I know what you mean - maybe we/the public might need to offer workable
suggestions for how TAHO can resolve why some things aren't always easily
found any more unless the/a staff member is on duty who knows what is
meant, and where they are.
It took three visits - nb: this WAS about 6 months ago - to find a staff member
who knew where the land grant maps were now located - they are in
suspension cabinets facing front of state library building, public general
reference library area, 2nd (TAHO) floor.
We need lateral thinkers always on duty there = staff need to be fast tracked
trained to understand the whole collection - archives and state library = TAHO
in order to assist research beyond us asking for something we already know
about, is named, and listed in a catalogue, from a bibliography. Giving people
a ref number and them bringing back a book isn't why we need skilled people
to help us with ideas for where to search next, and this must be a frustratingly
low level of aid for staff to provide also.
eg: I would like to find out more about what are the unpublished records/
resources/sources, first hand accounts, journals/diaries etc,. But there is no
manuscripts online catalogue yet as at NLA, SLNSW etc to assist with this, for
Meanwhile, I always find very helpful staff there even if not finding what I need,
and have on other days also had great outcomes - re microfilm queries, and
once locating an obscure letter, but these did require the particular 2 people on
desk duty who knew what I meant, a lotto.
Should TAHO perhaps start a log/blog? under topics?
for queries - and their answers including items not found/queries not
understood by staff, queries not resolved and logged when they are resolved
and how? = for online public access, so we can check if they are our queries,
and add our questions/suggestions to this?
---- Original message ----
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 08:24:13 +1100
From: aus-tasmania-bounces(a)rootsweb.com (on behalf of "Maureen"
Subject: [AUS-Tas] Archives Office, Hobart
Recently I took a some members from the Glamorgan Spring Bay Historical
Society to show them the new archives and how the system works. It was not
the best experience I've ever had.
A wonderful librarian was on duty in the 'inner sanctum' who was willing to
help but had no idea what I was talking about. The impression given was
that everything was on computer and that if it's not listed they don't have
it. This is false - due to lack of finance they have not had enough people
to enter all the data. Some archives staff are on duty there from time to
time, they knew what I was talking about... but had no idea where it was in
the new system. It took two days to find what I wanted, I had to persist
and with help from staff it was located. The staff are just as frustrated
the rest of us.
My suggestion is, those of you who are not getting satisfaction from the new
system write to:
Director of Library Services
91 Murray Street,
Hobart, Tas 7000
Maureen Martin Ferris
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