Libraries will play an important role in the future of local government

A review of the future of local government is underway and libraries will play a vital role in how councils create a future for communities to thrive and prosper, says the Library and Information Association of New Zealand.

An online panel moderated by Jehan Casinader, which will be held on
June 27, 3-4 p.m.will discuss the role libraries will play in realizing a new system of local governance that can respond effectively to a changing New Zealand.

“This is our opportunity to ensure that public libraries are seen as essential and not just nice to have, that we are an essential service, ensuring individual and community well-being, now and in the future, far beyond. beyond the next 30 years,” says LIANZA President Erica Rankin.

“When I think of the value of libraries and their essential role in the life of their communities, one story keeps coming back to me. Following the Christchurch earthquakes, it took days and sometimes weeks to restore our intact libraries. However, several of our libraries have been requisitioned as workspace for displaced municipal staff providing essential services. The fact that we have not been able to open their local libraries to the public, provide much needed support and services to our communities has been very difficult for our staff and our customers and they have told us without equivocal. They let us know that being able to use the library was one of the things they needed most after the earthquake, to provide a place of connection, respite and familiarity in the midst of chaos, upheaval and chaos. uncertainty of their life after the earthquake.

Ms Rankin and Jehan Casinader will be joined at the event by Mirla Edmundson, Managing Director Connected Communities, Auckland Council; Laurinda Thomas, Head of Libraries and Community Spaces, Wellington City Council; Laurel-Jean Dennison, Library Diversity and Workforce Development Advisor, Hutt City Libraries; Wendy Walker, CEO of Porirua Cities; Gael Surgenor, member of the Local Government Futures Review Committee; and Alex Walker, Mayor, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council.

“The role of libraries in our communities needs to be taken more seriously,” says Ms. Rankin. “The panel gives us the opportunity to talk about the important work we are doing and can do 30 years from now to help our communities meet changing needs in areas such as digital inclusion.

“Libraries are places of trust in their communities and can build engagement to support more diverse community engagement and local democracy. A true partnership with iwi can make libraries look and work differently.

“This panel is a starting point for the library and information sector to feed into the review process which is not expected to be completed until 2023.”

Accompanied by Jehan Casinader, panelists will discuss how libraries will become the cornerstone of local government – ​​strengthening community well-being and relationships, providing access to local and global information, and supporting (digital) literacy and lifelong learning.

This online hui is open to all members of local government and regional councils, libraries, local councils and library users.


Register for this public event here

Learn more about the panel members

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