New Zealand Libraries Partnership Programme in action

Read about how communities and libraries are benefitting from the New Zealand Library Partnerships Programme.

Central Hawkes Bay

Central Hawkes Bay District libraries have hired two new staff, a Digital Inclusion Programme Coordinator and He Kura Kainga Co-ordinator, focusing on mātauranga Māori and te reo.

‘It is an exciting start of totally new and innovative programmes for our libraries and community’ says Sue Fargher, the district’s Library Manager.

Already we have created an area in the library where not only will all Māori programmes take place, but it will be where we hold the Māori collections in all formats.

As just one example, the te reo Māori support group is for all of community to join as they journey through the stages of te reo Māori. This programme is aimed at providing locals with a te reo Māori space to practise what they know or have learnt in te reo Māori. We would like to create a safe environment for our community to have a go with te reo and encourage them to use it as much as they can. This programme is open to anyone. In the essence of ‘use it or lose it’ there is often no place for learners of the language to give te reo a go or to practise te reo in a casual and inviting space.

The library is also running a number of workshops for children including arts and crafts, songs and hand games, reading of local books, creation of resources, recitation of oral histories. They are going out into community and visiting Kohanga and local kindergartens in Tamatea to tell them about this programme.

Another initiative is supplying our kaumatua with books on a monthly basis. Connecting each town in Central Hawkes Bay with our services in the libraries and making sure we cover Māori elderly in each town of Central Hawkes Bay.

Cleavelin Cook, the new Digital Inclusion Coordinator at the Central Hawke’s Bay District Library is streamlining the library’s Talk Digital sessions in which team members offer one-on-one support with using library apps; accessing online newspapers e-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines; basic computer skills; and digital device trouble shooting. Cleavelin says, ‘I am entering my third week in this role and have spent much of this time documenting action plans/processes as well as networking throughout our local community.’

Man showing a woman something on a laptop in a library.
Cleavelin Cook, Digital Inclusion Coordinator, in a Talk Digital session. Photo Central Hawke's Bay District Libraries.

Westland District Library — Hokitika

Mike Dickison moved to Hokitika and started at Westland District Library as a Digital Discovery Librarian. ‘In June 2018 I left my job as a curator at Whanganui Regional Museum and hit the road as New Zealand Wikipedian at Large, travelling from North Cape to Bluff and helping institutions take Wikipedia seriously.

‘Development West Coast had sponsored me as West Coast Wikipedian at Large to spend six weeks travelling from Westport to Fox Glacier and running workshops for libraries, museums, tourism operators, and the general public. While I was at Westland District Library, the manager asked me if I’d ever considered relocating to Hokitika.

‘So, for the first time in my life I’m a librarian. I need to learn how to issue, check in, shelve, place holds, and handle overdue fines, but most of my work will be dealing with online sources, photographs, newspapers, and blog posts. As a Digital Discovery Librarian, my brief is to help West Coast stories get told online and empower the people of the Coast with the skills to do that. After a week on the job I’ve been joined by a Community Engagement Librarian (Rauhine Coakley) supported by the same National Library-administered fund.

Getting West Coast stories online is best done by recruiting and training volunteer editors from the community and supporting them over 18 months, so they form a self-sustaining editing community. Some will be working with photo collections, looking at ways to digitise them and make them more widely available and shareable. Some will be working with books — getting some out-of-copyright and out-of-print historical works online. I’m looking forward to working with communities like Ōkārito, Fox Glacier, and Haast, as well as collaborating with librarians in Greymouth and Westport.’

New Zealand Wikipedian at Large

Man and woman standing in front of book display.
Community Engagement Librarians Mike Dickison and Rauhine Coakley. Rauhine has started numerous projects, including a community library at Arahura Marae. Photo Westland District Library.

New Plymouth

Puke Ariki has benefited from the New Zealand Libraries Partnership Programme with three new staff. Two of these staff are school leavers who bring a fresh perspective on the impact of the library in their community. Chloe and Anika share their reflections below.

Chloe shares her experience

Since starting my role working with the wonderful staff at Puke Ariki, Inglewood and Bell Block Libraries, two months ago, I have gained an immense amount of knowledge and skills.

Through my role, I am fortunate enough to work across many libraries, and thereby grow my confidence and learn how each community differs. Although I have only worked at Puke Ariki for two months I have already grown so much from being a high school student to now working full-time in the eye of the public.

I can’t wait to start my Open Polytechnic library papers so I can gain greater insight into how the library systems. Doing these papers will help me be able to contribute my ideas for literacy programs, preschool programs and being able to work with children, which I will especially enjoy.

Anika shares her experience

Over the last two months of working between Puke Ariki and the Waitara Library, I have developed and strengthened many skills not just as a fresh new member of the workforce but also as a person. I have been able to work on my time management, commitment and dedication through this role. Although sometimes I struggle I have tried to remain optimistic with the new adjustments of a full-time position.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to work in a friendly and evolving environment where I can always continue to learn new things and know that I have welcoming colleagues that are there to help me learn. I was lucky in the aspect that I began as a student shelver and had already begun with background knowledge in the systematics of the library. Over the two months have learnt that the library is forever changing/improving meaning that I have had to adjust and learn new skills along the way.

I have been pleasantly surprised by how much the library impacts its communities and the people that belong to them. With the full-time position in the library, I can now see all operations of what truly happens. I have been overwhelmed with the several programmes we provide in the community. I am excited to see what is yet for me to learn and the new challenges that arise.

Puke Ariki libraries


The Community Engagement Librarian (full-time) and Community Engagement Officer (part-time) roles funded by the Libraries Partnership Programme will increase awareness of library services and help facilitate and grow connections within the community to assist with the district’s COVID-19 recovery.

