Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:00
Remember Adam Gilchrist? Sri Lankans will not forget the Australian wicket-keeper batsman easily for his match winning performance with the bat to deprive Sri Lanka from winning the World Cup in 2007 when he scored 149.
Gilchrist playing with a golf ball under his glove became the talking point of the day. In his retirement, Gilchrist is a passionate ambassador for the Australian Chapter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) – an independent non-profit organisation whose mission is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and wellbeing of children.
I was impressed by a very moving award winning picture of Gilchrist pushing a wheel chair with a 15-year old girl at a photographic exhibition at the State Library of West Australia (WA) recently. Taken by a newspaper photographer attached to the WA Sunday Times, it had won the first place for the Best News Feature Photograph at the annual WA Press Photographer of the Year Awards.
The exhibition gave an eyewitness account of the major news events, exciting sporting moments, fascinating features and compelling portrait images captured by West Australian photographers over the past year. It is the longest running annual competition for the past 60 years having started in 1954.
The WA State Library organises interesting exhibitions from time to time. Another recent exhibition titled the ‘Library of Nearly Lost Moments’ showcased a collection of train tickets, theatre programmes, slogans on napkins and postcards, promotional programmes and other assorted items. These items known as “ephemera” are considered valuable to researchers and historians who try to understand the past. They consider that such items can add an extra dimension and help provide a more complete and detailed picture of a subject.
Promoting literacy,heritage and knowledge
The State Library Foundation administers the library. A Not-For-Profit organisation, it was set up in 2009 primarily to raise funds for “Literacy, Heritage and Knowledge initiatives that will help individuals and communities imagine and create stronger and more positive futures”.
The Foundation declares that it believes in everyone’s right to literacy and readily available reading materials provided in diverse formats and in different spaces.
“We believe in the importance of collecting and conserving Western Australia’s early historical material and giving people access to items of interest so as to open up a better understanding of our heritage. These interlocking elements of literacy, heritage and knowledge are at the forefront of our work to help individuals and communities imagine and create stronger and more positive futures.”
Then Foundation gives an international travel grant to librarians in WA for professional development and is always on the lookout for new initiatives to achieve its goals. ‘Love to Read Café’, for example is an outdoor reading café set up outside the Library doors. The ‘Laundry Reads’ places mini-libraries at Laundromats.
‘Read Out Loud’ was a one-day State wide reading marathon to promote awareness of literacy and the joy of reading and “I’m Not Stupid” was a public awareness radio campaign showcasing how adults who had missed out on reading skills in their early life had later found support to help them to read and how their lives had been positively transformed as a result.
In the State Library anyone can access books magazines and newspapers, undertake research, attend workshops, hear engaging speakers, watch films, and listen to music. One can access many of these resources online from anywhere in the world.