“We’re LIANZA” – Tomo reports from LIANZA Conference 2019

Va is the space between, the betweenness, not empty space, not space that separates but space that relates, that holds separate entities and things together in the Unity-that-is-All, the space that is context, giving meaning to things. (Albert Wendt, a Samoan poet and writer who lives in New Zealand, retrieved from nzpec)

 When I applied this profound concept, a lot of things shared at the LIANZA Conference 2019, held under the theme of ‘Our families, our communities, our libraries’, suddenly all made sense to me. “We’re LIANZA” – the conference began with a passionate cry of LIANZA president Rachel Esson. Behind her was a map of New Zealand and Pacific Islands. When seen from Va perspective, the oceans become thoroughfares connecting countries, instead of something that divides them. In a smaller scale, Va connects families with communities, and communities with libraries.

LIANZA president Rachel Esson
LIANZA president Rachel Esson

I could not help thinking this holistic approach of Pasifika is something that reinforces what we do in the libraries, and whether libraries can stay relevant in the future hinges on this. It was interesting to hear the keynote speech by Dr Monique Faleafa from Le Va, sharing the success of Auntie Dee – a free online tool for anyone who needs some help working through a problem, which was specifically designed for Pasifika youths. However, it turned out that the online tool was used more by non-Pasifika people, implying that there is a potential in adopting the holistic values in the libraries.

The topics presented at the conference echoed with the concept of Va, from which I identified three emerging themes:

  • Co-design
  • Diversity
  • Dialogue

Each of the theme is integral to each other and I’d like to share my thoughts on them.

Co-design

Mark Buntzen’s statement “It’s not about buy-in, it’s all-in” expresses the idea of co-design well. He facilitated co-design workshops at Christchurch City Libraries recently which brought lots of disruptions, in a good sense. My take on the whole idea of co-design is that it’s about flipping the conventional thinking of ‘libraries exist for the community’ to ‘libraries exist in the community’. In other words, we do not exist without the community – libraries are communities, and communities are libraries. If so, why are we not talking to them and finding out what they would like to see in the libraries, rather than providing what we think they want.

Hamilton City Libraries’ success with their ‘Kit’ collection was one excellent example of libraries evolving based on the changing needs of the community. The Kit collection includes, but not limited to, sewing machine, electric guitar, impact driver, telescope, coding robots etc. They have become their second highest turnover and highest performing pay collection.

Nelson Seed Library  is another good example of library finding its place in the community, by accommodating the community resources within Nelson Public Libraries, which became the first of such initiatives. A mantra of ‘that’s what we have always done’ will put us in danger of being left behind by our communities.

Diversity

Our community is diverse. To embrace them, we have to be inclusive. The term diversity is often discussed around different races or cultures. At least for me, that was the case. The conference went beyond that. Rhion Munro in his Trans*and Gender Diversity 101 session taught the audience all the different terms used to describe LGBTIQ community. It was profound to learn the revered position held by Takatāpui within both the takatāpui community and wider Māori community as holders and transmitters of ancestral knowledge. Auckland Libraries have well-established LGBTIQ community among the staff, who are proactive in increasing the awareness and promoting related events.

South Taranaki Libraries are leading the way by organising Rainbow Storytime despite criticism. Cath Sheard, the Libraries and Cultural Services Manager, shared how the event helped her and the library team to go back to their whys – which was to provide a safe and welcoming space for people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and walks of life; to provide all who come through our doors without prejudice, free access to information and help, and a warm welcome.

Age diversity is another hot topic for me at the conference. I’m so proud of our own Steffi Marshall sharing about Gen Connect, a unique programme for a unique community at Upper Riccarton Library. More than half of the students at Riccarton High School are not New Zealand-born, suggesting that the majority of them do not live close to their grandparents. The programme presents them an opportunity to develop their empathy and connect with senior citizens, who are also feeling isolated. Recently the programme has been rolled out to another library.

Dialogue

Everything starts with dialogue. Talanoa is a Tongan/Samoan/Fijian translation of dialogue, and is considered a precursor to establishing effective and ongoing reciprocal relationships. Vaoiva Matagi from Manukau Institute of Technology shared how she and her staff used Talanoa to make Pasifika youth library users feel comfortable, so that they can approach staff and make enquiries.

Without that relationship, the youth customers would feel ‘out of their comfort zone’, as asking questions to a stranger is equal to admitting they are not smart enough. So they would avoid the interaction as much as possible by, for example, Googling their questions first. To overcome this, the staff embraced the concept of Teu le Vā  – cherishing for the Vā, the relationships. Library staff are no longer strangers as they got to know the customers better by talking to them casually and maintaining the relationship.

