Bilingual signage a hit in Hope Vale!

IKC Coordinator Shirley Costello stands next to bilingual signage on Movies stand.
Hope Vale Refurbishment 2019

Have you ever wondered how bilingual signage might improve the engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or other languages other than English (LOTE) community members with your library service? The Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC) recently found out by introducing bilingual signage in Guugu Yimidhirr and English throughout their IKC.

To celebrate the International Year of Indigenous Languages, IKC Coordinator Shirley Costello worked with her local community and State Library to compile language words to feature on signage during their recent IKC refurbishment. Step inside the revived IKC space and you’ll find 3D Guugu Yimidhirr signage identifying the kids’ area as ‘Bithagurr nhinga-nu’ and collection signage for everything from ‘Milbi gaari manu-buthun’ (Fiction) to ‘Mayi Balganu’ (Cooking).

The community feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with one resident exclaiming “’Bout time we had this out in the open!”. The initiative is just one more step this vibrant community has taken to revive their historic Aboriginal language…why not consider bilingual signage as a way to create your own Deeply Local Outcomes?

About the author

Lauren Erickson is a Program Officer, Indigenous Services, State Library of Queensland.