Ilona took the stage to speak of her current projects as the Director of Public Libraries 2020. She spoke of her key areas of focus:
Building positive perceptions and increasing the visibility libraries for policy makers. Sadly many policy makers haven’t set foot in a library for 10-20 years.
Help librarians connect internationally – to build on the sensibility that it’s really important to talk to people outside of your back yard, leverage your resources, find and connect with others. Keep a sense of what’s going on in your bigger picture.
Some of the challenges Ilona’s considering are:
What will happen to Public Libraries 2020 after Gates Foundation funding ends, they’re spending $150 million over 5 years there is only one of those 5 years remaining.
Hope to capture all the learnings of the last 4 years and make sure they’re picked up by the next generation.
On Friday 19 June, a bunch of GLAM sector types gathered at the Undercroft at the University of Canterbury for the local area NDF barcamp. It’s a chance to discuss a variety of issues and topics related to digital stuff. Joanna Szczepanski from the Canterbury Museum wrangled us for the day.
The Alexander Turnbull Library Outreach Services is offering workshops in Christchurch for people considering using oral history in their work, community or personal projects. This is a bit of a breakthrough as previously they have only been offered in Wellington or Auckland. The workshops will be tutored by oral historian Helen Frizzell and Lynette Shum, Oral History Advisor, Alexander Turnbull Library.
The workshops will be held at Kirkwood Village, Canterbury University.
The courses do cost a bit but you are spared the cost of travel to Wellington and accommodation. I’d really recommend these workshops for anyone interested in oral history. Other useful information can be found on the National Library website under Oral History Advice.
It is a very different experience to work at the library book sale at Pioneer Recreation and Sport Centre than it is to shop at one. When the doors opened at 9am on Friday a wave of book buyers strode through the doors and created a feeling in me of sheer panic! Was my quick practice with my first EFT-POS machine going to be enough to cope under the stress of such numbers? Was my basic arithmetic going to hold up?
Within minutes I did not have time to worry anymore as people lined up with their bargains in bags, boxes and the occasional suitcase! Despite busting for a bathroom and some caffeine I hit my stride quickly and before I knew it two hours had passed! This was when something truly beautiful happened…
While I was serving another customer, a woman I had recently served had gone and brought me a cup of coffee and put it down by my EFT-POS machine. This was not just any coffee – this was a grown up cafe style coffee! I have to admit I was rather taken back! Did I look that harassed? I had noticed I was sweating so much that my mascara had run down my face like I had just left a heaving nightclub. But no, this lovely woman just smiled politely and told me it was a gift – a moment of thoughtfulness in a stressed world.
To that lovely woman out there who gave a sweaty librarian a coffee to help soothe her nerve endings I say thank you! May your kindness come back to bless you ten fold.
Sharing and censorship (what a great and difficult combination) were the big themes on the first day of the LIANZA conference. As you can read from my colleagues posts there was much to hear and see on Monday. The highlight for me was definitely Richard Stallman (where the subject of this post is sourced from), check out what Donna wrote about the session.
So, I will focus on other aspects of this busy and fulfilling day. Beautiful weather for the powhiri was followed by presentations for the 3M Award for ‘Innovation in Libraries’ – won by the Aotearoa Peoples Network Kaharoa later that evening.
Lunchtime came which presented a chance to meet other delegates as well as check out the huge range of vendors at the conference this year. Micrographic Services were giving out free plant seeds! (nice originality). I then attended Chris Brickell’s session “Research in Libraries: The example of gay history”. This was a refreshing session where Chris presented his findings from libraries while researching his book “Mates and Lovers: A History of Gay New Zealand“. His session was filled with incredible details of several library collections and resources such as: Cyclopedias, newspapers, Wises, journals, court cases, postcards, ephemera, etc. His talk concluded with some interesting thoughts on censorship such as “who do we name?”, “who do we protect?” [when it comes to sexuality and the role of it in Aotearoa culture].
The last session of the day was Brenda Chawner’s discussion “Talking to the world: using online identities for professional (and personal) communication”. Brenda started surveying people in 2007 and again this year and found that exponentially more people have a profile on a social networking site than 2 years ago. It was a provoking discussion about our identities online and how or if we keep our professional and private lives separate in social media. When Brenda asked the audience in the room how many people worked at libraries that had a policy regarding using social media at or for work only 2 people raised their hands. Have organisations not encountered problems, or is it not an immediate need?
I did say that Stallman was the highlight of my day, but it was also a very happy moment when our very own Haneta Pierce was presented with the joint letter of recognition for Bicultural Development. A very proud moment.