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New Zealand: The future of library services to NZ students

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.

Lisa shared:

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:

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.


Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Thank you for these kind words Joyce, coming from you they are extra special.
    As a school librarian in New Zealand I can wholeheartedly say that we are very fortunate to have the support of the excellent team at National Library Services to schools. Lisa Oldham is a leader and an inspiration to us.
    Our next conference is in July, have you been to Wellington yet? 🙂
    Lisa Salter

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