Director, Community Services Kate Whareaitu says, ‘We’re extremely grateful to be included in the Partnership Programme. Our Library is a valued community hub for learning programmes, events and outreach services and these roles will enable us to continue to deliver practical support to our community.’

‘An emphasis on digital capability and career support services will help aid in the COVID-19 recovery in terms of upskilling and job search,’ she says.

‘These roles will also focus on connecting with existing users and non-users to understand how the Library can serve our community better,’ says Ms Whareaitu.

Stratford Library


Book issues have soared at both the Cambridge and Te Awamutu libraries as book lovers head back to the library after the holidays.

In the first two weeks since both facilities reopened their doors on Monday 11 January, more than 14,000 books have been issued from the Cambridge library and 6800 from the Te Awamutu library.

Waipā District Council community services manager Sally Sheedy said in the first week alone 10,000 books were taken out at the Cambridge library.

‘It has been full steam ahead at both libraries since reopening. Residents are very pleased to get back to the library after the facilities were shut for an extended break to give staff some much needed time off after a tough year.

‘Our staff have come back well-rested and ready for a busy year ahead. We’ve also been joined by our community librarians which is very exciting.’

Three community librarians have been recruited to promote digital inclusion and support job seekers with anything from computer literacy to learning how to write a CV in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sheedy said residents needing assistance could pop into the library and speak to a staff member or call 0800 WAIPADC and ask to be put through to the library.

‘We are thrilled to have these new staff with us and strongly encourage residents to come into the libraries and take advantage of the services they provide.’

Sheedy said another new addition to the libraries is an improved online catalogue system that allows library users to search for or renew books, put them on hold and view their loan history.

‘We’re pleased to have this system in place and believe our library users will enjoy how easy it is to use and the increased access it provides to our collection.’

Waipa District Libraries


From the Kaikoura Star — Young digital expert joins library

The first digital inclusion trainee joined the library staff recently. Theo Rae, 14, is well versed in graphic design and digital literacy. If you are need help with government websites, joining social media or a technology glitch. Theo is ready to help and can be easily identified wearing a yellow or mustard colour.

‘If people need anything, scanners, printed or copied then that’s kind of my job, just anything related to technology,’ he said.

‘I am interested in reading and I am a librarian at the Kaikoura High School library as well so I have some prior experience.’

He suggests anyone having trouble with a computer or tablet, ‘turn it off and on again.’ Theo can also help with book recommendations, checking out or extending books and general inquiries. Theo said this is a great job to help him into his desired career path.

‘At the moment I am thinking about being a graphic designer, I’d be happy to design some stuff for the library, different titles on the wall there are a lot of (decorations) around.’

The programme is funded through the New Zealand Library Partnership Fund in conjunction with Te Ha o Matauranga.

Kaikōura District Library


The Waimate District Library is welcoming two specialist librarians to the team, with the Libraries Partnership funding opening the opportunity for two secondments on a fixed-term basis.

The roles, which include Community Engagement Librarian and Digital Librarian, will help serve a changing demand for library services, including a specific emphasis on community outreach.

Commenting on the initiative, Waimate District Library senior librarian Tony Morton said the library landscape is continually evolving, pointing out now is the ideal time to adapt to the changes.

‘The mediums librarians are using have changed and it’s important now to better understand the need to cater for all varying levels of use...and that’s where these two specialist roles come in to play,’ Morton said.

Looking ahead, Morton also says the emphasis is on improving the library’s all-round service.

‘From the community perspective, it’s about getting out and about and finding out what their needs are and how we can better serve those needs.’

‘From a digital viewpoint, there are people in the communities that would benefit from some digital and tech support, and the purpose will be to get to know these communities and encourage computer and internet use, which in turn will help increase their overall digital know-how.’

As part of the secondment agreement, the librarian roles will focus on digital inclusion, supporting and assisting job seekers and learners, targeting non-users and content creation.

Waimate District Library


Clutha's libraries hope to become hubs providing community-wide access to technology during the next two years.

Clutha District Council library-service centre manager Debbie Duncan said the new initiative had arisen thanks to Government funding, likely to top $200,000 between now and July 2021.

The money had enabled the council to hire two new ‘digitally literate’ staff, who would help formulate and oversee the delivery of the new programme, both within its libraries and through community outreach.

Mrs Duncan said the new team would help improve digital connectivity and literacy within the district’s communities, fulfilling the Government’s drive behind the funding — ‘digital inclusion’.

‘The Government came to fully appreciate during lockdown how crucial digital connectivity and literacy are for people today, and the important role libraries have had in driving this to date.

‘More and more people use free library internet and computers to contact government departments, look for work and prepare and send CVs, and conduct things like bill payments and banking.

‘The recent lockdown has also shown how critical things like social media and video calling can be to keep people connected.’

A detailed programme of community engagement was yet to be formulated for Clutha and Mrs Duncan said she welcomed people’s input.

‘We’re right at the start of this now and we want to make sure we’re delivering the types of resources and training our residents want and need.’

She gave examples of older residents who might wish to improve social media or digital communication skills, or school or other groups keen to learn about the cutting-edge field of virtual reality.

‘We’d like to hear from people.’

Mrs Duncan said she hoped the programme would be ‘transformative’ for Clutha.

‘When you walk into a library at present you see books, and books alone.

‘Books remain important, but so, increasingly, are digital materials. As librarians, we’re kaitiaki|guardians of essential information resources for our communities.

‘This new funding can only help enhance that role.’

Otago Daily Times article

Clutha Libraries