National Volunteer Week

It’s National Volunteer Week and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the approximately 100 volunteers who contribute their time, effort, talents and good humour to assist at the State Library.

This year’s theme for NVW is Volunteers Everyone Counts, so I thought I’d give an overview of who our volunteers are:

Officially the youngest is 15, unofficially seven (she volunteered with her aunt for the Better Beginnings Carnivale). The oldest is 85.

They speak Persian, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, German, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Hungarian, Italian, French, Indonesian, Spanish and, no doubt, more.

One has been volunteering here for 25 years, three started last week.

Their experiences are deep and varied. From our volunteers I can find someone who will write and analyse public policy, manager databases, team lead childcare centres, make great coffee, lead intercultural studies, teach computing courses, understand medical jargon, manage your investments, deliver a baby, take photos and archive them. We have zoologists, law students, post graduates, urban planners, union organisers, students of every level, library officers, library technicians and, yes, librarians.

They volunteer for a variety of reasons: to keep up their skills, to network, to gain experience and build CVs, for social interaction, to be around a wide range of people, for a sense of fulfilment, for professional development, to practice their English, to explore new career opportunities, to build applications for Masters and doctorates Degrees, to help the public, for the enjoyable environment, to watch films from the State Library collection, for exposure to WA history or a passion for family history.

They volunteer directly for the State Library, for the State Library Foundation and via the WA Genealogy Society.

Their time commitment may be sixteen hours a week (the maximum recommended) to once every three or four months for one of our events.

This week we celebrate them and their contribution. For the 2010-2011 financial year volunteers gave almost 8000 hours to the State Library. Because of them and their ‘value-adding’, our clients received increased service and greater access to our collections.

To our volunteers – thank you!

New access and delivery service

The State Library is pleased to announce the launch of Get-It!

Get-It is a free online service that enables State Library members to access stock held by any public library throughout Western Australia via an online search and request system.

Regional and Remote Library users are able to access a similar service through their local libraries using the current inter library loan service.

Items requested via Get-It! will be available for collection at the Welcome Desk on the ground floor of the State Library. In addition to the free State Library collection option, there is a delivery option available to have items mailed out via express post at a cost of $10 per item.

Get-It! is another way to find and access books, DVDs and other resources from State Library stock and requests can be lodged online through the State Library’s website at Get-It! (

Should a required title not be available in Western Australian state or public library stock, the Get-It! system will search the Libraries Australia catalogue enabling items to be borrowed from the National and State Libraries of Australia as well as other public and institutional libraries. Some of these are fee based loans but members are advised of this and given the choice to reject or continue with the loan request.

The State Library of Western Australia is located in the heart of the Perth Cultural Centre. It preserves and provides access to Western Australia’s published heritage and original historical records. The State Library also provides numerous on-line and e-resources, many of which are accessible from your home PC using your public library membership. To see what else the State Library has to offer you please check out the State Library’s web pages at


Your Enquiry Service

The State Library has recently launched Your Enquiry Service (YES), an online enquiry service for all Western Australian information seekers.  YES  is an easy way of finding information across a range of areas using an online enquiry system. Questions received through YES  are responded to by experienced State Library staff.


Later this year, National and State Libraries of Australia will join together in providing a national reference enquiry service. This service will ensure that enquiries can be handled by the most suitable library, no matter where the enquiry originated. YES is located at this address


The implementation of this service is part of the National and State Libraries’ Australasia (NSLA) commitment to providing an effective delivery of information services acrossAustraliaandNew Zealand.  


The State Library of Western Australia is located in the heart of the Perth Cultural Centre. It preserves and provides access to Western Australia’s published heritage and original historical records. The State Library also provides numerous on-line and e-resources, many of which are accessible from your home PC using your public library membership. To see what else the State Library has to offer you please check out the State Library’s web pages at


Volunteer Accomplishments

The State Library has approximately 90 wonderful people who volunteer for us. They partner with us in all sorts of ways, with all sorts of skills and are vital to the work of the State Library. Over the last year they have had many achievements and without them there is much that would not have been done.

