15 October 2014

Partnering for success: Auckland War Memorial Museum + Auckland Libraries

One of the biggest philosophical dilemmas facing libraries today is: how do we make our heritage collections accessible to the public while also protecting them for future generations? 

Kids interact with museum objects.
Kids are given the chance to directly interact with taonga from
Auckland War Memorial Museum at their local library. 
This problem is also faced by museums, art galleries and myriad other public institutions, and historically the answer has been to err on the side of keeping our taonga under lock and key, rather than placing them in the hands of the people.

However, this could all be changing with the implementation of the collaboration between Auckland Libraries and Auckland War Memorial Museum (AWMM).

As part of Pacific Language Weeks 2013, Auckland Libraries piloted a programme in partnership with the AWMM that saw staff from the museum bringing historic artefacts to libraries to deliver interactive storytimes and workshops on Māori and Pacific arts.

“Focus area 4: Priority- Work in partnership with Pacific people to develop programmes that are culturally relevant” - Te Kauroa.   

After evaluation of the 2013 programme, it was decided to extend the workshops and make them available to all 55 library branches throughout the year. Every library in Auckland was given the opportunity to participate and a toolkit of resources was made available to librarians who were interested in partnering with museum staff to deliver a workshop.