The Future Sound of Libraries- Matt Finch: OPEN17 LIANZA Conference

Ah. Matt Finch’s keynote. He gave us Chris. Or should I say “Chrises”.

Then this.

We danced to this … and danced a library.

… For Alex and for the power of remembrance.

We visited a mobile library, and I borrowed one of my favourite books: When the wind blows by Raymond Briggs. (read this, and watch the Brit tv series Threads – the two perfect artefacts of  80s nuclear fear)

We met Bowie and Jobriath and Ann Magnuson.
Your collection is a springboard to creativity.

We designed a new exciting event and programming for our libraries.

We sung Oma rapeti.

And we met librarians from Australia and New Zealand doing awesome stuff.  Lesley Ahwang Acres, Field Officer with Indigenous Library Services at the State Library of Queensland (here she is at her session).

Amy Walduck and Sally Turbitt.

Rachael and Hamish talked about the important and life-changing work Auckland Libraries is doing with the streeties community. (read A home for the homeless: Rachael Rivera and the Auckland Library Streeties).

And we finished with a lineup of these awesome GLAMR peoples.
Kia ora. Bravo. Inspirational. Thanks.

More Matt


The Dangerous Myth about librarians – Laurinda Thomas: OPEN17 LIANZA Conference

OPEN 2017 – the 2017 LIANZA Conference – officially kicked off on Sunday afternoon with a mihi whakatau and kai. Niamh Shaw the MC brought us together after that, and launched an afternoon of dangerous myths, future sounds, and an awards ceremony.

Kelsey Johnstone of Christchurch City Libraries, LIANZA councillor for the Aoraki region, introduced Laurinda Thomas.

Kelsey Johnston
Laurinda Thomas

Laurinda’s well known in library land for her TedX talk The Dangerous Myth about Libraries.

In this keynote, she looked into the dangerous myth about librarians.  This time it’s personal – it’s the things we tell ourselves:

Will we flourish or will we let the weight of that history hold us back from what we could be?

The most important resource in libraries? It’s librarians. And it is librarians that will determine what the future of the profession looks like.

This keynote was packed with ideas and conversations, and emphasised the importance of intentionality  – of knowing what we do, why we do it, and for whom. I’ve picked out some of her key points, and the slides that illustrated her ideas.

Laurinda focused on the here and now, not the future – the real work and real positive outcomes for the people we serve. We were social entrepreneurs before the phrase existed.

Libraries are powerful. They provide internet access and modern life relies on it completely.  Citizens can’t have human rights without access. We are providing people with a human right that opens up employment, communication with family, and democracy. The systematic cuts that UK libraries are enduring in the wake of austerity measures are not a politically neutral act. Cutting library budgets is reducing the education of citizens, and impacting on their rights.

We have power as librarians, and that can make us feel conflicted.  There is a hierachy amongst the people we serve, and the people we report to. These groups aren’t the same, one includes society’s most vulnerable, and the other includes some of the most privileged.

When we use the word “relevant”, we imply the opposite.

When we talk about “saving our libraries”, we signal powerlessness, and the need to be saved.

When Laurinda did her TEDx talk, a woman spoke to her and said the talk made her angry. It was a retired librarian, and she’d been part of the same conversations 30 years ago.

How do we have better conversations? Talk to the people who haven’t been into a library for ten years. Not everyone can afford books, or has a quiet place to go. Not everyone has internet access, or even a home.

Some people don’t give a damn about the social good of the library.

So find out what matters to them, and back up your stories with facts.

Dare to ask about the things we find confronting:

Are you represented?

If the library wasn’t here, what would you do?

Do you know someone who would never come to the library?

The elephants in the room:

  • Misusing numbers – conflating statistics with opinions about value, but really we are more interested in outcomes than numbers.
  • Relying on our “obvious” value (it’s not obvious)
  • Being lazy about biculturalism. (we haven’t moved enough in this area, not by a long stretch)
  • Looking for a single thing to save us (and I bet that thing will also make us “relevant”)
  • Avoiding politics.

Libraries are not ideologically neutral. We  support access to information, lifetime learning, and the social good. Political awareness is part of the job.

Get up there. Do public speaking. Speak from the heart. To be visible is to be courageous.

Make our profession impossible to ignore.

