There’s so much I could write, but I’m going to try and stay on subject. It was an interesting session from Margaret Garland and Sue Sutherland on the future of the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa this afternoon. The introduction of free internet into our public libraries has pushed librarians beyond our previous experience to deal with new demands on our technical and people management skills and none of that is going away any time soon, so get used to it everyone!
The future looks complicated with some big funding questions. It was great to hear the very clear planning and thought already going on in preparation for that rapidly approaching time when the current funding runs out (2011!). Such a good sign for the libraries on the wait-list and for everyone looking to the future when it’s going to be about sustainability – the computers, the skills, the networks.
This was a very strategic session with a lot of focus on the big picture, going far beyond the nitty gritty of getting NZ online in libraries. It looks like there are some difficult waters ahead for public library networks and local government with issues like autonomy and collaboration to navigate. Big questions and a good time to start facing up to them.
…and if anyone knows why Kete take-up has been so slow please let Sue know!