Libraries of RMIT University
Swanston Library at RMIT's City campus
|Established||1890 (as the library of the former Working Men's College)|
|Branches||7 (the largest being the Swanston Library)|
|Size||Swanston Library: 600,000+ volumes (approx)|
The libraries of RMIT University (officially the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) consist of seven academic branch libraries. Five are located at RMIT's Australian campuses (RMIT University) in Melbourne City, Bundoora and Brunswick; and two are located at RMIT's Vietnamese campuses (RMIT International University) in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The Australian branch libraries are collectively referred to as the "University Library" network.
The antecedent to RMIT's University Library network was established as the library of the Working Men's College of Melbourne (antecedent to present-day RMIT) in 1890. The tiny library was initially housed in a 6 x 9 m room in Building 1 and contained only 152 m of shelf space. It was managed by the college's mathematics instructor Alfred Hart between 1902-1930 - a leading Shakespearian of his day.
From the 1930s, the library was expanded and relocated to the space beneath the public lecture theatre of Building 1 (what is today the Pearson and Murphy's café). During this time, it was primarily staffed by repatriated World War I soldiers - as part of a federal government re-skilling program. By 1945, the library had outgrown its space and the decision was made to split it into specific field collections. From then the various collections were housed in the schools relevant to each field.
In 1955, a central library was re-established in Building 6 - following ongoing requests from the student union. And, in 1956, John Livingstone Ward was appointed as RMIT's first chief librarian. Some schools continued to maintain research collections, in addition to the central library. Examples of school collections that still exist are the AFI Research Collection, RMIT Design Archives and National Aerospace Resource.
As the campus expanded northward during the 1970s, a second library site was opened. In 1993, the main library was relocated to Building 8 and was further expanded - after which is was known as the Swanston Library. The second library became known as the Carlton Library.
Two more libraries were added to the network when the Bundoora campus opened in 1995 - Bundoora East Library and Bundoora West Library. When the Brunwick campus was annexed by RMIT in 1999, the Brunswick Library also became part of the network.
During the 1990s and 2000s, a Business Library was located in Building 108 on Bourke Street. The collection was merged with the Swanston Library when RMIT closed the building in 2012.
The branches at the Ho Chi Minh City, known as Beanland Library, and Hanoi campuses opened in 2001 and 2004 respectively.
Melbourne City campus
The City campus has two branches of the library: Swanston Library and Carlton Library.
The Swanston Library is the largest branch in the network, and is located in Building 8.
It is unique from the other campus libraries in that it is the only RMIT library site open till midnight during part of the semester.
Swanston Library was named as one of "Five of the best libraries" in the The Age Sunday M magazine. The reasons included... "Like the sprawling campus itself, [Swanston Library] has nooks and crannies and, best of all, dedicated silent places".
The Bundoora campus has two branches of the library: Bundoora East Library and Bundoora West Library.
The Brunswick campus has one branch of the library.
Two libraries are located at RMIT's Vietnam campuses; Beanland Library and Hanoi Library. The Beanland Library is the largest of the two libraries, and is located at the Ho Chi Minh City campus.
- Library staff, RMIT University Library, RMIT University, retrieved 12 October 2012
- Murray-Smith & Dare 1987, pp. 341-242.
- Murray-Smith & Dare 1987, p. 473.
- Murray-Smith & Dare 1987, p. 245.
- Murray-Smith & Dare 1987, p. 282.
- AFI Research Collection, RMIT University, retrieved 30 September 2012
- RMIT Design Archives, RMIT University, retrieved 28 September 2012
- National Aerospace Resource Centre, RMIT University, retrieved 28 September 2012
- The Business Library is on the move, RMIT University Library, RMIT University, retrieved 12 October 2012
- Swanston Library open longer, RMIT University Library, RMIT University
- Sunday M magazine (27 July 2008), The Age, Fairfax Media
- Vietnam Library, RMIT International University, accessed 28 September 2012
- Beanland Library, RMIT International University, retrieved 28 September 2012