The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature (NCACL) is the nation’s most comprehensive collection of material relating to Australian children’s literature. Begun as the inspiration of one woman, Lu Rees, in 1974, the story of its development is a tribute to the dedication of all involved. The collection is now valued at over ten million dollars and has a firm reputation among researchers, academics, teachers, students, bibliographers, librarians and the general public. It forms a significant part of the nation’s cultural heritage.
The Centre’s mission is not just to collect, document and preserve the collection. Our aim is to share it with as many people as possible through our outreach activities. Most importantly, we seek to share it with teachers and teacher librarians whose task it is to inspire new generations of children. Although located in Canberra, through guides to the resources published on the website and the reference service, the Centre’s volunteer staff can assist enquirers regardless of where they live.
The team of volunteers is led by the Centre’s Director, Emeritus Professor Belle Alderman AM, herself a volunteer. Volunteers come with their own sets of professional experience and knowledge, enthusiasm for the task and a willingness to learn. Ultimately, many become expert in the work they do. This expertise enables the Centre to offer a high level of service to clients as well as significant programs of community engagement.