My Library Journey

My Library Journey

I went to library school immediately after studying management and Japanese at the University of Waikato; graduating in 1994 when the internet was still a baby. I had never worked in a library before and I only went to library school because it enabled me to study by distance (before university became expensive) while I looked for a job. Any job.

While at library school I got my first library job as the sole charge librarian at Awataha Marae library on Auckland’s North Shore. The library contained a collection of Māori material – serials, books and a vertical file that had been developed by a small group of committed volunteers who were keen to hand it over to a young enthusiastic librarian-in-training. The collection was in good shape as the volunteers had established a fantastic relationship with National Library’s Māori advisors and I eagerly anticipated my library papers to figure out how to catalogue and keep on top of collection development. Those were the days!

For the next ten years I worked in a variety of positions at National Library Services to Schools, University of Auckland and Manukau Libraries. I was involved in delivering websites, electronic resource and database management, staff training, collection development and a myriad of online initiatives.

In 2005 I went to Aurora, the library leadership programme in Australia, and by the end of 2006 I had left libraries altogether. I didn’t want to be a manager and I couldn’t see any other possibilities. So I left to develop a mystery shopping training programme, to be an eftpos paper sales manager and to get involved in the project management profession.

In 2009 I realised that although my head had left libraries, my heart hadn’t. So I returned to the profession, set up a training and consultancy business while returning to work in libraries at the Manukau Institute of Technology Library and later Waimakariri Libraries.

In 2011 I travelled up and down the country running project management workshops for library staff. In 2012 I did it all again, this time sharing my knowledge of ereaders and ebooks. During this time I received many emails from library staff desperate to learn but unable to attend because they couldn’t afford the time away from customer service duties. It wasn’t fair.

Library Intelligence was launched in 2015 with the goal of making it easier for New Zealand library staff to learn real world library skills. Learning is packaged into self-paced online courses teaching digital literacy skills most of which can be completed in just 60 minutes.

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