As a Dunedin local, it took working overseas for a few years and coming home to really appreciate what a great city Dunedin is. She has fond memories of visiting the Dunedin Public Library and their book buses growing up and feels fortunate to be working there now.
A year into working at the library, she decided to start her library and information studies diploma at Open Polytechnic Te Pūkenga. The support that staff receive at Dunedin Public Libraries for professional development played a big part in her decision to become qualified.
Can you tell us about the qualification you have completed?
I completed the New Zealand Diploma in Library and Information Studies (Level 5) at the start of 2022. This study has given me a richer understanding of the positive impact libraries have on people’s lives, and the importance of meaningful access for everyone, as inclusivity and diversity, need to be at the heart of the spaces we create and the services we provide. Public libraries are also crucial when it comes to building digital literacy and ensuring everyone has access to digital resources in our ever-changing technological landscape. These challenges were themes throughout my Open Polytechnic papers, and this insight has influenced my work and given me an appreciation of my frontline role, and the impact you can make in even the smallest interactions with patrons.
What are your plans for the future?
What I love about working at such a big public library, is that there are so many different and interesting roles. Once you start talking to colleagues who have been with Dunedin Public Libraries for a while, you realise they’ve worked across many departments in a variety of roles, all of which have played an important part in making the library wonderful and accessible to everyone in our community. That’s what I love about the library sector, there are just so many meaningful avenues you can take!
Do you have a view on how new graduates can be supported by the sector?
I was very fortunate to work at Dunedin Public Libraries while studying. Finding ways to help new graduates get their foot in the door is so important, as my study took on a new meaning when I was able to put what I was learning into practice. The Open Polytechnic already does a great job of making those studying aware of LIANZA and the resources they offer. There was even a forum advertising library jobs to students on the Open Polytechnic platform. Initiatives like this, are a great way to connect students with the sector they are studying.
THE LIANZA AWARD
The LIANZA Prize was established in 1982 as the NZLIA prize and renamed in 1999. It commemorates the establishment in 1942 of the Association’s certificate course, the forerunner for many years of the New Zealand Library Studies Certificate, and the long-standing interest of LIANZA in the students of those courses. It has been offered in recent years to Open Polytechnic students completing Level 5 or 6 library diplomas and was renamed the LIANZA Award in 2019. The award is awarded to a student who is judged by their institution to have the highest overall academic achievement in either the Level 5 (NZ3466 or OP5205) or the Level 6 (OP6208) diplomas. The LIANZA Award is for one year of LIANZA student membership or LIANZA professional registration.