Celebrate CBCA Book Week

Every year since 1945, schools, public libraries and children across Australia have celebrated their favourite books, Australian children’s authors, and illustrators during Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book Week.

This year’s theme for CBCA Book Week is ‘Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds’. Children are invited to celebrate through activities, dressing up, competitions and storytelling.

The CBCA Book Week Book of the Year winners for 2021 were announced on Friday 20 August, and we are thrilled to congratulate Tasmanian author Kate Gordon! Her book ‘Aster’s good, right things’ won the Younger Readers category for 2021.

Do you want to read the shortlisted and winning titles?
Click the links below to browse our catalogue, and use your library card to place a hold:

All shortlisted titles

Shortlisted titles for older readers

Shortlisted titles for younger readers

Shortlisted titles for early childhood

Shortlisted picture books

Shortlisted titles for Eve Pownall Award

Shortlisted titled for New Illustrator Award

What’s happening for CBCA Book Week at Libraries Tasmania?

To see what’s happening at your local library, go to www.eventbrite.com.au and search ‘Libraries Tasmania’, or simply call your local library.

You can also watch authors and actors read some of the CBCA Book Week shortlisted titles on Story Box. All you need to do is log in to Story Box using your library card details and choose your title.

National Family History Month

August is National Family History Month (NFHM), and Libraries Tasmania is once again holding its series of popular expert talks that will inspire and assist you to connect the dots of your family history.

The Libraries Tasmania NFHM expert talk series, at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts

Download your copy of the National Family History Month expert talks program (PDF). Can’t make it to an Allport talk? Keep an eye on our SoundCloud channel for the recordings.

Attend one of these family history events at a local library

Please note: Bookings, via Eventbrite or phone, are essential for all our NFHM events, as numbers are limited. 

AUGUST IS… Uncovering your past!

Everyone has a past… Can yours be found in the Libraries Tasmania archives and heritage collections?

August is… 91 Stories

August is the month when we proudly open the doors to 91 Stories – our community-curated exhibition.

From 9 August you can view a selection of the 91 treasures from this exhibition at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, in one of our libraries across Tasmania (where you can explore our fabulous roving exhibition cubes), or view the entire exhibition online in the evergreen 91 Stories Flickr gallery.

August is… Family history research

August is National Family History Month (NFHM), and Libraries Tasmania has a host of expert talks, online resources and in-library sessions to further your existing passion or spark your interest in all things family history!

Have you been interested in getting to know your family history, but are not sure where to start? Our librarians and archivists have done the hard work for you and offer their best advice and handy hints on how to get started.

  • We offer a range of different services that will help you connect to your ancestral roots, whether your family history lies in Tasmania, across Australia or overseas.
  • If you know you have Tasmanian heritage, the Tasmanian Names Index is a comprehensive database of Tasmanian records – all you need to do is search a name!
  • Search through the Tasmanian prison records, or our UNESCO Memory of the World-listed Tasmanian Convict Records.
  • You can use our specialised research guide to help identify whether you have Tasmanian Aboriginal ancestry.
  • And, if you’re looking beyond Tasmania, Ancestry lets you search across Australian census, birth, marriage and death records, or military and immigration records. Remote access for Ancestry is available to Libraries Tasmania members until December 2021, so you can research your family history without leaving your home.

For the full list of Libraries Tasmania family history resources, visit our Family History web page.  

August is… Getting back to library basics

August is… For the kids!

Contact your local library to find out what’s on near you. Or, visit www.eventbrite.com.au and search ‘Libraries Tasmania’.

Celebrate NAIDOC Week with a story

NAIDOC Week celebrations are being held across the state from 4 to 11 July. This year’s theme is ‘Heal Country!’, and the Libraries Tasmania collections team has put together their recommendations for your reading list.

We have a range of titles for both adult readers and younger readers and they can be accessed as an eBook on Libby or OverDrive, or borrowed from one of our libraries across the state.

