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Who says dressing up is just for kids! A recent visit from a group of mothers and preschool children demonstrated the delight to be had in donning a jester’s hat, a period costume or a Shakespearean collar: and that was just the adults, not the children!
Information and Cultural Exchange
In an ongoing partnership with Information and Cultural Exchange (I.C.E) in Parramatta we recently welcomed to the Library twelve women and their young children. The group is part of a program known as the Family Creative Hub at ICE, which connects families, often new arrivals to Australia, with community resources that support learning and employment opportunities as well as general wellbeing.
Inviting this group to the State Library was designed to connect them to the collections and resources of the Library and most importantly to make them aware that the State Library is a safe and welcoming place.
For all the families this was their first visit to the Library and excitement levels were high. Beginning with a visit to the Generations: Photographs by Louise Whelan exhibition was a powerful way to demonstrate that culturally diverse communities are represented in the Library collections. Generations captures the stories of newly arrived migrants and refugees in photographs and the oral histories of some of those featured.
Visiting the Paintings Gallery
While touring the Paintings Gallery, the group was intrigued to see the evolution of Sydney revealed in the paintings on display. Scenes from colonial Sydney and the building of the harbour bridge were carefully examined. Meanwhile the children were enjoying a safari, with Education Officer Susan Owen, looking out for animals in the paintings. Learning Services has recently launched a new early learning program Stories in Surprising Places to introduce our youngest visitors to Library collections and children’s literature in a playful, age appropriate way.
The State Library has supported another I.C.E program Spellbound Storytime, a multilingual storytelling enterprise developed and delivered by migrant women. Storytellers trained through this program have participated in family programming at the Library and were enthusiastically received by our visitors. We are delighted to be able to provide a platform for this group to showcase their skill.
Extending a welcome to multicultural communities, and in particular, recent arrivals to Australia is an important aspect of the Library’s commitment to the people of NSW. The Library’s Multicultural Unit also deliver valuable services to multicultural communities and provide access to books in 42 community languages through the Public Library network.
This visit was supported by the staff giving program which provides funding towards the cost of bus travel to the Library.
The success of the visit is captured in the feedback received from Eddie Abd, coordinator of the Multicultural Hub.
I just wanted to write you to say thank you for such a wonderful experience at the State Library... The ladies feel they have the courage now to visit the library again, and most plan on doing so during the holidays.
We look forward to welcoming them back.