Region representatives met virtually for the first time this weekend on Google Hangouts. This involved members having access to suitable technology and broadband. Most found it better than expected but some members had difficulty with their devices or internet connection causing intermittent sound or video disruption. This did not stop us from getting through the agenda while working from home. The success of this trial means in future we will replace one face to face meeting each year saving money and wear and tear on NE members.
Our discussion about communication to members was significant as this was our current communication leader Lisa Salter’s last meeting. Cathy Kennedy, member for Aoraki has volunteered to fill this position and we are confident in her ability to engage with our members.
Greig Daniels took over as editor of Collected magazine at the last meeting and his first issue will be out very soon. In a discussion around what our members get with their membership money it was decided to investigate sharing the magazine with members only in the first instance, with public access after a period of time. More news about this idea will be sent to members once investigated fully.
The NE is pleased with our progress in developing external partnerships with other library focus organisations. For the first time ever SLANZA members have been offered LIANZA member rates to their 2014 conference in Auckland. At this stage staff from 20 school libraries have registered to attend. We are currently working on updating our Memorandum of Understanding with LIANZA and we have been offered space at their conference stand. We are working with the Association of Public Library Managers (APLM), currently focused on a Summer Reading initiative. We have accepted an invitation to join APLM in a national Digital Literacy working party.
Karen Clarke presented a financial report and to date we are working to budget. While we have goals of raising membership to increase funds, most regions report that it is difficult to get information about library staffing in schools. There is also a general feeling that there are less school library staff overall as schools are changing the way they staff their libraries, particularly in the primary sector.
SLANZA is committed to repeating our successful reading survey this year and hope to gather and present the information earlier in Term 4 this year. It will be good to see this year’s lists of most popular books, authors and series in New Zealand schools. It may feed into your buying plan for next year or make it in your school newsletter as advice for Christmas gift purchases.
Cathy Kennedy reported that the 2015 conference committee is well into the planning of next September’s event. The committee had a brain storming session to balance the different types of speakers and workshops, so that there is something for everyone, at every level of library staff. We are all looking forward to another successful SLANZA conference.
The virtual meeting was a success and feedback will give us the opportunity to improve on the concept over time. I for one really enjoyed it, it saved me a weekend away from home, the stress of travel and while I was engaged in the meeting I also got my ironing done.
Communications Leader (outgoing)
On Saturday morning I had the privilege of delivering a presentation to the great SLANZA folk of Nelson along with some enthusiastic people from the Nelson Public Library. We assembled at Garin College library and had a lovely morning tea and chatted school libraries, especially the joys and challenges we face in our libraries. I always love getting together with others who share my passion for school libraries and gleaning ideas and new ways of doing things from them, I think we are all pretty similar that way! It was a great mix of primary, college and intermediate school librarians. My presentation was well received and hopefully everyone came away with some ideas to try and some new tools to test out.
Nelson is at the very top of the SLANZA Aoraki Region, Aoraki is a huge region - many hours driving from end to end, and because of that there are many isolated school librarians in their region, as there are in almost every SLANZA region across the country, we acknowledge that like many other organisations we have some very large regions and that some people have to travel a very long way to go to a SLANZA meeting or PD. I got thinking about what SLANZA does to make those who are a long way from the big cities feel more connected to the rest of the membership who have more access to regular meetings and PD.
While SLANZA executive work hard to provide resources which work for every member wherever they are, including traveling to the outer reaches of their region from time to time, there are still those who are isolated and that is where our online presence is so valuable. I believe that every member is important and I hope that we can continue to connect with our members in the far flung areas of the country. The beauty of our online presence is that everyone can connect these days by following #SLANZA on Twitter, joining the SLANZA Facebook page, our Goodreads Group, and especially by reading Collected which is full of great ideas every issue. These are good ways of keeping in touch with your regional representative who is there for all the members in the region, as well as with what is going on nationally and internationally in the world of school libraries.
I would like to encourage those in smaller towns to have a SLANZA get together, like those in Nelson you will have a great time and learn new tricks, your regional rep can help you set it up. I believe in the power of gatherings of school librarians to offer collegial support, great ideas and good discussion. In this online world there is no need to be isolated but sometimes face to face is even better. There are plenty of SLANZA members out there who would love to meet up for coffee, to talk about school library stuff and who have great ideas to share and who are also craving contact with others. If you need help to set up a gathering get in touch with your regional representative, they are there to help you and to represent you. They may be able to provide resources and speakers for your gathering and will advertise it to everyone for you too.
SLANZA values every member and we want you to feel valued, and to find out how you can become more involved.
President of SLANZA
Ignite your library career!
Apply now for a Slanza study grant.
See criteria and providers http://www.slanza.org.nz/study-grants.html
Questions? Email Michele Ayres firstname.lastname@example.org
Be quick , applications close 31st October 2012
Today Christchurch, we are with you more than ever before - in our hearts, memories, thoughts and prayers. We think of those who have lost loved ones, homes, possessions, livelihoods, their way of life and peace of mind, and hope that one day the pain will lessen and ease.
We will stand with you in silence at 12.51 now and always.
Kia kaha Christchurch and arohanui to our library whanau.