Lost in the library

Use Search and Rescue: the new touch screen, information kiosks, located near the library’s main doors.   The kiosks are designed to help you find your way around the library when staff are busy at the Welcome Desk. We are interested in your feedback. Let us know what you think of them.

Noongar Language Resources

The West Australian newspaper reported today that “Students hold key to Nyoongar language revival”. Noongar is the one of the main languages spoken by the Aboriginal people of the south-west of Western Australia.  It had a number of dialects, including one for Perth called Wadjuk.  Noongar is an oral language ie it was never written down.  There is a major push throughout Australia for the teaching of Indigenous languages in schools to ensure that the languages are not lost.

The State Library has a significant number of books, articles, teaching kits and film on the subject.   A good starting point for information on Western Australian Aboriginal languages is the article entitled Aboriginal languages in Historical Encyclopedia of Western Australia edited by Jenny Gregory and Jan Gothard.  The encyclopedia is available in most public libraries.  There are a number of dictionaries on the Noongar language including Noongar Dictionary:  Noongar to English and English to Noongar compiled by Rose Whitehurst and published by the Noongar Language and Culture Centre.  Another important dictionary is a Nyoongar Wordlist from the South West of Western Australia compiled by P Bindon and R Chadwick.  There are some useful teaching kits available too at the State Library and public libraries eg Nyoongar warr-kin-ying bulup: we’re talking to you about teaching the past today, for tomorrow: course outline. For further assistance on these books and other resources, please visit the Battye Library on the third floor of the State Library.

CIA The World Factbook

Do you need to know the population of Lesotho, the natural hazards in Afghanistan or the ethnic mix of Germany then the CIA Factbook is for you.   The World Factbook is a brilliant intelligence resource compiled by the the American Central Intelligence Agency for foreign policy makers.  It lists demographic, government, military, economic , communication and geographic information on 165 countries.  Nations are searchable by a drop-down menu.  It is ideal for school projects on different countries of the world.

The first unclassified version of the Factbook was printed in June 1971 but a public version was not available until 1975.  It was first published on the Internet in 1997 and is now not available in print form.

IPL to merge with LII

Since October 2008, iSchool at Drexel, College of Information Science and Technology, home of the Internet Public Library, in Philadelphia has hosted LII (Librarians’ Internet Index).  The next step is for LII and IPL (Internet Public Library) to merge.  The two websites rank as two of the best subject directories for the Internet.  Thousands of high quality Internet sites are organised and maintained by librarians.  You can search by browsing subject listings or using a search box.

The play’s the thing for your audition

Are you auditioning for a 2009 place at WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts), NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) or VCA (Victorian College of the Arts)?   The majority of audition plays are now available on closed reserve at the second floor reference desk in the State Library.  Closed reserve means you cannot borrow the plays but you can read them in the library.  Please ask for the play you want at the desk.  You will be asked to sign for the play.  The plays are part of Prompt Copy, an excellent collection of plays and film scripts on the second floor of the library.

Intute: an index to the best websites

Intute is an attractive, free, online service that indexes the best websites.  The websites are divided into four main areas:  arts, science, health and social sciences but it is also possible to search for narrower topics.  Intute was created by seven UK universities and is hosted by the University of Manchester.  The website has over 120,000 links selected and catalogued by experts in the field.  Users can recommend good websites which may be selected for inclusion.