Sparking true imagination in a Digital Environment

Deakin University Library recently unveiled The Verge, an interactive exhibit space, to build an awareness of the digital library and to encourage the use of digital resources. This space features a series of highly engaging and visually stunning interactive screens that excite and engage visitors, enhance discovery and promotes e-resources. The screen expose learners to new and emerging technologies, help them develop digital literacy skills and ultimately facilitates learning through multi-touch interactivity.

Six months after unveiling The Verge, our most successful and engaging exhibit to date has been the Animating Classic Australian Fairytales digital display, for the Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research (ACLAR) conference, held at Deakin University Library.

The exhibit digitised illustrations from classic Australian fairytales located in our Special Collections and animated discrete yet significant elements of the illustrations, enabling our audience to discover the illustration’s magic in the digital realm.

Working with our Special Collections Librarian, meaningful illustrations from classic Australian fairytales were selected based on two criteria; first ensuring significant elements of the illustration lent itself to being animated and second, ensuring the element could logically be associated with movement.

When animating these classic illustrations, artistic restraint was required to ensure the original illustration would shine in the digital environment. By animating discrete elements of the illustrations, the experience of the story was not overwhelmed, keeping the charm, heart and integrity of the works. Animating discrete, yet significant elements of the illustration encouraged the audience to use their imagination, reference the story and imagine it taking place on the screen. This discrete enhancement sparked true imagination while retaining the essence of a traditional work. This was a significant achievement for any cultural institution working with classic works in a digital environment.

Conference delegates reported that they felt inspired and a renewed interest in these classic works. The delegates explained how our work animating discrete elements of the illustrations brought new life to the classics, presenting the classics in a contemporary environment made them seem more relevant and interesting to a wider range of researchers.

Sarah Mccormick and Shawna Sadler
Deakin University Library

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