NSLA’s first AGM as an incorporated association was held in November 2022 at Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, the National Library of New Zealand.
Board members came together prior to the meeting for an extensive tour of Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand, with Victoria Esson, Manager of National Services Te Paerangi. The group spent an hour in conversation with Tumu Whakarae/CEO Courtney Johnston, discussing the museum’s co-governance model (acknowledging Kaihautū/Māori Co-leader, Arapata Hakiwai), the complexities of collection stewardship, and the challenges of running cultural institutions during a pandemic.
The board meeting itself began with a mihi whakatau (welcome) from the National Library’s Kaihautū (Director Ratonga Māori), Ruki Tobin, and a tour of the He Tohu exhibition alongside students from the Lee Stream School outside Dunedin. The students paid tribute to the taonga of the exhibition with a haka in the darkness of the document room – a truly moving beginning to the day.
The business component of the meeting – NSLA’s first AGM – covered budget, strategic planning and program updates from the NSLA office, resulting in:
- endorsement of NSLA’s financial contribution to, and role in, a collaborative project to develop First Nations collection description guidelines (working with ALIA, AIATSIS, CAUL and CAVAL)
- support for the inaugural in-person meeting of the NSLA First Nations Advisory Group alongside members of NSLA Blakforce in 2023
- endorsement of a formal statement of support for the Tandanya Declaration
- endorsement of the next Deed of Agreement (2023-2027) for the National edeposit service (NED)
- agreement on NSLA’s vision, mission and strategic direction for 2023-2026.
Outside the business of their AGM, the board heard from project leaders of Te Ara Tahi – a joint building project between the National Library, Archives NZ and Ngā Taonga – and enjoyed a tour of the Alexander Turnbull Library with curators of rare books and manuscripts, as well as colleagues managing the Books in Māori digitisation program.
On day one, we were treated to a pānui (lecture) from poet Ben Brown as Te Awhi Rito, Reading Ambassador. On day two, it was the board’s turn, with a livestreamed panel session facilitated by Rachel Esson in conversation with Vicki McDonald, John Vallance and Vanessa Little, discussing libraries and community in times of crisis. The video will be available on our YouTube channel in the near future.
Our sincere thanks to all of our colleagues at the National Library of New Zealand who contributed to making this NSLA board meeting one of the most memorable and uplifting yet.
Photo credit: Mark Beatty, Imaging Services, Alexander Turnbull Library