The visit was excellent with the centre manager (a librarian by any other name) introducing the work of the centre as a focus for education but also as a gateway to the museum for inquiries and identifications. This means that people send in photos of beasties for the museum to identify. In some cases, people send specimens and sometimes, the specimens e.g. spiders, are still alive.
Students were then split into groups and each group was given an artefact e.g. a sheep’s skull or a shell and they had to go and use the centre’s displays, collection (i.e. drawers of fossils, bones etc), book collection and catalogue on the centre’s website, to identify the artefact - a real live information retrieval exercise, enjoyed by all.
There was also a chameleon in a glass case which was fascinating to watch – see James' blog for a link to a photo of the chameleon in the centre.
If you’re in Melbourne, it’s a fascinating – and free – place to visit.