Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa National Library’s New Zealand Libraries Partnership Programme is supporting librarians and library services to be retained during Covid-19, at the same time ensuring librarians play a key role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs.
Te Pouhuaki National Librarian, Rachel Esson says, “To date, we've worked with 66 out of 67 local authorities to be able to put in place programs that are going to increase the impact that libraries have and I'm really proud of the work that's been done by the library sector making this program successful.
We’ve heard people were concerned about the long-term sustainability of this work. We've been working with the sector to make sure we can put some things in place that mean, when this money finishes, we'll continue to have that positive impact.
The first of three key initiatives revolves around data collection and evidence. We want to be able to provide the data demonstrating the positive impact that libraries have in their communities.
The second is our workforce development strategy. I strongly believe that this is where we can have a huge impact for libraries – increasing the diversity of our workforce, along with the capability and skills we have, in order to support our communities and make sure that libraries are making the best impact they can.
Our third key initiative is a strategic review of National Library’s core services to New Zealand libraries (such as EPIC, Te Puna, Kōtui and APNK services) including recommendations for the sustainability of Services to Libraries over the medium term (3 – 5 years).
I want to thank the library sector all for the work they’ve been doing, we all want to make sure that this recovery programme has the best outcomes for Aotearoa.” Watch Rachel’s video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q51bXDuej6k
To date, 183 people have been hired and are actively working in public libraries as a direct result of the programme funding.
Subscription charges have been waived for electronic resources and APNK membership to the value of $8.743m over the two financial years.
APNK has been made available free of charge to 50 councils. Four councils (including the Chatham Islands) are in the process of joining APNK and another five have been provided with assistance to keep their public library internet free of charge.
11 Strategic Partnership Grants have been awarded totalling $5.024m for projects that benefit New Zealand’s wider library sector in the long term.
A key part of this programme is upskilling librarians, so that they can provide greater support for library users coping with the disruption and change inherent in our COVID reality. Focus areas for development are as diverse as project management, digital inclusion, and te Reo and Mātauranga Māori.
The solution? Identify and make available a mix of existing learning opportunities from around the country, ranging from formal courses to snippets of digital media. “If we couldn’t find courses, we built out offerings from existing materials”, says Phil,
“The key to success was mapping the myriad of opportunities to the focus areas for capability development, and then tailoring a learning platform that made it transparent and simple for librarians to find what they needed in a format that suits how they want to learn.”
The Learning Management System (LMS) site went live within 12 weeks with development opportunities available across all priority areas and continues to be built out. And the uptake over four months has been impressive:
- 175 librarians and 81 managers engaged, 183 enrolled in learning
- 1887 courses added to learning plans
- 194 courses completed
The top 10 offerings:
- Getting Started with Small Projects
- The Resilience Mindset
- Engaging and Working with your Community
- Crafting the Perfect Marketing Campaign for Community Engagement
- Connecting with People and Communities
- Working with Specific Groups in the Community
- Build your Digital Literacy kete for you and your community
- A Creative’s (& Non-Creatives) Heaven: Using Canva To Bring Your Marketing Projects to Life
- A framework for Digital Inclusion for your library community
- Working with Tāngata Whenua
NZLPP Mahi to be in Hands of Library Sector
Now that we are more than halfway through the funded COVID recovery period, National Library is preparing to start placing the NZLPP mahi into the hands of the sector. From January 2022 the programme will focus on the transition, with the view to wind up most of its activity by June.
Having listened to feedback, hearing concerns around sustainability, the NZLPP team want to ensure that this programme can have longer-term impacts than just the two-year period so that libraries can continue to support their communities to thrive.
The programme reset updates our programme team structure and governance, including shifting the Steering Group into a more strategic role that could be sustained after the programme closure.
The overarching objective of the reset is to prioritise our remaining resources to enable a sustainable and enduring libraries sector that meets community needs and is supported by decision-makers, by:
- laying the foundations for a strong data culture and data, research and evidence base on the social and economic value libraries services deliver, and building a compelling narrative on the value of libraries to communities and Aotearoa;
- building the infrastructure to support broadening and strengthening libraries workforce capability; and
- considering collaborative business models for the sector, and policy and funding options that support sustainable and equitable libraries services across Aotearoa.
The team are also identifying options to assist libraries to more easily transition into the next financial year as the programme funding comes to an end.
What key areas are included?
- Workforce Capability: Sector workforce development – this project is being established to work towards addressing inadequate sector capability, by developing a sector workforce capability framework.
- Services to Libraries – this project aims to identify service efficiencies and inform future sustainability options for National Library services to the sector, primarily APNK, EPIC, Te Puna and Kōtui.
- Libraries Sector Data, Research and Evidence – this project is being established to work towards addressing the insufficiency of data about the libraries sector and evidence of the value of libraries, by developing a sector ‘value proposition’ and data, research and evidence strategy.
When will this happen?
There will be a transition period from January – June 2022 to allow for hand-over of programme work to sector champions and to ensure there is a clear path ahead for the mahi.
- Procurement: Strategic facilitation and capability to support sustainability initiatives.
- Governance Reset: Establishing Programme Board; Reset of Sector Reference Group.
How will this work?
Programme Director, Lewis Brown says, “We want to tap into people’s expertise and ideas along the way to make this successful. Fresh thinking, diverse perspectives and new ways of working will be vital to this mahi.
There will be opportunities to develop your leadership experience and for you to strengthen your sector. We are setting up separate working groups for the next 12 months until the end of the programme and considering how to get the best out of the expertise we’ve drawn on to date. We know you are all busy people and our goal is to be as well-planned as possible for those who join us on our working groups and be as efficient/effective with your time as we can.
We will also be drawing on the capabilities of people outside of the sector to help us with some areas, such as optimising data and gathering insights and recommendations to inform future change.”
Secondee Have Their Say
“I'm enjoying the programme! I find the biweekly zooms really great as a space to talk casually and often find that I come away with new ways of approaching things when discussing them in an informal setting. I'm enjoying the resources that are being shared through slack; I found the takedown procedure that was shared particularly useful for the work I’m doing at the moment. Further, the relationship building is invaluable. A particularly good example of this is that a secondee and I have been in discussions about the ways that our projects overlap and are looking at ways to collaborate where those crossovers are.”
“the programme is going well for me and I enjoy the fortnightly Zoom meetings, as I said I feel those that attend genuinely want to help each other and so are great about sharing ideas. I note that we seem to be from smaller, rural, isolated communities and there is a lot of solo work. I really enjoyed the social media zoom which included people from all the focus groups and I think that is where the general for all channel in Slack is helpful, to begin with I didn't look at Slack but now I look at all the channels as it is all library content and helpful for the overall picture.”
Read more about the New Zealand Libraries Partnership Programme on the National Library’s website.
Article contributed by Helen Heath, Senior Communications Advisor, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa National Library.