- Ten students from Charles Sturt studying Information Studies travelled to Fiji on a week-long study tour
- The trip was part of students’ coursework designed to enable them to apply the theory of library and information studies to practice
- Students visited a range of libraries, archives, and museums during the trip
Ten students studying in the Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) School of Information Studies recently visited Fiji to tour a range of libraries, archives and museums as part of their coursework.
During the week-long study tour, students were greeted by representatives from the Fiji Library Association, and spoke with a variety of experts to learn more about Fiji’s libraries and archiving and record keeping facilities.
Lecturer in the Charles Sturt School of Information Studies Dr Jessie Lymn organised the trip and said Fiji was selected because it provided a valuable opportunity for students to travel overseas and develop their awareness of the global library and information sector.
“Understanding the subject matter of Library and Information Studies, such as collection management, community outreach, and the challenges of digitisation, from different cultural perspectives is a valuable learning opportunity for students,” Dr Lymn said.
“The quality of libraries and archives available to visit in Fiji is exceptional and it seemed like an ideal time for our Information Studies students to visit the island nation because Charles Sturt has recently approved a credit package from the University of South Pacific’s Library Diploma program.
“The University and our students are very grateful to the different facilities in Fiji who graciously hosted us and shared their expertise with us during the trip.”
Students first visited the Museum of Fiji to explore the vast history and culture of Fiji and its neighbours.
Dr Lymn said the trip provided students with a well-rounded view of Fiji’s libraries, having visited both well-funded facilities and others operating from donations or limited budgets.
“During our trip we visited the International School Suva and were hosted by Charles Sturt alumna Wakanisi Vaciloa, who is the librarian at the school. Students said the school had a very impressive library that outshone many libraries they had worked in or visited in Australia,” Dr Lymn said.
“We also visited libraries and archives that had limited budgets and resources, but were still using excellent processes and providing valuable services to the community; our students were very inspired by these facilities and their staff.”
Some of the highlights from the trip included seeing a perfectly preserved copy of the Fiji Times from 1869 at the National Archives of Fiji, participating in a children’s craft workshop based around the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and visiting the Library Directorate of Fiji, the organisation responsible for establishing libraries in all public schools in Fiji.
When visiting the library facilities at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, students heard about the implementation of contemporary academic library practices such as a 23-hour learning commons, special collections and learning support services.
Students were also provided with the opportunity to visit the Library of the Pacific Community, the only research organisation that represents all Pacific countries, which specialises in areas such as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience and conservation for food security.
Students also toured Suva City Carnegie Library, Nausori Town Library and the Davuilevu Theological College as part of their study tour.
Charles Sturt Information Studies students are required to undertake a study tour as part of their mandatory coursework.
The students, who all study online, travelled from regional NSW and Victoria, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra to make the overseas trip.
Dr Lymn said many students participate in a domestic tour, but thanks to the support of CSU Global, attending a study tour in Fiji was possible.
“CSU Global played an integral role in supporting and organising this study tour and we are very fortunate for their efforts and contribution in making this international study experience possible,” Dr Lymn said.
Charles Sturt, through CSU Global, strives to provide all of our students with the opportunity to experience the world through a broad range of international study experiences.