The foundation of the programme’s deliverables are the six focus areas identified by our stakeholders.
These are digital inclusion; library workforce development; community engagement and supporting community recovery; Reading for pleasure and supporting wellbeing; te reo and mātauranga Māori – supporting local iwi; along with content creation and curation.
Communities of Practice have been set up for each of these focus areas for the duration of the programme and these were launched at a series of hui at the National Library in Wellington May 25-28.
Each NZLPP seconded staff member is working on one or more of these focus areas; the week was about connecting them with people working on similar projects and creating a network to share experiences and learn from each other.
Secondees spent their day with their focus area facilitator working on how their community can connect, sharing stories and bouncing around some of the great ideas people in the groups already had. The intention was for attendees to leave with something new to think about, or even better, something new to try.
Rashmi Natarajan, Digital Engagement Coordinator at Rangitikei District Council, said of her hui “We engaged in some deep conversations about digital inclusion. Loved it! Thanks to facilitator Fran Hoover for all the amazing activities you had planned for us. Most of all, you were very engaging, and you probed us to think. The Communities of Practice Hui was perfect for people keen on sharing some of the best practices carried out in their libraries and coming up with solutions on their challenging aspects together as a team.”
Sian Torrington, Facilitator for the Community Engagement group, said “In our hui we shared experiences, tips and questions, building the foundations of our Community of Practice. The energy was warm, encouraging and enthusiastic! With a room full of people who are passionate about their communities, it wasn’t surprising that they brought a deep desire to listen to and connect with diverse communities, to ensure that programmes are right for them.
It was inspiring to hear about projects across the country and create an encouraging space where we can share what works and learn together from our ‘fabulous flops.’ Themes included: how might we value the informal customer research that can happen in libraries, leading to co-design of ideas that really reach our local people? How might we work together, and keep encouraging the seeds of ideas, because from small things, great things grow. The quote I’m left with is: “Without the community we have no purpose”. These are focus groups who are bringing dedication and passion to both supporting each other, and their communities to grow. Ka rawe!”
It was also great for the NZLPP team in the National Library office to connect with secondees they had previously only been in contact with via phone or email. Krista De Guzman, NZLPP Programme Coordinator, said “It was so good to finally be able connect with the secondees face- to-face. I could truly feel their passion in making a positive and lasting impact in their communities."
Imelda Castillo, NZLPP Team Coordinator, said “In each of the hui, I observed the genuine enthusiasm that each individual brought to their focus groups. They were eager to connect, share, and contribute to building a solid Communities of Practice. Also, making me realise the positive impact of NZLPP to the future of the libraries sector, as a whole, by providing them with a platform.
The final word comes from Selena Pirika, Cultural Diversity Advisor at Upper Hutt Library, who is part of the te reo and mātauranga Māori community of practice: Ko te whakawhanangatanga , te taikura o te whakaaro marama – Inclusivity is the key to understanding