Yet another Melbourne gem that lay hidden from my prying eyes during university and my first year of teaching!
The DC is an absolute treasure trove, full of exciting hands on learning based on and around the Museum’s main collection. My four year old and almost two year old were transfixed with all the choices on offer – animal skeletons, ancient coins, insects in amber that could be studied under the microscope and so much more!
Truthfully, so was I. The more I think about it, the more I want my own library to be very similar to the DC. I absolutely loved how interactive each of the mini exhibits were. Patrons could use all five senses to explore objects then within a handspan, they had a collection of books and a list of websites where they could find out more. All that was needed was an iPad at each exhibit so that patrons could search immediately and it would tick all the boxes for inquiry learning.
Couldn’t you just imagine pairs of kids side by side investigating an animal skull by rolling it around in their hands, using the microscope to examine it in minute detail. One of the kids would have a question so could just swipe the iPad on, head to a database (maybe PebbleGo or WorldBook Animals) and start searching for an answer using some keywords (that were helpfully posted within the exhibit). Oh, the possibilities give me goosebumps!
More about the Discovery Centre
The MVDC is run in conjunction with the Discovery Centre at the Immigration Museum.
The variety of information requests is incredible, from genealogy to random insect identification – the staff list this diversity as the highlight of their working day.
To aid in easy partnerships with other libraries such as State Library of Victoria, and to reduce cost, the DC use Voyager as their LMS.
Much of the artefacts in the DC are not catalogued in any way as they are not deemed of historical value.
The DC staff’s constant Tweeting and blogging provide additional promotion for existing patrons.