“We can only travel at the speed of trust”, a quote shared by Dr Monique Faleafa resonates powerfully here – the speed of our improvement in library services is in proportion to the level of community engagement.

We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and the same applies to our fellow human beings. The theme of dialogue was also incorporated in the conference through the Human Library. Participants can ‘check out’ a book for 20 minutes. The book I borrowed was titled A Colourful Life, and I was totally immersed in the richness of his life stories through dialogue. Read the full report.

Tomo Shibata
Acting Team Leader
Spreydon Library

More about LIANZA Conference

Read conference tweets #LIANZA19

More about LIANZA

 

Top of the web – January to March 2019

Kia ora. Here’s our summary of the webpages, blog and social media posts that were popular from January to March 2019.

Website pages

There were 987,474 page views from January to March.  The bracketed listing indicates the place the page held in the last set of statistics. The most popular pages on christchurchcitylibraries.com:

Popular blog posts

Popular blog posts published from January to March on the website:

Photos on Flickr

Flickr now has a total of 9,183,648 views:

  • 134,239 views in January.
  • 122,262 views in February.
  • 109,184 view in March.

Top on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter. As at 1 May, we have 5110 followers.

Facebook favourites

Like us on Facebook. As at 1 May 2019, we have 9561 likes.

In on Instagram

We are trialling Instagram.  Our first post was on 11 February 2019.

As at 1 May, we have 562 followers.

Most popular posts:

View this post on Instagram

Today is #RaceRelationsDay. We'd like to share the important kōrero of Pancha Narayanan, National President of Multicultural New Zealand, who is quoted by @nzhumanrights: “In these sad times the strength and the resolve of our community not to give in to hatred has been shown as New Zealanders embrace one another to comfort and console. People of all cultures and faiths have come together to show their grief in this difficult time, with an outpouring of solidarity and unity with our Muslim brothers and sisters. As we remember, it is also a time to reflect on the country we want to build. Becoming a Treaty-based multicultural society will not come without hard work. We must listen to each other and work collectively to make it happen. Let us stand united against racism and hate wherever and whenever we see it." On our website, we are sharing information on this important day and highlighting books and resources focused on uniting against racism and hate. #GiveNothingToRacism #GiveNothingToHate

A post shared by Christchurch City Libraries (@christchurchlib) on


If you are interested in how we derive our rankings, we measure page views on our website, organic reach for Facebook posts, reach for Instagram posts, and impressions for tweets.

Top of the web – December 2018

Kia ora. Here’s our summary of the webpages, blog and social media posts that were popular in December.

Website pages

There were 280,052 page views in December. The most popular pages on christchurchcitylibraries.com:

Summertime Reading Club is in 19th spot, and the Christchurch Photo Hunt winners at 35th.

December’s popular blog posts

Popular blog posts published in December on the website:

Survivor winner Lisa Stanger’s 2014 blog post Christmas reading for kids came in at 4th place.

Photos on Flickr

There were 109,564 views in December on Flickr. It now has a total of 8,817,963 views.

Top on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter. As at 8 January, we have 5028 followers.

#ChristchurchAdventCalendar 24 Christmas images from the #DiscoveryWall. Sunday 9 Dec: @whatnownz Christmas, 24 December 1989. Simon Barnett, @MicheleACourt and Catherine McPherson. Christchurch Star archive. In copyright. CCL-StarP-01642A.

We have a position for a Community Learning Librarian open at South Library. Applications close Sunday, 6 Jan. #libraryjobs ^MT

The Best of 2018 – librarians pick their faves of the year. #lovelibraries #bestbooks ^DR

Facebook favourites

Like us on Facebook. As at 8 January, we have 9027 likes.

#ChristchurchAdventCalendar 24 Christmas images from the #DiscoveryWall. Tuesday 13 December: Mark Nicholl with Christmas tree, 13 December 1980. A child, Mark Nicholl, on his bicycle carrying a Christmas tree in Sydenham. Christchurch Star Archive. In copyright. CCL-StarP-02309A.

All these things and more! ^Moata

#ChristchurchAdventCalendar 24 Christmas images from the #DiscoveryWall. Sunday 9 December: What Now Christmas, 24 December 1989. The presenters of What Now, Simon Barnett, Michele A’Court and Catherine McPherson getting ready for Christmas morning show by decorating a Christmas tree. Christchurch Star archive. In copyright. CCL-StarP-01642A.

