State Library of Queensland hosted practicum student Chantay Chia for two weeks in November. Chantay works at the City of Mandurah Libraries as Literacy Development Officer and is completing a Graduate Diploma of Library and Information Studies with Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Chantay was interested in learning about First 5 Forever, programs, and events.
I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to learn at the State Library of Queensland. My practicum supervisor Karen Hind, Librarian Young People and Families, developed a comprehensive program with staff across the library.
Everyone welcomed me taking time to answer questions and share their knowledge. Staff are clearly passionate about their work and showed how much they care about the Queensland community and the future of libraries.
The Young People and Families team included me in their projects, providing a worthwhile learning experience. I worked on a wide range of tasks, furthering my learning from my current degree and previous experience.
I contributed to several baby play sessions, developed a range of storytelling kit ideas, created book lists for the RLQ catalogue, helped pack Summer Reading Club resources, and worked on the RLQ News enewsletter.
My favourite storytelling kit theme suggestion was sleuthing. It includes three new titles discovered on a visit to Cannon Hill. Sleuthing is now a book list available on the RLQ catalogue.
I was astounded by the extensive work being delivered by State Library to support communities across Queensland. This included Queensland Memory and the Preservation teams who work collectively to conserve the memory of Queensland and to present engaging and insightful exhibitions. I was fortunate to able to visit two new exhibitions Spoken and Jarjum Stories related to the International Year of Indigenous Languages and attended tours by the exhibition curators. I highly recommend visiting these exhibitions!
State Library offers a large range of technology kits available for loan to Queensland public libraries. I was given the opportunity to learn about and use this technology including the adorable Photon Robot which can introduce pre-schoolers to coding skills. I was impressed by the story videos made with 360-degree cameras and editing software, bringing stories to life in a whole new way.
The Edge is an inspiring space where I discovered different technology and ideas for engaging community in opportunities to be creative. I also learnt about how the space is run including safety, bookings and recording data to increase my ability to manage a makerspace.
I intend to explore the possibility of implementing some of the ideas in my work in Western Australia. These include increasing the use of props in early years programs, providing professional development to teachers to increase student engagement in libraries, the introduction of new technology and discussion of a state-wide Summer Reading Club program.
I learnt a great deal during my short time at State Library and know that if I had more time there would have learnt even more. I highly recommend completing a practicum placement with State Library of Queensland.
Thank you to all the staff who took the time to speak with me, but especially to Karen and the Young People and Families team for a magnificent practicum experience.
About the author
Chantay Chia is a Literacy Development Officer at the City of Mandurah Libraries.