I first stepped foot on the Clayton campus to attend the introductory class for my Honours degree, having completed my Undergraduate at a rural campus and a different University altogether. The difference in campuses was huge, going from a small campus that took less than five minutes to walk from end to end, to one as large and winding as Monash Clayton’s. I wasn’t a first year, but I felt like it that day.

My perception of myself as a decent navigator was fleeting and I found myself fiddling with the Monash mobile app, frantically trying to understand what the building number meant and why the building number was used more than once but on a different street. Once I sorted Rainforest Walk from Chancellor’s Walk I was at least on my way to getting to class on time (by “on time” I mean a polite 15 minutes late).

I didn’t think there would be more than one library on campus, two was believable, but the prospect of more than that seemed baffling to a country kid like me. That was until I realised that the libraries were faculty-specific and that the services they provided were closely attuned to the needs of those disciplines. When I discovered there was a library dedicated to the Humanities and that it housed Special Collections, I quickly reached my borrowing limit of 50 books at one time.

Looking back, I am so thankful that the Library offered classes on using the catalogue, various databases and EndNote. The things I learnt in these classes contributed to how my thesis turned out and helped me to be a confident researcher. In the weeks leading up to my thesis due date, being able to hide in a nook in the Library and shut out all distractions until the late hours of the evening (or early hours – time is a relative concept) was a tremendous help to me. In full agreement with the words of Albert Einstein “the only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”

The writer, Reanna Kissell, is a librarian at the Hargrave-Andrew Library.