The National Executive met after the Otago Regional Conference in Dunedin. Below is a summary of some of the discussions covered at the meeting. This communique is to keep members up-to-date with the work being done on their behalf by the National Executive.
National Executive team
National Executive would like to welcome two new members to our team. Long-standing Representative, Auckland’s Trish Webster has made way for Sharon Jackson and Central’s Steph Gibbons has been replaced by Sasha Eastwood-Bennitt. The fluidity of movement into and out of the NE is a natural response to member needs. On one hand, we are saddened by the loss of the knowledge and skills leaving our team, yet, we feel empowered by the views and energy that new representatives bring in. We are fortunate to harness knowledge and experience from a wide range of members, and we would like to acknowledge and thank Bridget Schaumann and Rosalba Finnerty in particular for their continuing guidance and support.
Statements and Policies
As a National Executive, we are always working on improving our systems and practices. We greatly appreciate your input in forming our updated Vision and Mission Statements - the biggest change we made from your feedback was a change from ‘school librarians’ to ‘school library staff’ which we agree, is a more inclusive term. These are the new statements:
SLANZA will empower and support school library staff, and strengthen and promote school libraries in Aotearoa New Zealand.
SLANZA provides community, guidance and professional development on library practice and programmes for school library staff in Aotearoa New Zealand while reflecting the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Further to these statements, we have also been developing policies relating to Te Tiriti o Waitangi - The Treaty of Waitangi as well as one on Equity.
Total membership for 2018 is 592 members, down 5% from 2017.
If you haven’t visited the SLANZA website recently, do have a look. We’ve been quietly working away at refreshing the look and content.
We would like to acknowledge the phenomenal effort that went into organising and running the SLANZA Otago Regional Conference. The Conference Committee ensured that, even though it was a regional conference, the calibre of professional development on offer was exceptional while the fellowship was marvellous. Our sincere gratitude goes to the Otago team who made this event possible.
It was announced at the conference that, next year, we will hold another regional conference, this time organised by the Waikato / Bay of Plenty region and based in Cambridge. Add the event to your budget and note it on your calendar, Friday 27 September to Sunday 29 September 2019.
Thank you to all the members who have submitted articles for Collected magazine. The theme is ‘Encouraging Readers’, although we will be treated to other articles of interest as well as book reviews and business member submissions. Currently in the editing stage, the twenty-third issue of Collected will be out soon.
This will be the last issue by our editor Greig Daniels who has stepped down after four years as editor. With Greig’s skilful editing and writing,Collected has developed into a quality publication and we thank him sincerely for his tireless work and dedication. We are excited to announce that Melanie McVeigh, our administration officer, has worked alongside Greig with this issue and will take over the role next year.
Congratulations to all those members who completed the Term 3 Connected online learning module. The topic was Student Care and the Role of Librarians and proved to be a popular choice for learning new techniques and support practices for our students. Connected online courses are free for SLANZA members and are another option for school library staff to extend our learning. Watch out for the next module in Term 1.
The discussion topic, Fun Library Activities, is due to start next week. We will be looking at stimulating activities we do in our libraries to have fun with our students and staff. Don’t forget you need to be a SLANZA member to participate.
Open Polytechnic Courses
The Open Polytechnic are undergoing a transformational change with a strong learner-centred focus. Their new courses in Library and Information Studies are really enticing with updated, relevant content and flexible, collaborative learning. SLANZA is strongly committed to raising the professional standing of school library staff, and we are grateful to Open Polytechnic for continuing to offer SLANZA members fee free study opportunities on two Level 6 papers.
We encourage members to take advantage of this amazing study opportunity.
NZEI Pay Equity Claim
We are supporting NZEI with their pay equity claim for school librarians and library assistants. Achieving pay equity with similar non-female dominant professions will not be a quick or simple task, however, the information gained from the Google+ Community Pay Equity PD, earlier this year, where members collaborated to create a comprehensive database of skills, roles and responsibilities, will assist our cause.
SLANZA National Executive would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing commitment to SLANZA and wish you all a great term 4. We will continue to work on your behalf and ensure that the voice of school libraries from all over the country are heard.