On the 18th September 30 members of Auckland SLANZA were welcomed to Dilworth School’s library by six student librarians singing a Tongan hymn and a Samoan farewell. It was so good we asked them to sing them again!
Our first speaker was David Riley, author, teacher and Reading Warrior who spoke about working with Pasifika students. (David teaches drama at Tangaroa College in Otara where many of the students come from Pasifika communities). He started by explaining why he started writing for Pasifika students in particular – because there was nothing available for them at the time. He then went on to explain his writing process – collecting information from many sources including the Sir George Grey Special Collections at Auckland Central City library. These are places that most students would never be able to access. Another key part of the process is feedback from the library community – he values our input into people and topics that our students need resources for.
When David is choosing a sportsperson to write about he looks for those that have overcome adversity or personal health issues and therefore have an interesting back story. He believes that Pasifika students need to have true representation of their cultures and positive stories, rather than the negative images so often portrayed in the media. David also believes that to make our libraries relevant to our Pasifika students we must make them about relationships not just books and computers. It was wonderful to meet David and hear his story – and we were able to check out all his books and purchase some too!
Another Pasifika supplier present was SSAB (Samoan Stationery & books Ltd) who brought along a tempting collection of books and Samoan treasures for us to purchase.
Finally Phillippa McKenzie from the National Library reminded us of some valuable resources that they have available
(Topic Explorer, Many Answers and Digital New Zealand) and explained how each site works so that we can navigate them successfully (very helpful as they are all very different). Please see Phillippa’s presentation (attached) for other VALUABLE websites.
Thank you to Annie White and Dilworth School for allowing us to meet in your beautiful library, to meet your
students, and to share some time together.