A huge thank you and congratulations to the amazing team at LIANZA for their work in developing the superb briefings for each of the relevant incoming ministers in the new Labour-led government, outlining the current state libraries in New Zealand.
I was particularly thrilled to read the briefing for the new Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, which is relevant and succinct in stating the case for the role of the school librarian.
In the briefing document, LIANZA makes the point that the Ministry of Education no longer captures data about the number of school libraries nor the staffing of them, so this makes the survey SLANZA announced in their communique in November last year even more important. This can provide the SLANZA National Executive team with vital statistical information to further inform Minister Hipkins about the state of school libraries across New Zealand. This will also present them with an opportunity to build on the case made by LIANZA for every school in New Zealand to have equitable access to quality library services.
I am heartened and hopeful after reading them. I know there is no quick fix or straight path ahead, but it would be exciting to be in genuine partnership with our government to ensure the best library services for every New Zealander.