The visit to the State Library felt nice a nice introduction to the subject, especially as a detailed way of learning how to get the most out of the Library’s catalogue. I wasn’t actually aware of the State Library having a full online catalogue that you could search through, so that was an interesting surprise. The guy who helped us (I think his name was Paul, or Peter?) showed us basic instructions for using the catalogue and how to best find whatever you’re looking for in it. He explained some functions such as the option to type part of a word or name and add an * on the end, to search under everything with that partial word in it. That was a really helpful function to know, and one I’ve already started to use when using the library’s catalogue. I even found out it works with the RMIT Library catalogue since it uses the same database system (or at least, it looks very similar).
He then showed us examples of other ways information is kept in the library, as well as how it’s being all digitised. The tiny films and cards information is still kept on was fascinating, but I still definitely prefer an electronic database. Although he explained that since there are still plenty of records and information not kept digitally yet, and that a good portion of it is kept in an off-site warehouse, and to access it we must request it to be brought to the State Library to view it. Even then, some special material must be viewed under strict supervision and clean conditions since it’s so rare or important now. That made me want to start learning more from the library in general, even stuff not related to the course, since it sounds like a lot of fun to look at old books in their special reading area for them.