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Sunday, October 31, 2010

November 1st - Day Nine - The New Order

Practicum hours
Site: Auckland Library (not Auckland City Library)
hours worked: 4
hours to date: 55

Remember this?










Now it's this:







Today was the first day of the Auckland Council, formed from eight previously linked but autonomous regions. As such, all city functions are merged across this new 180 km (110 mi) long city of 1.4 million people. Auckland City Libraries, which were the 17 branches that served the Auckland City region are now part of the 55 branch Auckland Libraries. Cool!

The morning started with a short ceremony. Daniel, the Maori Services librarian opened with a short Maori address and led the group in a song. Here are the words:

Te aroha
Te whakapono
Me te rangimarie
Tatou, tatou e

In English, it reads:

The 'love'
The 'faith'
and the 'peace'
for everyone

Daniel told me that this is a common song used on many occasions. Then Geoff Chamberlain, formerly head of Northshore libraries now director of the group of 17 branches that are in the Auckland City region, gave us a quick reminder about where the library had been, where it's going and how excited he is to be a part of it with us.

What he talked about was really how this is not a new things for the library. In fact, the merger had been some ten years in the making. In order to serve patrons better, the libraries had developed a program called Libraries in the Greater Auckland Region (eLGAR). This program was about two key components of libraries: collections and customer service. The libraries had developed a catalog that combined collection records so that materials could be found in any region, although up until today there was a fee to borrow materials from other regions. The customer service aspect standardized service at all the libraries. So in this sense, libraries were well prepared for combined regional services, and not dreading it at all. In fact, everyone I met and talked with before today kept a very positive, sometimes eager, outlook on the change. Being in the business of information, the library kept employees informed so everyone knew how their roles would change and Allison Dobbie (library director of the entire Auckland Council) was always open about what changes were being made. There's no way to predict some things, such as how many holds or returns there will be, but everyone seems ready to go with it.

After the ceremony, it was business as usual. I observed (and hokey-pokeyed with) Erika in Wriggle & Rhyme. Today's concepts included training eye movement and including a variety of sensations in naming body parts. Then I prepared for storytime by using the online catalog and the Novelist database. Very excited for tomorrow! I also prepared for several meetings tomorrow including time with Jan, Chinese services specialist.

in the staff room
hot chocolates today:1 (short day)
hot chocolates to date: 11

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