Adult titles

Truth-telling: history, sovereignty and the Uluru Statement by Henry Reynolds.
Lending copies: https://stors.tas.gov.au/ILS/SD_ILS-1354051
OverDrive/Libby: https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/media/6158412

Welcome to country: a travel guide to Indigenous Australia by Marcia Langton.
Lending copies: https://stors.tas.gov.au/ILS/SD_ILS-1262233
OverDrive/Libby. https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/media/4003261

For the full list of OverDrive/Libby adult titles visit:
https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/collection/1224966

Junior titles

Welcome to country: an introduction to our first people for young Australians by Marcia Langton.
Lending copies: https://stors.tas.gov.au/ILS/SD_ILS-1320979; OverDrive/Libby: https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/media/5030863

Young dark emu: a truer history by Bruce Pascoe.
Lending copies: https://stors.tas.gov.au/ILS/SD_ILS-1309282; OverDrive/Libby: https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/library/kids/media/5638238

For the full list of OverDrive/Libby junior titles visit: https://librariestasmania.overdrive.com/library/kids/collection/1224736

Coming soon: 91 Stories exhibition

Earlier this year, Libraries Tasmania did a call-out for the community’s favourite items in our cultural collections.

We wanted you to help us curate our major 91 Stories* exhibition.

We had countless fantastic responses from people all over Tasmania. The final 91 submissions have now been collated to form the exhibition, which opens in early August in the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts and online at a dedicated Flickr gallery (set to become a permanent feature in our collections).

This community led exhibition has been designed to showcase well-loved favourites and uncover some of the untold stories hiding in the collections housed in the Allport, the Tasmanian Archives and the State Library of Tasmania.

We can’t wait to show you what Tasmania loves!

*Named in recognition of our heritage-listed 91 Murray Street building in Hobart.


Buried in the collection!

What will you discover in our collections this month?

Libraries Tasmania is home to a wealth of Tasmanian stories – whether in our 22 linear kilometres of shelving devoted to archives, or on our lending shelves in our 46 libraries across the state.

We invite you to be a detective and look a little deeper at what we have to offer in our cultural collections…

  • Dive into our Archives and Heritage blog, where you’ll uncover the hidden story behind some of our most important items, such as this donated letterpress
  • Assist with our DigiVol projects and help turn historical Tasmanian information into digitised data.
  • Visit the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts (91 Murray Street, Hobart) to wander through its many ‘house’ rooms, where you’ll uncover exquisite objects, paintings and books that tell the story of Tasmania’s journey from yesterday to today.
  • Explore our two Flickr accounts… The Tasmanian Archives and State Library (Commons) account makes publicly available more than one thousand of our most-loved creative commons images; while our private exhibitions and collections can be accessed on this Libraries Tasmania Flickr account, where our team has curated albums for you to explore – including previous Allport exhibitions, Tasmanian convict and prisoner photos, Queen Elizabeth II in Tasmania, Cradle Mountain, early Hobart and so much more.

In addition to our cultural treasures, did you know we offer these lending library services?

  • Home Library Service: This is a free service for people who can’t visit a library due to incapacity. You tell us what you would like to receive, we pick it for you and then our volunteer couriers deliver these library items to you, either to your home or residential facility. To find out more, visit Home Library Service (libraries.tas.gov.au)
  • Bilingual Books: Is English your second language or does your family speak more than one language at home? We are proud to offer some beloved and classic children’s picture books told in both English and other languages. Titles include books by Eric Carle as well as David McKee’s ‘Elmer’ series. Available languages include Farsi, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Arabic, Vietnamese, Japanese, Nepali, Urdu, Hindi and Bengali. You can find these books at Burnie, Devonport, Glenorchy, Hobart, Kingston, Launceston and Rosny Libraries – you can place a hold now or contact our staff for assistance.
  • New Release Express Service: This service offers a selection of our most popular new books for immediate borrowing. You can take home a bestseller without having to wait! In addition to Hobart, Kingston, Rosny, Launceston, Devonport, Glenorchy and Burnie, the New Release Express Service has now expanded to St Helens, Ulverstone, Huonville and Sorell Libraries. For more information visit https://www.libraries.tas.gov.au/…/express-service.aspx

July school holidays at your local library

The school holidays are just around the corner, and Libraries Tasmania has plenty planned to keep the kids busy!

Ideas to get you started:

Check out the full Libraries Tasmania Southern July School Holidays Program.

To find out more about what’s on during the July school holidays at Libraries Tasmania, including in the north and north-west of the state, get in touch directly with your local library via phone or Facebook, or search Libraries Tasmania on Eventbrite

What a night!

The Stories After Dark event that lit up the Libraries Tasmania 91 Murray Street building in Hobart was a sight to behold, with the experience enjoyed by thousands of people, young and old.

