Li­braries our taonga

Horowhenua Chronicle - - NEWS - By JOANNE DILLON (JD) Lit­er­acy and Learn­ing Pro­grammes Li­brar­ian

Six years ago the fin­ish­ing touches were be­ing made to Te Tak­ere­tanga o Ku­ra­hau-po¯ in prepa­ra­tion for a huge open­ing on Satur­day, Septem­ber 29. I joined the team a week later, ex­cited to be work­ing in New Zealand’s most in­no­va­tive pub­lic li­brary. In­side this fa­cil­ity were more com­put­ers per capita than any pub­lic li­brary in the coun­try; a pur­pose built space for youth; spa­ces for meet­ings, events and ex­hi­bi­tions; tech­nol­ogy that turned vis­it­ing li­brar­i­ans green with envy and a range of ac­tiv­i­ties that de­lighted all who came through the doors. I am now pre­par­ing to leave for a new chal­lenge at an­other pub­lic li­brary that is turn­ing heads in of­fer­ing li­brary ser­vices in a unique way.

The great­est taonga in this li­brary, and all oth­ers around the world, are the kaiti­aki — the care­tak­ers not only of the books you bor­row but of the very essence of the li­brary. It is those peo­ple who con­nect you in the com­mu­nity with the in­for­ma­tion you need to help your chil­dren with their home­work, with the novel that sits on your bed­side ta­ble, with the movies you will watch in the week­end, with the Step­ping Up work­shop that en­ables you to be­come more con­fi­dent users of tech­nol­ogy. They are the peo­ple who wel­come you into our build­ings to learn, read, be warm, meet friends, drink cof­fee, en­joy a con­cert and stay all day if you wish to.

Be­ing a li­brar­ian is so much more than learn­ing how to carry out pro­cesses and pro­ce­dures. Af­ter 30 years as a li­brar­ian I firmly be­lieve li­brar­i­an­ship is not just my ca­reer but my vo­ca­tion and my call­ing. The kau­papa of pub­lic li­brar­i­an­ship in par­tic­u­lar runs through my veins as it does those of my col­leagues in our li­braries in Fox­ton, Levin and Shan­non. As I write this, my fi­nal ed­i­to­rial, I can hear con­ver­sa­tions about banned book week which is when li­brar­i­ans stand up on your be­half and de­fend the right to have cer­tain books on our shelves so you are free to bor­row them. Oth­ers are ex­cited about tak­ing over Spark Jump work­shops so fam­i­lies with chil­dren have af­ford­able in­ter­net.

As I de­part for Te Aka Mauri, the brand new Ro­torua Li­brary and Chil­dren’s Health Hub, I am proud of what li­brar­i­ans have achieved in New Zealand. Just last week it was an­nounced that the largest li­brary con­fer­ence in the world is com­ing to Auck­land in 2020 — this is an in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment and shows how highly re­garded New Zealand li­brary pro­fes­sion­als are world­wide. Horowhenua is blessed with not only Te Tak­ere­tanga o Kura-hau-po¯ but a sec­ond li­brary and com­mu­nity hub, Te Awa­hou Nieuwe St­room in Fox­ton, and a warm and friendly li­brary ser­vice in Shan­non. If you haven’t used one of these li­braries in a while, take the time to at­tend Fes­ti­val of Sto­ries be­tween Septem­ber 19-23 and reac­quaint your­self with all that is on of­fer on your doorstep.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.