Tuesday AM: State Library of QLD
The State Library visit highlighted for me the diverse range of experience, qualifications and skills people working in the library field possess. The EM Visitor Experience of the State Library of Queensland (first speaker of the morning), clearly articulated that she was not a librarian which set the scene for the day. I appreciated the clarity in which she spoke of the FISH philosophy that is in place in the library and the significance of people as the primary focus for staff and operations and can see direct application of this to my own school library. The passion demonstrated by Gavin (Qld Memory & Heritage Collection), was inspiring and he raised some interesting points for me on how we store and record our school memories. In finishing up the morning Grant (Collection Preservation) provided one of the best definitions of the difference between a restorer and a conservator that I have ever heard.
Evaluation Rating 4/5
Strengths – it was great to have a program shared at the start of the day – gave a real picture of what was coming up and allowed notes and questions to be taken and saved for appropriate staff. All speakers were passionate and inspiring – they are obviously working in the right field for them!
Weaknesses – the issues with presentations and flat laptops was distracting and it was a shame to not see the presentations some staff were unable to show.
Tuesday PM: State Library of QLD
The tour of the State Library provided some great background to the actual operations and the logistics of a quite different (and significantly larger) collection than I have had access to before. I have never considered collecting statistics on collection use, as opposed to loans – obviously something the State Library needs to do as they do not loan to the public. This has major implications for me with my current disposal guidelines – just because a book hasn’t gone out for three years doesn’t mean it hasn’t been looked at and been of value to a user – a revelation! Statistics provided in the Collection Access session were also amazing – 3.5 million physical items available for access with only 15% of the collection on open access. Being able to see “behind the scenes” in the collection rooms was a real gift and provided perspective on the scale of storage and organisation needed for a collection of this size.
Evaluation Rating 4/5
Strengths – the tour was a highlight – “behind the scenes” was great.
Weaknesses – the actual day was quite full on – minimal breaks with inadequate time to order lunch and eat in the half hour given. For out of town attendees like myself, being told the day would finish early, only to finish half an hour overtime, threw the carefully arranged times for trains and connections out and became quite a stressful experience for one not used to the public transport system.