New database to celebrate diversity in children’s books
The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literacy (NCACL) will this year launch a database for children’s literature, designed to help teachers, parents and readers to find books which highlight multiculturalism and celebrate diversity, reports SBS News.
Users can search the database for key concepts such as cultural identity, traditions, migration and language. The database currently contains 350 books, which are all linked to the Australian Curriculum and the Early Years Learning Framework.
The idea for the database was developed during a year-long tour of libraries around Australia in 2018, during which NCACL ran its ‘Sharing Stories’ project along with a #WorldKidLit exhibition comprising of 191 children’s books in translation from 70 countries. The project highlighted cultural diversity, translations, and the role of children’s literature as ‘widows and mirrors’, as well as celebrating the ‘often hidden process behind the creation of children’s books that are rarely seen by the public,’
NCACL said its volunteers ‘spent the year finding and reading over 300 culturally diverse Australian children’s and YA books, our aim being to share both stories and cultures. This led to our creating a database and annotating each book.’
The late bookseller Lu Rees began NCACL in Canberra in 1974 to collect, document and preserve material relating to Australian children’s literature and share it with teachers and teacher librarians via outreach activities.