Held on Saturday 19 June, the inside and outside of our heritage-listed building was – for the very first time – activated through a digital canvas, with audio and visual technology showcasing the archival treasures that lie within our cultural collections.

Curated as a new way for the community to explore the State Library of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Archives and the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, locals and visitors alike loved the chance to get up close with convicts and prisoners, the Tasmanian railways, Gould’s fishes, botanical blooms, costumed dancers from days gone by… and much, much more!

The exhibited images (and photographs from the night) can be viewed at the Stories After Dark Flickr gallery

Images: photos from the inaugural Libraries Tasmania Stories After Dark event.

We all have a story to tell… Tasmania’s stories, your stories

Stories aren’t just words on a page. They can be represented by artefacts, records, and photographs. They can be oral accounts that are stored as recordings.

At Libraries Tasmania we are the custodians of millions of fragments of Tasmania’s history – locally told memories just waiting for discovery. Each of these items brings its own unique account of the ordinary and extraordinary people who have lived Tasmania’s stories.

Your favourite stories from our collections

Our community is the curator of the 91 Stories exhibition. This digital and physical exhibition will bring together local objects, images, artefacts and artworks – all from within our cultural collections and chosen by you.

Uncover your own hidden stories in our archives and collections

Did you know that we have a searchable Names Index? The Tasmanian Names Index holds information recorded about people in Tasmania, including immigration, births, deaths, marriage and divorce, over specific periods of time. The knowledge held in these records could help you reassemble the stories of your own Tasmanian ancestors.

Learn to write your story

Our libraries hold activities to help budding storytellers write their own tales. For example, Devonport Library currently holds a fortnightly Young Writers session, for ages 7+ to help young writers strengthen their creative writing skills. Check with your local library to see if they hold similar events.

Local stories at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts

As part of the Professional Historians Associations (Tas.) Lecture Series, Dean Greeno will discuss the threat of climate change on traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal shell necklace making practices.

Join us for this special event: Effects of climate change on traditional Aboriginal shell necklace making practice, on 3 June 2021, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM. Register via Eventbrite.

Tasmanian stories, fact and fiction

Whether it be a retelling of an old story, or an account of a new one, our local libraries hold many Tasmanian stories that are available for our community to borrow as physical or digital books.

Some of our recent favourites include:

Showcasing a year of Covid-19 memories

Libraries Tasmania has launched an online gallery to showcase Tasmania’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One year ago, in collaboration with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, we began inviting Tasmanians to contribute writing, photographs, video and objects telling their ‘COVID-19 Story’.

Tasmanians from Strahan to Ravenswood, and Smithton to Kingston responded with wide-ranging submissions, such as photographs of closed businesses, personal accounts of isolation, fear and boredom, poems, and stories of projects aimed at bringing happiness to the community.

A range of submissions is now available to view online via Libraries Tasmania’s online gallery. Some gems include:

  • Lesliee Whittet of Devonport sharing the joy of seeing his granddaughter race out of the airport after arriving from lockdown-restricted Victoria (NS6935).
  • Six-year-old Freddy Farrington of Margate recounting taking his COVID-19 test (NS6971).
  • Hobart based artist Michelle Dracoulis’s photographic explorations of toilet paper hoarding (NS6972).
  • Launceston teacher Jayne Hill and illustrator Courtney Greatbatch’s beautiful booklet ‘But why cant I go to school?’, created to help kinder and pre students understand and cope with the pandemic (NS6953).
  • The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian branches’ videos, photographs and media releases from 2020 (NS6980, NS6981).
  • Images from Westbury pharmacist Kelli Houlahan of the measures taken instore to provide services while protecting clients and staff.

Project coordinator, Libraries Tasmania archivist Jen Jerome, has welcomed the community’s enthusiastic response.

“Thanks to the generosity and creativity of our community, this collection will provide an invaluable record of the journey taken by Tasmanians through 2020 and the ongoing pandemic.”

Jen encourages people to continue to contribute, saying “each submission is like a piece of a puzzle – the more stories, images and items we receive, the more coherent the story will be.”

More information about the COVID-19 Stories Project can be found on the websites of Libraries Tasmania and TMAG: www.libraries.tas.gov.au and www.tmag.tas.gov.au, or by contacting the project team at COVID19stories@education.tas.gov.au.

Submissions will be accepted until the end of 2021.