On Saturday 17th August SLANZA members met at the National Library in Parnell for an informative morning centred around the new He Tohu Tamaki exhibition in Auckland. This exhibition has grown out of the He Tohu: signatures that shape New Zealand display in Wellington, and consists of a learning space centred around three documents - the Treaty of Waitangi, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the Women’s Suffrage Petition. He Tohu also covers five themes including: the documents, people, place, living together and our future.
Teachers and students are welcome to book times to visit and engage with the resources, and already students from both primary and secondary schools have enjoyed the display.
We started the morning with a timeline challenge. Each member was given a small paper with a key historical New Zealand event, from the signing of the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand to the introduction of the law allowing same sex marriage. However, there were no dates on the papers, and our challenge was to stand in line in the correct order of each of the national events. This created much discussion and some surprises.
Following this we split into groups and discovered some of the rich resources that have been put together for the display. The exhibition includes two virtual reality stations and everyone had the opportunity to put on the head gear and get up really close to each of the documents as they are displayed in Wellington. It was interesting to notice that people used red, blue and black ink when they signed their names on the Women’s Suffrage Petition.
The room is decorated with a number of large images blown up from the Archives, the Alexandra Turnbull Library etc. One of the most interesting images (from the Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections) is a black and white photo of women going to vote at the Drill Hall in Auckland in 1899. The image shows four women walking towards the hall surrounded by two long queues of men. Are they celebrating the occasion, or rushing in to avoid censure?
During the morning we saw the box set of curiosity cards designed to inspire student inquiry with any year level. Each card features a historical image and some have links to further online content at DigitalNZ.org . Ideas for using these cards, and blank templates for students to design their own local cards, can be found at natlib.govt.nz/schools.
Part of the display involves a number of videos and interviews responding to the documents which can be found by searching Te Tohu on YouTube. I particularly enjoyed He Whenua Rangatira. A Maori land. showing animations from the map table bringing to life the history of Maori arrivals, and seafaring trips abroad etc
We were reminded not to forget the Topic explorer area of the National Library website found under Services to schools, where nine He Tohu topics have been added. “Each topic features a carefully selected set of national and international resources, including websites, images, videos, books and more.”
Finally, there are two audio visual apps available in both Maori and English which can be downloaded from the App store. The first, is a Re-telling of a story of Ngati Whatua Orakei by Taiaha Hawke and Tamsin Hardy and the second Turikatuku: the woman who inspired the soul.
For anyone interested in New Zealand history and finding out about the resources available to use and explore it, the Te Tohu is a wonderful display. He Tohu Tamaki will remain until the end of 2020.
Our AGM at Freemans Bay Primary was very well attended and we're pleased to announce a new committee member has been added to the team. A very warm welcome to Liz Hamilton from Grey Lynn Primary School.
Your current committee is :
Corinne HInton - Kings College (covenor); Lorie Pushon - Marist College (secretary); Sharon Jackson - Albany Senior High School (NE rep), Pamela Lilley - Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate (treasurer), Elizabeth Atkinson - Avondale College; Trish Webster - Rangitoto College; Anne Rolinson - Aorere College; Dale Tifflin - Freeman's Bay School; Lisa Alcott - National Libary; Chris Taylor - Carmel College; Annie White - Dilworth School; Michele Coombridge - Pinehurst School and Liz Hamilton - Grey Lynn Primary.
Following the AGM. we were lucky have Jenny Nagle and Christine Dale founders of One Tree House Publishing, talk to us, bringing with them two of their authors.
Jenny outlined why the company was set up, about 15 months ago, the impetus being, overseas publishing companies withdrawing from the New Zealand market creating difficulties in publishing for New Zealand authors and titles.
The specific aims of the Company were to address the market for:
Jenny then took us through some of the books they have published and, in some cases, republished.
Among those to be republished are books by Lani Wendt Young including the Telesa series and Tessa Duder’s Alex quartet. They are also publishing books by Pamela Allen, Brian Falkner, Tanya Batt, Anne Ingram, Sherryl Jordan, Mandy Hager, Tim Tipene – to name a few.
Jenny introduced us to the authors joining us - Tim Tipene and Tanya Batt.
