MetLib 2014 – Intrepid Journeys: The Journey Begins

After a mayoral reception at the Auckland Hilton no less, MetLib Conference 2014: Libraries at the edge of discovery got underway in earnest on the Monday at Auckland’s Central Library with a very moving powhiri and an inspiring opening address by poet and erstwhile librarian Robert Sullivan. Robert described growing up in a nearly book-less household and the huge impact the library had on his life. The library was for him an oasis staffed by “enchanted librarians”: places which enable human thought and creativity. We are , he said, ‘the inheritors of Alexandria’ and without librarians we would have books shelved by colour or shape!

Afternoon highlights for me were hearing about a new central library in Halifax, Canada; and Jaana Tyrni from Espoo Library in Finland discussing how to facilitate change in everyday life in libraries. For those who ask “why change”? Jaana used a very evocative key analogy  – they have been around for centuries but look very different these days! Her advice on enabling change? ‘Never say no’ and ‘the boss doesn’t always need to know everything that is happening’.

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