There was controversy when Debi Marshall’s true crime book about Western Australia’s Claremont serial killings was published in June this year. WA police criticised her approach, her research and the credibility of her sources of information.
The book begins by relating the events around the disappearence of three women from Claremont in 1996 and 1997. It also spends many chapters discussing alleged police mishandling of other cases in Western Australia.
The book’s content aside, it suffers from too many cliches. The attempts to get inside the heads of the family of victims and suspects do not ring true. However, the subject matter makes the book compelling to Western Australians for whom the case is still vivid in their minds.
If your local Western Australian public library doesn’t have a copy, they can get one for you on interlibrary loan. There is also a copy on the third floor of the State Library of Western Australia.
Vincent Serventy, Western Australian born writer and conservationist, has died aged 91. He was the author of over 70 books, all of which can be found at the State Library of Western Australia. During his long life, as well as writing books, he fought many environmental campaigns and hosted a television show called Nature Walkabout.
Serventy, who died on Saturday aged 91, was born to Victor and Antica Serventy, who had come from Croatia early last century, met on the Kalgoorlie goldfields and moved to an orchard and vineyard at Armadale, outside Perth, where Vincent was the youngest of eight children. He attended Perth Modern School, graduated in geology and psychology from the University of Western Australia, researched zoology for the CSIRO and taught. One student at Northam High School was Shirley Strickland, the gold medal Olympic athlete who became a committed environmentalist.
Interestingly Serventy was friends with Spike Milligan. In later years, Serventy lived in Sydney. One of his last books, published by Fremantle Press, was 1999′s An Australian Life - Memoirs of a naturalist, conservationist, traveller and writer.
Below is a photograph of magpies taken by Serventy and available in the State Library’s pictorial collection. Its number is 274104PD.
The State Library of Western Australia has new displays for Spring, all around the theme of diamonds. These displays are a great chance to see treasures from our stack and rare book rooms, giving you an idea of some of the items we have in our collection. You’ll also learn some interesting things!
We have one display for each of our floors, located near the lifts.
Ground Floor: ‘I can’t say no to diamonds’ is an elegant display of materials about jewellers of renown.
1st floor: ‘Romancing the stone: Diamonds as the icons of romance’ is a sassy yet sweet look at the connection between diamonds and romance.
2nd floor: ‘Elgar’s diamonds’ is an interesting take on the theme, with a fabulous array of materials on the life and works of Edward Elgar, who composed a piece for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
3rd floor: ‘The Carnot Bay Diamond Mystery’ is a display about a strange saga in Western Australia history. In 1942, a plane bearing millions of dollars of diamonds was shot down by Japanese bombers near Broome. A beachcomber found the diamonds and shared them among his friends. About half of the diamonds were recovered and he stood trial for their theft. He was acquitted; the rest of the diamonds have never – officially – been found.
In partnership with the Edmund Rice Centre, the City of Stirling Libraries have announced their ‘Living Library 2007′. In this innovative scheme, library users can ‘borrow’ a person for a half hour conversation. Users can choose to borrow a blind person, a gay person, a refugee, a librarian or a Muslim. The scheme aims to promote understanding between people in the community.
It’s happening at Mirrabooka Library from 4pm-7:30pm on Thursday 18th October.