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Asian Library Resources of Australia (ALRA)


Newsletter No. 69 (January 2017)

Highlights of shared positions at The University of Melbourne library & Monash University library

Xiaoju LIU
Monash University Library / University of Melbourne Library Chinese Studies Librarian


Collection Development & Resource Sharing

The priority for this shared position arrangement between Monash University library and Melbourne University library is for both Ayako and myself to develop the collection in both libraries.

Since my appointment, Ayako and I have worked on the weeding & classification conversion project of the East Asian Collection in Melbourne University. We have collectively made a series of decisions in consultation with our supervisors and colleagues, namely, colour-coded signage, screens, interfiling of the two languages’ monographs, re-shelving arrangements, etc. It has been an invaluable learning experience, especially for a new graduate like myself.

This shared position arrangement leads to a good understanding of the collections in both libraries, which is crucial in developing complementary collections (print & electronic). As mentioned by Ayako, we are very conscious of avoiding duplicates in the two libraries where possible, except for those materials that are essential for teaching, learning and research in both universities. Academics and students are encouraged to make use of the collection in both libraries through Document Delivery/Inter-Library Loan, which in turn reinforces the collaboration between the two libraries.

For now, Monash University and Melbourne University together with other university libraries across Australia are looking into the GreenGlass software to deepen our collaboration in print resource sharing & collection development. Meanwhile, in terms of electronic resources, I have benefited significantly from group discussions and the exchange of information within the two universities around the trialling, evaluation and purchase of databases.

Team Work & Collaboration

Team work in both libraries offers a unique opportunity to learn from other experienced colleagues, especially through team projects. Due to our time constraints, Ayako and I fill each other in on what has occurred in the workplace while we have been absent. The sharing of knowledge and respect for each other makes this shared position a successful and enjoyable experience.

Being a Chinese librarian in two universities involves collaboration with librarians from other disciplines, including education, business, architecture, and other disciplines, depending on the teaching and research profiles of the respective universities. Together we deliver research consultations and classes or simply share resources. The two libraries are different to some extent, however, the sharing and collaborating culture is the same.

In addition, despite the different organisational structures, the daily tasks which librarians are working on are in fact the same, namely scholarly information and research support. I try to catch up individually with librarians in both libraries, including the Research Librarian in Melbourne University and the Research Data Librarian in Monash to understand their work, which itself is an excellent learning opportunity.



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