A selector’s view of the LIANZA Conference

I am excited about going to the LIANZA conference on Tuesday. I will be focusing on three strands that are important to me as a selector for Christchurch City Libraries. Broadly speaking they are:

  • Customer experience
  • eBook usage and licensing agreements
  • Being open to indigenous knowledge.
Kim Tairi keynote
Kim Tairi keynote. LIANZA Conference 2015. Flickr LIANZA-2015-IMG_0843

The way we present the library content we select with great care is all important. I would like to explore new ideas of presentation and customer interaction at the conference.

I will be wearing my e-hat when going to the session on eBook usage and licensing agreements. Will this help me in the future to better explain to self-publishing authors why I can’t buy their eBook from them direct?

As the selector for New Zealand nonfiction I also make the decision which books will be shelved in our Ngā Pounamu collections. I hope to get a lot out of the paper that gives an overview of how other non-Māori librarians are making sense of Māori knowledge.

  • Visit the LIANZA Conference page for more information.
  • Follow the #open17 hashtag on Twitter for conference-related tweets.

Cornelia Oehler
Selection & Access Librarian

Top of the web – August 2017

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

Dr Seuss quote
Dr Seuss quote. Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre. Flickr Sumner-2017-08-23-IMG_1970

Website pages

There were 280,510 page views in August. The most popular pages on

Interesting to note that Te Wiki o te Reo Māori page is already at number 17 in August.

August’s popular blog posts

Popular blog posts published in August on the website:

Photos on Flickr

There were 99,217 page views in August on Flickr. It now has a total of 6,730,222 views.

Top on Twitter

We have 4690 followers. Follow us on Twitter.

Dear space nerds, NASA is livestreaming an ISS space walk right now on YouTube. ^MT
An Information Librarian job is available in our Fingertip Library. Applications close 27 Aug. #libraryjobs ^DR
For the record, we welcome breastfeeding mums in all of our libraries. Latch away, bubbas! ^MT

Facebook favourites

We have 7288 likes. Like us on Facebook.

Library jobs! We are looking for 3 Community Learning Librarians at Aranui, Halswell, and Shirley (applications close 20 August) and an Information Librarian for our Fingertip Library (closes 27 August). ^Donna

The All Blacks played the Springboks on Lancaster Park on 15 August 1981. This poster is for the protest rally that took place at noon in Cathedral Square. Explore our digital collection of 1981 Springbok Tour protest posters.
If you want to explore what people thought about the Tour in 1981, the Macmillan Brown Library at University of Canterbury has an online archive called Springbok Rugby Tour papers – a collection of comments and experiences. ^Donna

The quotes on the blackboard at Central Library Manchester are always worth checking out. See the full set:  ^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 – July 2017

Kapa haka group sit during speeches in the Community Centre
Combined kapa haka group from Breens Intermediate and Isleworth School, Opening day at Ōrauwhata:Bishopdale Library and Community Centre, Saturday 22 July 2017. Flickr BI-2017-07-22-BOOK-8

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

Website pages

There were 270,622 page views in July. The most popular pages on

Cook Islands Language Week came in at number 11.

July’s popular blog posts

Popular blog posts published in July on the website:

Photos on Flickr

There were 102,910 page views in July on Flickr. It now has a total of 6,631,005 views.

Top on Twitter

We have 4653 followers. Follow us on Twitter.

Quick! Get tickets to @clementine_ford Fight like a girl @WORDChCh event. One sesh has already sold out! ^DR

From @guywilliamsguy to @JohnJCampbell this reading of Hairy McLary is just too cute. #happyfridayfeels ^MT

Read your way into NZ International Film Fest with this handy selection of #nziff films with a booky connection. ^DR

Facebook favourites

We have 7174 likes. Like us on Facebook.

Library jobs! We have 3 team leader positions at the new Central Library (applications close 30 July) and part-time library assistant positions at Fendalton and Halswell (applications close 2 August). ^Donna

Are you an artist from the east of town looking for somewhere to exhibit? Your work could be gracing the wall at the best little seaside library in Christchurch.
If you’re interested and have enough work to fit 14 wooden panels 86cm high by 58.5cm wide then pop into New Brighton Library and chat to the staff there or send us an email at ^Moata

Kia ora Sumner! We are happy to announce the Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre is opening Saturday 19 August. Have a look at our latest photos of this stunning combined library, community centre, and museum. ^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.