Australian Institute of Music

Liberty is a system that can be easily picked up by people that don’t have much library experience, and that’s very important to us as we have nonlibrary volunteers that work in the library.

Anna Shelmerdine, Librarian
At a Glance
Chosen Solution

Liberty Enterprise

Key Objectives
  • Maintain cost-effectiveness
  • Support the performance activities and academic success of students
Core Challenges

Providing a solution that allowed volunteers from non-library backgrounds to assist in the library

Library Staff


Founded in 1968 by Dr Peter Calvo, the Australian Institute of Music (AIM) began as the Sydney Guitar School. It has now developed into Australia’s leading independent education provider preparing students for careers in the music, entertainment & performing arts industries.

AIM offers a diverse range of Diploma courses, Bachelor degree courses, postgraduate studies, individual lessons and short courses. Younger students who are serious about pursuing their goals in the performing arts industry can also attend the Australian Institute of Music Senior Secondary College, a dedicated Year 11 and 12 high school.

With campuses in both Sydney and Melbourne, AIM continues to grow in both student population and physical size. AIM is spread over several buildings in central Sydney and the main campus on Foveaux Street in Surry Hills is currently being expanded. The new section is planned for completion in 2017 and will include a new performance venue, in addition to the John Painter Hall.

The AIM library is currently located at the Foveaux Street campus and its growth mirrors that of the institute. In 2015, the library was able to renovate to acquire much needed space for additional shelving and a quiet space for students.

Anna Shelmerdine, AIM’s Librarian, said the collection is focussed on supporting students in their performance endeavours and features approximately 8,000 copies of sheet music, 5,000 CDs, 1,000 DVDs, as well as equipment such as headphones and amplifiers.

It’s not all about performance, though. Our students are receiving a rounded education and we support them in their academic studies as well.

Students are supported in their academic achievement with over 7,500 physical books, nearly 5,000 on demand eBooks, databases such as ProQuest Music, ProQuest Performing Arts, JSTOR Arts and Sciences III and Rock’s Backpages, as well as other electronic resources.

Anna is responsible for the management of AIM’s collection and services.

Because it is a small library, I am involved in everything from acquisitions to cataloguing, services development and even web design.

Liberty has helped Anna and the AIM’s Library Technician to streamline their library’s management.

Liberty is a very flexible system with all the features that are essential for our library - cataloguing, circulation, serial management and interlibrary loans. It’s completely online and I love that I can login and work from any device.

A number of volunteers regularly provide additional assistance to the AIM library team.

Liberty is a system that can be easily picked up by people that don’t have much library experience, and that’s very important to us as we have nonlibrary volunteers that work in the library.

The AIM library has been a long-term Softlink customer, converting from Liberty v3 to Liberty v5 in 2012.

Cost factor is very important for a small library and Liberty is a very cost effective solution for us.

Anna said she was very pleased by the support she has received from Softlink.

Support at Softlink is fantastic. Our queries are answered very quickly with easy to follow instructions. It is also great that any feedback is taken on board and we’ve seen improvements to Liberty based on our suggestions. It’s a great feeling to know that you’re heard and that Softlink works with librarians to make the system even better.