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Saturday, September 6, 2014

TAFE NSW Ultimo Campus Library

On the Friday 5th October, our last Site Visit was TAFE NSW, Ultimo Campus Library.

It was a great presentation, which covered all sections of the Library and it was evident that her Library was going through a lot of changes including restructuring and a change in the way the library was being funded.

TAFE services are undergoing federal policy reforms which will dramatically change their client base and in turn this will effect the type of clients who will use their services.

The Library was a traditional reference and lending library and looked like it was trapped in the 80’s and you could see that it was trying to change and move forward. VHS tapes were still catalogued on the shelves. It had an "old library" feel with clear differentiations between where students and then where staff worked.

The collection consisted of both physical and artefact based resources as part of their heritage collection. Aside from the main library was rooms of specialist resources such as the textiles and fashion collection (see photo above). Recreational reading collection operated under the umbrella of supporting English as Second Language students.  There was a significant number of the students who were international students and studying english was their prime reason for enrolling in TAFE.

A vast difference from the densely used and populated UNSW library, this library was mostly empty of students with large spaces that had no real purpose or flow. The spaces were in desperate need of a refurbishment, but due to time and money the staff made small changes when they had time.

Over the last few years they had found that they had a decrease in collection loans and increase in-home usage of online resources. eBooks have been popular but not as popular with international students due to the high sophistication of language.  The library staff were expected to do a lot of technology trouble shooting in addition to their information services role within the Library. The professional development of new staff in the areas of technology and equipment use had gradually fallen to the staff on top of running referencing refresher courses and information literacy sessions.

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