Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Melbourne trip

I had a brief trip this weekend past to Melbourne to attend a seminar at the State Library of Victoria to hear how Victorian and other public libraries are handling the hard to reach clients,including people from the Horn of Africa. Malcolm Anderson accompanied me to the seminar, which was well worth attending.
Malcolm Anderson and Lucie Goudie
Thirteen percent of Victorians have been identified in Libraries Building Communities Report 3: Bridging the Gaps who could benefit significantly from the use of their public libraries, but are not users for a variety of reasons – the ‘hard to reach’ group. See the reports here

The Connecting with the Community research took those findings a step further and focused on five target groups to investigate barriers to use. The resulting report has highlighted a lot of great initiatives Victorian and interstate public libraries have implemented to engage with community members and groups considered ‘hard to reach’. The research targeted five groups: Indigenous Australians, disadvantaged young people, Horn of Africa communities, low income families and vulnerable learners. The latest Report is available here.
Networking over afternoon tea
I met Shane Cathcart from the City of West Torrens who was a great speaker and someone who I have been communicating with over our own hard to reach clients!
His library team have been working with Sudanese refugees and their efforts have won won awards. See his paper here
Stephen Barnett and Shane Cathcart
The seminar was quite welll attended with I understand 86 attendees. The catering and organisation was great as was the the fact it was free to attend!!

It was good also to take a look around the SLV building and displays especially
The Medieval Imagination exhibition

Dome State Library of Victoria
Malcolm surveys the Reading Room
Reading room State Library of Victoria