Over a three-week period, Agency Services hosted a student from Southbank TAFE who is studying the Diploma of Library and Information Services. We created a work plan to give Emma a feel of the different units at QSA as well doing a small project for us. Here is Emma’s work experience story.
As a Diploma of Library and Information Services (Southbank TAFE) student, with previous library experience, I was excited to be given the opportunity to complete my TAFE vocational placement at Queensland State Archives (QSA). During my three-week placement at QSA I had a wonderful learning experience – I didn’t know you did all this at QSA! I had the chance to learn more about the organisation as a whole and the different units, including Government Recordkeeping (Agency Services and Policy & Research), Public Access, Marketing & Communications, Archival Collections, as well as Preservation Services. All QSA staff were very welcoming and more than happy to take time out of their busy schedules to talk me through what they do within their units.
Throughout my time at QSA many staff took me on little tours of the repositories, full of over 50 linear kilometres of preserved records, showing me some of their favourite areas, including the maps and film repositories. While on these tours of the repositories, I found all the different records stored there quite captivating.
As I was mainly based in the Government Recordkeeping (GRK) unit, I learnt about the different types of queries government agencies ask regarding their retention and disposal schedules and also the different types of functions that are used within these schedules. Also, while reading through the various pages available within the Recordkeeping SPOT^, I was able to gain an understanding of what the GRDS^ (General Retention and Disposal Schedule for Administrative Records) was and how it assists government agencies to keep track of how long their records need to be kept for – either temporarily or permanently. I was also able to gain a small understanding of the policy side of things while with GRK.
Here are some of the functions that I found interesting that QSA cover in approved schedules:
Even though I enjoyed all my learning experiences within the different units of QSA, I must admit that my two favourite units were Public Access and Preservation Services. After spending time in both of these units, I found that they relate closely to some of my course units this semester. While spending time with the Public Access staff I was given the opportunity to find and look through some of my old primary school records/correspondence from when the school first opened in 1931. I also looked at the many features of the QSA website^, including searching the catalogue and where to find the various brief guides which help users find frequently used records within QSA. Also during my time with Public Access I was given the chance to use microfilm for the first time and learnt more about the different types of resources available within QSA while listening to their Trades and Professions Webinar^.
My time in Preservation was spent learning about the different ways in which records can be damaged or destroyed and the types of repairs that are needed on certain records, including mould removal and encapsulation. I also learnt about the many ways in which they aim to keep QSA a bug and rodent free environment by having an Integrated Pest Management system.
While in Reprography I was shown the different types of equipment used in the process of digitisation of records including map scanners, microfilm scanners, book scanners and using Photoshop to clean up the scanned records to make them easier to read.
Overall, I was thrilled that I had the opportunity to complete my placement at QSA where I learnt so much about all the different units within the organisation and what they do. This experience has made me reconsider further education after the completion of my diploma, which I wasn’t planning on doing at the start of this year. An added bonus was that I was offered work at QSA within Archival Collections, starting at the end of my placement until the end of this year. As my time with them was short, I’m really looking forward to gaining a better understanding of how transfers work and what’s involved.
I had such a magnificent experience during my vocational placement with QSA and I can’t wait to gain more information and learn new skills.
Southbank TAFE Vocational Placement Student
^Please note: This blog post refers to and contains links to our previous website. All QSA recordkeeping advice has moved to www.forgov.qld.gov.au/recordkeeping.