A couple of summers ago I was invited to visit New Zealand and speak at the SLANZA Conference.
I will never forget the warm welcome, the energy, and the passion of the librarians I met in Auckland. While I was there I toured the National Library of New Zealand and had the pleasure of meeting Lisa Oldham, Development Specialist for School Library Futures. She recently shared some national efforts that may present models for practice, professional development and advocacy here.
Lisa now leads a team focusing on the Future of Library Services to NZ Students. The national project recently released four professionally-produced videos that tell the school library story and describe the library brand better than any I’ve yet seen.
The videos share interviews with students, teachers, administrators and librarians and all enthusiastically convey the message:
Library services facilitate learning and literacy. Well integrated library services delivered by talented library staff support schools’ achievement goals.
As part of the wider futures project I’m leading, we hope to get a lot more video and audio content to showcase inspiring practitioners through video, as well as podcasts of interviews with school leaders and librarians about library services supporting learning and literacy. This will also be added to the site on an on going basis.
In addition to these inspiring videos, Lisa shared the many other ways the Library is leading in creating literacy equity for NZ kids.
Another focus is the rebuilding of schools and their libraries in Christchurch following the tragic 2011 earthquake.
Three online courses launch via Moodle this year:
- Curating content for digital learners: helping students manage information overload (five weeks)
- Connecting readers: creating a reading social network (six weeks)
- School libraries online: engaging your learners 24/7 (five weeks)
And the Library is approaching ebooks with systemic strategy. Paula Banks, the Library’s EPIC (electronic purchasing in collaboration) manager, currently heads an investigation into how the National Library might provide and distribute e-books to all NZ schools.