Activity: What is an information agency?
Choose either the opening or closing site from a previous study visit schedule. Think about what makes this site an ‘information agency’ and make notes for yourself. Think also about what we mean when we talk about ‘information’. What information do you think they work with? What type of services do they offer?
For the purpose of this task, I have chosen the information agency AustLit. By its very own definition, AustLit’s mission as an information agency is clear:
To be the definitive information resource and research environment for Australian literary, print, and narrative cultures.
AustLit is concerned with providing access to bibliographic information about individual ‘works’ such as fiction, poetry, criticism and reviews, and biographical and travel writing. It also provides information about ‘agents’ which includes individual authors, writing-related organisations, production companies, and arts and cultural organisations, among other things. It is a useful resource for teachers and students.
Access to AustLit is provided through the catalogue of subscribing library institutions such as university libraries, school libraries, and council libraries. There are some resources which are freely available.