Library Excursion - The State Library and Beyond!
On Monday 5th June, the Library Book Club set forth to the city to explore its libraries and bookshops. Starting at the State Library of Victoria, Tom, our guide, gave us a behind the scenes look at the way the State Library operates and how important it is to the people of Victoria. He also showed us some of the art treasures that the library holds. He stressed that students should not be afraid to visit and utilise the services of the librarians who are on hand to help students with their research assignments.
We next visited Dymocks in Collins Street to sample the huge stock of books that are available for purchase. Students were very helpful in selecting books for the library collection.
After lunch we visited Kay Craddock Antiquarian Books in Collins Street and marvelled at the prices of 1st edition books (some around $3000!) and how you could buy an 18th century Bible for $200,000! Ms Craddock, the owner of the shop informed us that she had sold such an item not long ago.
Our next stop was the oldest library in Melbourne, the beautiful Melbourne Athenaeum Library which is also in Collins Street and was founded in 1839 as the Melbourne Mechanics' Institution. It is now a pay per use library. Our helpful guide Rose told us how people from the country use the library as their own office when they visit Melbourne. She also boasted that the library has the best crime fiction section in Melbourne. One student summed it up perfectly when she described the library as ‘cosy’.
Finally we stopped in at the bustling City Library in Flinders Lane. This is a real city experience where you can see workers stopping in to browse and borrow books during their lunchtimes.
Overall it was a very informative day and students came away experiencing Melbourne as one of the five UNESCO Cities of Literature, its literary heritage and culture, internationally recognised.