The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature just gets bigger and better with their insightful resources and information. On their website now sits the Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Resource, a comprehensive resource offering information about a range of books for children aged from birth to eight years. This first stage, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Education, was created by a team of people from a range of backgrounds, including Aboriginal People, all with expert knowledge in children’s literature. Each annotated entry includes bibliographic information, subjects, audience age range, creator’s cultural background, location of story and community information if applicable, artistic media and technique used and curriculum links and links to notes and ideas of teaching and other related activities. This wealth of information allows this resource to be accessible to a wide audience of Indigenous and non-Indigenous parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians, home school groups, early childhood teachers and helpers around the globe.
The database can be searched by title with an advanced option (handy on the same page) including author, illustrator, publisher and date range. To the right of the advanced search option are thumbnails of books which can be arranged as images of jackets or lists. The search facility is fast and easy. The teaching resources are expansive and offer a huge variety, from specific resources for the title to resources related to the topic and theme of the book.
I love book lists and databases and use them all the time in many facets of my work. The resources available through the NCACL are exceptional. I was honoured when asked to be part of the team to write annotations for this database, as it is an important resource not only for Australian literature, but also for educational and vocational uses. Users will include teachers, librarians, parents and grandparents, researchers and lecturers. There is such a need for resources such as this and I commend the NCACL for taking on such a task.
The resource is freely available and easy to use. In my review for the Cultural Diversity Database, also from the NCACL, I said I could not recommend it enough. This is the case with the Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Resource. This should be on the front page of every school library’s LMS and shared with every teacher and librarian throughout the country.
Lecturer in Teacher Librarianship
School of Information Studies
Faculty of Arts & Education
Charles Sturt University
Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678