In Collection Services, volunteers in the Liaison, Acquisition and Description teams processed and housed archival material, cleared 27 metres of ephemera, identified photos, created contents lists for Oral Histories, checked catalogues against items to be donated and assisted to make our collections more accessible to clients.

In Preservation and Maintenance volunteers cleaned and re-housed slides, made boxes for preserving materials, cross checked and matched scanned negatives and researched the history of photographs.

Volunteers in Community, Learning and Development were in The Place during story-time and school holidays, set up activities, keeping the noise to a soft roar and entertaining children.

Volunteers in Better Beginnings packed over 5000 packs for the birth to three years program as well as additional packs for the kindergarten pre-primary program. We could not have rolled out the program to libraries without their efforts. They also assisted with the packing of read aloud book sets and discovery backpacks for the Kindergarten pre-primary program.

Volunteers in Research and Discovery numbered and listed performance sets in score order, processed new donations and entered information onto spreadsheets.

Volunteers handed out information, were ushers and promoted future events at:
• WAAPA Concerts
• The Seniors’ Week Concert
• Wednesday Matinees, and
• The WA Week Concert

The Western Australian Genealogical Society volunteers have staffed the WAGS desk on the 1st floor and taken approximately 3 500 enquiries. They also provide invaluable support during Family History Week.

The State Library Foundation volunteer was integral part of their Heritage Mapping Project, widening its scope and making it a more valuable resource.

In Client Services volunteers have given administrative support, assisted the Library in the Discarded Book Sales and shelved a staggering 65 000 discard items in the Shop, assisted with events and helped research speeches.

Many, many thanks to our wonderful volunteers who are worth their weight in gold.

Help Promote Reading @ Love2Read Cafe

46% of Australia can’t read newspapers, follow a recipe, make sense of timetables, or understand the instructions on a medicine bottle.

On Saturday January 21st the Love2Read Cafe opens at the State Library of WA. For five weeks there will be an outdoor reading room with  free events and activities including giant scrabble, music gigs, yoga classes, chalk art, word games, baby rhymetime, family storytime, school holiday activities, author talks, book signings and more.

To help promote literacy and be part of this fun event volunteer at the Love2Read Cafe.

For more information, leave a response here or contact

Volunteers Wanted for the Love2Read Cafe

Do you enjoy working with people?
Do you love books and reading?
Want to combine the two?

The State Library of Western Australian is celebrating the National Year of Reading in 2012, and we’re looking for volunteers to help enthuse people about books and reading in our Love2Read café. It is an exciting time to be involved with the State Library and we are inviting motivated volunteers to participate in and share Australia’s love of language, literature, books and reading in all its forms.

The Love2Read café is the State Library of Western Australia’s flagship initiative to kick-start the National Year of Reading. It will be based on the Bryant Park reading room model in New York. Trolleys full of new and pre-loved books, magazines, comics and newspapers will be wheeled out under the canopied area in the front of the State Library, which will be transformed into a book café and open air library from 21 January to 26 February 2012.

The Love2Read café will feature bright, engaging decor with colourful chairs, tables and beanbags to encourage people to sit down and discover or rediscover the joy of reading for pleasure. There will also be a range of events and programs to attract a wide variety of audiences to take part in the Love2Read café, from author talks and book signings, to fitness classes and festival fringe events.

You will be working with other State Library staff members to make the Love2Read café a must-visit destination within the Perth Cultural Centre.

Volunteer Position: Love2Read Café Assistant
Directorate: Community, Learning and Discovery
Team: Participation and Learning
Reports to: Manager: Participation and Learning

Primary purpose of position:
To assist and support all day-to-day operations required for the smooth running of the Love2Read café at the State Library of Western Australia. This may include:
• Responding to queries and/or providing assistance to clients in the Love2Read café.
• Keep the area clean, tidying tables, reshelving books, arranging and stacking chairs.
• Being aware of stock levels, and restocking book trolleys when necessary.
• Assisting with all aspects of events, including event set-up and take-down.

