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About the Orbis Library

About the Orbis Library

The GTAV has developed an extensive collection in its library to support teachers.

The Orbis Library takes its name from the logo of the GTAV. The logo was chosen in quite an extraordinary way by the editors of the GTAV journal in the mid 1960s. At the time, the editors coped with the arduous task of editing by sharing a bottle of red. It is believed that the Orbis logo in fact started life as a claret stain on the galley proofs due back at the printers the next morning. Its potential became startlingly apparent and the doodling became an example of a medieval woodcut map of the fifteenth century known as a T-O map, or wheel map.

The Orbis Library was established in late 1991, when it was decided that something should be done about the mass of 2,500 items gathered over time and at different locations by the GTAV. In its wisdom, GTAV employed a trained librarian to catalogue the items, which have now expanded hugely. Items are catalogued according to SCIS (Schools Catalogue Information Service) so that they are aligned with school collections. The collection now has over 9,000 items.

Fast forward to today and the library is a vibrant place where members, trainee teachers and students utilise the collection of textbooks, journals, kits, computer software, DVDs, slide sets, maps, charts and posters. The library also offers support to the DFAT-funded Global Education Project.

Material is acquired by donations from individuals and organisations, requests from publishers, reciprocal publications from organisations, selected purchases and subscriptions to selected journals. Material can be utilised on site or borrowed. However, borrowing is restricted to members – one of the benefits of membership. Non-­members may utilise the material on site.

To maintain the collection and disseminate information, a trained librarian is employed six hours per week. That’s usually just enough time to address the inquiries from GTAV staff, Victorian teachers and overseas
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Barbara Petchenik
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