Ko Aerana te whakapaparanga mai engari
Ko Sydney te whenua tupu
Ko Oamaru te kāinga
Nō Oamaru au
Kei Morrinsville au e noho ana
He Ringa Hapai au i Te Ohomauri o Kirikiriroa (Te Kete Aronui)
Ko Aimee Smith au
Tēnā tātou katoa.
My ancestry is Irish. However, I grew up in Sydney, and Oamaru is where I call home and where I was born. I now live in Morrinsville and am a service representative (ringa hapai) at Hamilton City Libraries, Te Kete Aronui Branch.
Although theory-based, students are also provided with the tools to apply the theory in their professional practice. I am New Zealand-born but Australia-educated and missed out on learning about Māori culture and language and the importance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Learning about these was enjoyable, challenging, and incredibly valuable.
I plan to continue working as a ringa hapai for at least another year to build my general library practice skills, then move into the heritage and local history area. I would love to work in local history and heritage in the South Island, hopefully in the Otago region where my family is from.
Graduates can be supported in the sector through opportunities to develop their skills in different areas they may not have experience in yet. I completed my studies with no experience in the GLAMMIR sector. I have found it challenging to learn day-to-day skills while also trying to find ways to apply my theoretical learning practically. For example, we have Auaha Makerspace here, which has many resources for the public to use in their creative endeavours. I am regularly rostered on to spend time in this space, assisting users and learning to use the resources and computer programs myself. Spending time in this space is building practical skills and my theoretical learning about makerspaces and how the library uses them to engage with and support our community of users.