Tim Tipene is the founder of Warriorkids.org, started after he had written his novel Warrior Kid. Tim grew up in a bi-racial home and his family environment was often violent and abusive. Tim’s first novel was written when he was 22yrs old, and he now has published more than 10 titles.
Tim spoke of how he started writing. He told us the back story to two his books “Mrs Battleship” and “Plums for Miss”. Both these stories portray teachers from his childhood who encouraged and helped him develop his passion for reading and writing. Tim regards the teachers behind these stories as “heroes”, women who changed his life for the better and inspired him.
Tania explained her inspiration and ideas behind her recent book : “The Time of your Life”
This is a beautifully illustrated picture book about Time. It is a thought-provoking book pondering - what time is? Who minds time? A book of mindfulness.
Tania then told the tale of her book, accompanied by her husband Michael playing the Ukulele.
It is a story full of wonder, beautifully told to a very appreciative audience.
The evening concluded with book purchases from the Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop
And informal chats to Tania and Tim.
A group of 23 enthusiastic librarians (with extras - partner and mother) turned up to this event and were welcomed to the Museum by Julie Senior.
Julie introduced us to the research library, explaining how the collection developed with direction from the Head Curators of each of the main museum divisions. Much of the collection has been developed through the gifting of historic private collections and purchases at auction.
It was fascinating to get a glimpse of the behind the scenes resources in the storage and workspaces at the rear of the library. After which, we headed down to the Pou Maumahara Memorial Discovery Centre.
At the end of our formal tour Corinne thanked Julie, (wine and chocolates were given to her earlier). Julie encouraged to exploere the museum furhter, which we jumped at the opportunity do do, with some of us catching up for coffee at the downstairs cafe, afterwards. Altogether it was very informative and enjoyable professional development session.
If you couldn't make it and are interested in setting up a visit the Library hours are Mon-Fri 10-3 and Sat 10-5. It's best to email/phone and request resources prior to your visit so they can be gathered together for your arrival. This and further information is available on the Library page, also for future reference the School programmes page, and the Contact page from the Museum’s website.
Over 30 school, national and public librarians met at Dilworth school library in Newmarket on a lovely Saturday morning to share and network together. The format of the day included taking a stand on two diverse topics, “all libraries should be device free to encourage reading” and “every school library should offer stories in all formats”. Both topics resulted in a lively discussion and it was interesting to hear the reasons why people chose their position.
The sharing of wisdom and ‘tips and tricks’ in the Smackdown (shared slides that the authors presented for discussion) lead to a wide variety of topics including:
In keeping with the LibCafe theme, fabulous coffee, tempting cakes and cookies were provided. The opportunity to meet, share and discuss all things school libraries was extremely valuable and we have been asked to repeat this very successful format again next year by some of the attendees. A very special thanks goes to Annie White for hosting us in her library.
Trish Webster, Rangitoto College.
On Wednesday 21st November over 30 school librarians met at Epsom Girls Grammar to share stories and catch up on all the gossip as only librarians can. We enjoyed beautiful platters of delicious nibbles and imbibed wine and/or coffee. We had a wonderful time! To add to our enjoyment we were privileged to hear author Fiona Sussman speak about her life as a writer, the journey she has taken to become a published author, and learnt a little about her life growing up under the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
Fiona was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She did a BA and then went into Medicine. She did all her clinical work at the Soweto Black Hospital (to show solidarity with the black and coloured students who were not allowed to work in a White Hospital). She met her husband-to-be in her fourth year and chose to finish her medical training in New Zealand after they married and emigrated. She became a GP and had a family but found the demands of working as a GP and managing a family with a husband who worked long hours was too difficult so she took a year off to see if she could write a book. Lacking confidence in her writing ability she enrolled in a Masters of Creative Writing and discovered that you are a writer when you think you are a writer.
As well as writing her first novel she also wrote and had published a number of short stories. This established her CV as a published author so when she approached a publisher she was given a contract for her first novel - Shifting colours, a novel set in South Africa about adoption and identity. Her second book ‘The last time we spoke’ is a gritty novel set in New Zealand that explores what happens to both the victim and the offender after a brutal home invasion.
We enjoyed meeting and hearing Fiona, a very entertaining speaker. It capped off a great evening.
Thank you to Michele Coombridge and her library team at EGGS for hosting the event.
Albany Senior High School