Specialist Librarian Roles To Be Introduced
The Waimate District Library will soon welcome two specialist librarians to the team, with Government funding opening the opportunity to offer two secondments on a fixed term basis.
The roles, which include Community Engagement Librarian and Digital Librarian, will help serve a changing demand for library services, including a specific emphasis on community outreach.
The funding package of almost $60 million has been put forward as part of the COVID-19 recovery work for local libraries and librarians nationwide, helping to support community recovery and improve reading, digital literacy and learning activity.
The package, which was launched earlier this year by the former coalition Government and then Minister of Internal Affairs Tracey Martin, is part of the New Zealand Libraries Partnership programme, with the funding to be overseen by the National Library.
Commenting on the initiative, Waimate District Library senior librarian Tony Morton said the library landscape is continually evolving, pointing out now is the ideal time to adapt with the changes.
“The mediums librarians are using have changed and it’s important now to better understand the need to cater for all varying levels of use . . . and that’s where these two specialist roles come in to play,” Morton said.
Looking ahead, Morton also says the emphasis is about improving the library’s all-round service.
“From the community perspective, it’s about getting out and about and finding out what their needs are and how we can better serve those needs.
“From a digital viewpoint, there are people in the communities that would benefit from some digital and tech support, and the purpose will be to get to know these communities and encourage computer and internet use, which in turn will help increase their overall digital know-how.”
As part of the secondment agreement, the librarian roles will focus on digital inclusion, supporting and assisting job seekers and learners, targeting non-users and content creation.
Recruitment for these positions is now underway.
The funding programme will also see all National Library subscription fees waived for a period of two years, and the introduction of PressReader, helping to save the Waimate District Library up to $8000 in annual costs.
The Government is entrusting the National Library to lead and support COVID-19 recovery work across New Zealand’s library system, especially in public libraries, with a funding package of $58.8 million, over two to four years. The New Zealand Libraries Partnership Programme (NZLPP) will support librarians and library services to be retained in NZ libraries and assist them to support community recovery.
The two secondments will run through to 30 June 2022.