This week the State Library has been hosting 35 delegates as part of the Pacific Libraries Network. The delegates are from the Pacific nations of American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
This dynamic group brings together a mix of emerging and experienced leaders from across the Pacific including library practitioners, innovators and mentors, representatives of library associations and partnering institutions. The discussions over the last three days have been focused on developing leadership and priorities in library services across the Pacific region.
Delegates had an opportunity for a White Gloves Experience to explore some of the diverse collections of rare books, photographs and documentation connected to history and heritage in the Pacific region. Original documentation relating to Australian South Sea Islander history was part of the showcase, including bank passbook, an exception certificate and other personal papers connected to the control and movement of South Sea Islander ancestors in the early 1900’s. These documents are a more formal demonstration of the early connections between Australia and the Pacific. Visitors from Vanuatu spent some time looking at the documentation and found the experience very emotional.
The Pacific Libraries Network is an outcome that was initiated at the last meeting of the INELI-Oceania which was based on the highly successful International Network of Library Innovators, a project of Global Libraries initative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
It has been a productive three days working together and the State Library looks forward to working together to help library services thrive in the Pacific region.
Imelda Miller, Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland