The Lenton Parr Music, Visual and Performing Arts Library

June 11 / 62

The Lenton Parr Music, Visual and Performing Arts Library, at the Southbank campus, supports the learning, teaching and research activities of the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Music.

The lending collection consists of more than 60,000 books, 60,000 music scores, 10,000 vinyl sound recordings, 7500 CDs and 4500 DVDs and videos, as well as journal and electronic collections which include hundreds more titles. 

The library was named in honour of sculptor, arts educator and Founding Director of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) Lenton Parr.

Music, Visual and Performing Arts Librarian Georgina Binns said this library was unique among Australian university libraries, as it has the widest variety of formats available for loan and use in practice-based arts, and catered for a diverse community of students, researchers, academic staff, practitioners, alumni and other art practitioners in the community.  

“Students and staff need access to a wide range of resources, including print, online and aural and visual materials,” she said. 

“Our staff are trained librarians and library technicians whose backgrounds are in music, visual and performing arts, so they are able to provide library users with specific advice.”

From 2006-7 the library underwent substantial refurbishment, which included a renewal of all shelving, furniture and complete reorganisation of the collections, increased student seating and computer access, multimedia/group study rooms, and an assistive technology room.  

All first-year students participate in a library-based information literacy program. This will continue to develop with an integrated approach within the new curriculum to be introduced in 2012.

Ms Binns said because there was much more than just the collection on the library shelves  - there are many resources available online, in other branch libraries, and other libraries in Victoria, Australia and the world – today’s library staff were  “information navigators” for the students and academic staff.

“The library’s staff work in a collegial way with their academic colleagues ensuring information literacy was included in the curriculum,” Ms Binns said. 

Library staff also work closely with the Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Library, at the Parkville campus, to support the teaching and research needs of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, which operates at both Southbank and Parkville.

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