Volunteers must be:
• Able to work well with State Library and Aroma café staff in contributing to a team environment which ensures the delivery of quality services to clients.
• Physically capable of working both outdoors and in a library environment, for example shifting and lifting of books, stacking of chairs and tables, pushing trolleys.
• Available to work the hours to which they have committed, which may include evenings and weekends.

Desirable qualities and experience:
• Excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to connect with a wide range of people.
• Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
• Experience in the administrative and logistical aspects of running events and programs.
• Experience in a library, bookstore or other customer service-driven environment.
• An awareness of Occupational Safety and Health requirements relevant to the position.

For further information contact Mary Doyle, Volunteer Coordinator, on 9427 3327. To apply, tell us in 250 words or less what you’d bring to the Love2Read café, and send a 2-page (max.) résumé with contact details of 2 referees, to Mary Doyle ( by 5 December 2011.

If successful, applicants will be invited to attend an interview on Monday 12 December at 2.30pm. Volunteers should also be available to attend a training session on Monday 16 January, 2012.

Frederick Flood Photographic Images

State Library of Western Australia has recently acquired a large collection of photographic images and watercolour paintings by Frederick Flood.

Frederick Flood moved to Western Australia from England in 1912. In 1919 he was employed by West Australian Newspapers mainly preparing artwork for advertisements but his talent was recognised and he became a full-time photographer for the newspaper.

For the next 40 years he painted, drew and photographed people, buildings and rural scenes in Western Australia and recorded a unique insight into the lives of West Australians.

State Library of Western Australia will preserve the images and watercolours for future generations and make them available for viewing at the State Library and electronically via our catalogue at Photographs and water colours by Frederick Flood : scenes of Perth and rural Western Australia . Other works by Flood, or about him, can be found by searching our catalogue using Frederick Flood in a keyword search.

A book about Flood and his work is available at the State Library and in public libraries Embellishing the Landscape: The Images of Amy Heap and Fred Flood 1920-1940.

State Library will continue to add to the images available online so please visit again as we add images.

Durack Exhibition Last Days

From the Reg Durack collection

L-R: Hector Fuller, Reg Durack, unknown, Tas Fitzer, unknown and M.P. Durack in the buggy, ca. 1930


Our very popular and fascinating The Durack Dynasty exhibtion is on its final days. This exhibition has run from May 29th and will be closing on October 3rd. The State Library is open from 10.00am-5.00pm both Saturday and Sunday for your last  chance to view this remarkable exhibition.

Our new exhibition, Vite Italiane, will begin on October 21,

City in Bloom

The Floral Clock and the Kings Park Garden Restaurant

The State Library and the Cultural Centre are participating in this year’s City in Bloom , the extension of the ever-popular Art in Bloom run by the Friends of the Art Gallery. City in Bloom will lead viewers on a path through the city to view floral installations and end at Kings Park for its annual Kings Park Festival Wildflower September.

There will be several Bloom  installations in the Perth Cultural Centre with Nien Schwarz creating “To make one’s bed” outside the State Library.

Radio station 720 ABC Perth has a guided tour of City in Bloom audio tour  that you can download to your MP3 player.

While you’re passing by the State Library pop in and visit our pictorial collection including images from Flower Day in the 1950s and illustrated botanical works.

Philately in flowers, 1953

National Year of Reading 2012

Engage, discover, learn from and enjoy books! It’s count down to the National Year of Reading 2012 and the State library is proud to be one of the partners in this exciting initiative. “Australian libraries and library associations have got together to turn 2012 into the National Year of Reading, linking together all the great things that are already happening around books, reading and literacy, and giving them an extra boost, with inspirational programs and events taking place across the country.”

Do you have a favourite book you’d like to tell us about? 

Has a book ever changed your life?

What good books have you read lately that you think others would enjoy?