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WA State Library aims to boost diversity

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The State Library of Western Australia is prioritising LGTBQIA and mining materials as part of its new collections strategy.

David Templeman

The other two of the four top priority categories sought by the library include Aboriginal collections and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities.

The government has put out a call for donations of a more diverse range of materials in its collection including books, photographs, diaries, digital material, posters, letters, oral histories and movies, saying ‘everyone’s story is important’.

Arts minister David Templeman says there’s currently an enormous collection of West Australian materials and stories is stored in the library’s 40 kilometres of shelves.

However a recent analysis of the collection and community consultation made it clear that there was a need to address “historic gaps and omissions”, Mr Templeman said.

“The State Library is the memory of Western Australia. Its role is to collect, preserve and share our Western Australian stories,” he said in a statement.

“As the Minister for Culture and the Arts I am particularly proud that our cultural institutions – the Library, the Museum, the Art Gallery and our theatres amongst others have proactively worked to reflect the lives of all Western Australians in their exhibitions and performances.

“I am proud that they have proactively chosen to celebrate diversity … and I think it is entirely appropriate that our cultural institutions are now shining a light on the contributions and work of the LGBTQIA+ community.”

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