Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Study Visit Day 1

I really thought I would take lots of photos today...you know the sort of thing...

"Here's me in Sydney on the study visit"..."Here's the group in front of such-and-such library"

Not so much...

Had a great day, but I was constantly on the go and didn't really get to the "photo opportunity" stage!

I had my first experience of "commuting" in a long time, driving to the train station and trying to find a parking spot in the designated commuter parking. Ughh! Then an hour and a quarter on the train and a short walk to the first venue of the day. And the same in reverse coming home. The good news - plenty of time for reading Uglies by Scott Westerfield. The bad news - I'm going to need another book!

I found our visit to Ultimo TAFE library quite inspiring. It's a large library, with a lot of staff who seem to be passionate about meeting the needs of the community of staff and students that they serve. Particularly interesting for me was information literacy workshops provided, including help with using the Australian Bureau of Statistics website (apparently a minefield!), advanced internet searching, and help setting up iGoogle and RSS feeds to suit individual information needs. As far as I can see, the library is a dynamic workspace with large tables for group work, wifi access throughout, and a collection tailored to meet the current needs of the (often industry-related) courses that are taught. The library also serves International students studying at the English centre with a designated collection of "easy readers" and "easy reader non-fiction" (equivalent to junior non-fiction).

Customs House public library was not so inspiring for me. Although the building has been redeveloped, and the library looks as up-market as they come, I'm not easily fooled by flashiness! The ground floor of the library is designed like a hotel lobby, there's a cafe, lounge chairs and a model of the city of Sydney under a glass floor (yes, you can walk on top of it!). It's noisy and the architecture is fabulous, but what's with having the cafe tables so close to the newspapers that they seem in constant danger of spillage??? I don't get the impression that meeting the information needs of the community is the highest priority. The fact that the library space doubles as a gallery with ever-changing exhibitions does however make it a very interesting public space.

Now I must rest up for Day 2!

1 comment:

L S said...

I agree with your thoughts on the second Library. In my evaluation I suggested that had the collection been anywhere else, few would be impressed by it. Location is wonderful though!