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)