of users to mostly higher education students and researchers. From browsing the library’s many reading rooms, however, it seems most daily users are not using the library for its resources but instead for its spaces, computers and wifi. So it is serving its purpose of archiving Victoria’s social history but also is making itself available as a space for Victorians, even including “baby bounce” and toddler story time to open the spaces up to all ages to enjoy and share.
Evaluation Rating _5/5
As this was my first state library visit I had no idea what to expect for this visit. The first keynote speaker was very interesting but I didn’t have a background on the library to get the most out of her talk. To get the most out of a speaker such as Lisa Peddey, a background first on how the library runs and serves its users would have been appreciated. Perhaps doing the library tour first would give this foundation to get the most out of the speakers.
The library was absolutely amazing to see and I was glad I had extra time before my next location to see the rooms more slowly and take photos.
Lenton Parr Music, Visual, and Performing Arts Library
Reflection I believe the Lenton Parr Library is successfully meeting the needs of its unique and specific users – students of the Victorian College of Arts. It has a rich collection, albeit in a small but well lit facility, that directly caters to music, dance, visual arts and performing arts students as well as on site spaces and facilities catering to the study of these fields. The library showed me not only how non-traditional resources are collected, shelved and retrieved, such as sheet music and music records, but also opened my eyes to the vast resources available online for non-text based resources such as streaming music and video. QR codes are being well used to help students find these e-resources. The library is also successfully choosing how to best utilise its budget for its users through not providing late night or weekend opening hours as the students do not require the library at these times, but instead spending its budget on other unique ways such as new gaming consoles. An area I felt could be improved for users is in the CD and DVD shelving system as it currently uses a secession numbering system which doesn’t allow for shelf browsing.
Evaluation Rating _4/5
It was great to see how music resources are collected and housed. It was also very interesting to learn more about non-text based e-resources such as streaming music and video.
Georgina also had some very interesting information at the end about how she helps people conduct Research Impact studies, especially for the arts, through social media exposure, video views etc. I found this very interesting and could be useful to other students next time.
It would be nice to have some time to sit down as we were standing the whole 2 hours, but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed the visit and enjoyed seeing a smaller niche university library.
Overall Georgina was wonderful – a very knowledgeable and passionate librarian to meet and hear from.