“It is my first time to see Korean books in a library!” an elated Donggi Jun said when he saw shelves of books in his native Korean. Find out more about the World Languages Collection at Tūranga – it includes books & magazines in 13 languages.

If you are interested in how we derive our rankings, we measure page views on our website, organic reach for Facebook posts, and impressions for tweets.

Top of the web – November 2018

Kia ora. Here’s our summary of the webpages, blog and social media posts that were popular in November.

Website pages

There were 336,149 page views in November. The most popular pages on christchurchcitylibraries.com:

Join the Library has become more popular in the last few months and more Tūranga pages are in the top 50 – meeting rooms and bookable spaces, café, transport, and floor by floor.

November’s popular blog posts

Popular blog posts published in November on the website:

Photos on Flickr

There were 147,719 views in November on Flickr. It now has a total of 8,708,399 views.

Top on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter. As at 8 January, we have 5028 followers.

DiveDapper is the PoetryWorld equivalent of Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Comedians in cars getting coffee’ but at DiveDapper you hear 2 poets on top of their game. A good reason to go to @KavehAkbar in Chch Tues 6 Nov @WORDChCh & at @tweetlitcrawl. ^DR

I’ve picked my fave New Zealand book covers of 2018.
Xoe Hall – @TayiTibble Poūkahangatus
Kerry Ann Lee – @Helen__Heath Are Friends Electric? @VUPBooks
and Go GIrl / Oh Boy @PenguinBooks_NZ
All this & more FAB covers: ^DR

Did you know @rhysiedarby had written a kids’ book? Kim asked him about the book, cryptozoology, and the time he was a jelly at the Christchurch Christmas parade (!?). ^MT

Facebook favourites

Like us on Facebook. As at 8 January, we have 9027 likes.

The Ballantynes’ Fire took place 71 years ago today. 41 people died, and the city mourned.  ^Donna

The Audio Video Studio / Taupuni Oro/Ataata is now available for bookings! Open session times, when you can visit and try things out, are also available. See our website for more details. ^Moata

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of November in 1918, the First World War – ‘The War to End All Wars’ – ended; this day is known as Armistice Day. Today is the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. ^Donna

If you are interested in how we derive our rankings, we measure page views on our website, organic reach for Facebook posts, and impressions for tweets.

Top of the web – October 2018

Kia ora. Here’s our summary of the webpages, blog and social media posts that were popular in October.

Website pages

There were 368,704 page views in October. The most popular pages on christchurchcitylibraries.com:

Join the Library was in at number 12, and more of our Tūranga pages were in the top 50.

October’s popular blog posts

Popular blog posts published in October on the website:

Not published in October, but attracting views was The old homestead at Stonyhurst a Picturing Canterbury post by Simon (published March 2018).

Photos on Flickr

There were 267,397 page views in October on Flickr. It now has a total of 8,560,680 views.

Top on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter. As at 5 November, we have 5017 followers.

Tūranga is open – and people are exploring their new central library. Opening pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/christchurchcitylibraries/sets/72157672234197707
Great photos of Tūranga in action by @ChristchurchCC https://www.ccc.govt.nz/news-and-events/newsline/show/3058 ^DR

Thank you Christchurch people. Tūranga is for you.

Cool fact that Kim learned at the Cook’s cook book launch last night: Gavin Bishop was the first author to have a book launch at the old central library and the first at our new one, Tūranga… 36 years apart. https://my.christchurchcitylibraries.com/blogs/post/gavin-bishop-cooks-cook-book-launch/ ^MT

Facebook favourites

Like us on Facebook. As at 5 November, we have 8841 likes.

Mōrena. The day has finally arrived and we hope you’re as excited as we are for the Tūranga Grand Opening! Watch the official opening ceremony online from 12 noon today https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aivupywQ9cc
Doors open to the public for tours at 1pm.
More about Tūranga: https://my.christchurchcitylibraries.com/turanga/

Tūranga is open! Thank you to all the Christchurchians who have come in today. Here are some photos from opening day, including Marlene who was the first customer in. https://www.flickr.com/…/christchurc…/sets/72157672234197707
Find out more about what’s happening at Tūranga. https://my.christchurchcitylibraries.com/turanga/ ^Donna

Day One of Tūranga – check out this time lapse of Tūranga from Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects – you might spot yourself if you were there … ^Donna


If you are interested in how we derive our rankings, we measure page views on our website, organic reach for Facebook posts, and impressions for tweets.