11 January 2012
RMIT student receives library research scholarship
Leonee Derr, Master of Information Management student.
RMIT University student, Leonee Derr, has won a $30,000 scholarship from the Library Board of Victoria.
The Master of Information Management student was awarded the Barrett Reid Scholarship to support her leadership and professional development.
The scholarship is open to anyone employed in a Victorian public library who has a proven record of motivation and commitment to public library values.
The money can be used for a range of development opportunities including further education, a secondment or internship, or visiting and researching libraries across Australia and overseas.
Ms Derr's application proposal was focused on breaking down barriers and engaging young adults in the public library system.
"This scholarship will allow me to visit, study and analyse different libraries, their users and their staff," she said.
"It is hoped that my research will provide recommendations for how to encourage young adults to utilise library spaces more effectively."
Ms Derr's decision to focus primarily on young adults (aged 16 to 24) is based on evidence and feedback from youth service professionals across Australia.
"It is clear that staff are unsure how to support this group, what to offer in relation to services, how to create spaces and collections that will interest them, and how to maintain relationships with them once parents or other authoritative figures are absent," Ms Derr said.
"My ultimate goal is to influence change in public library services across Australia by setting a new best practice in the field of youth services."
Dr Sue Reynolds, Program Director, Master of Information Management, said: "Leonee's achievement is a reflection of her passion and dedication.
"I am sure the scholarship will help her to develop professionally and to produce new knowledge that will benefit youth services in public libraries."