Projects at the Library

Embracing our culture and heritage

15 February 2021

National Libraries Partnership funded librarians, Ruahine Coakley and Mike Dickison are making their mark on library services and increasing community involvement in our culture and heritage.

Working with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, Community Engagement Librarian – Rauhine Coakley has established a new Community Library – Marae Matauranga, at the Arahura Marae, helping to make library resources more accessible to our local tangata whenua.  The library will be open every Tuesday 2-3.15 (when the office is open).

Following the success of our ‘Gate to Plate’ event, explaining the ceremonies conducted during a powhiri, Rauhine has developed a new programme – O Tātau Wāhi lunchtime history bites. These begin on Tuesday 16 February from 12.15 pm – 12.45pm. Enrich your knowledge of local Māori history, legends, stories and place names. Bring your kai and the library will provide tea and coffee while you learn more about your places, one bite at a time.

Digital Discovery Librarian, Mike Dickison, has begun digitising out-of-print, out-of-copyright books from our West Coast history collection and making them available online. Volunteers have been proofreading and formatting the books at the Wikisource website, starting with a 1921 pamphlet Hokitika, N.Z.: the Birth of the Borough, which gives an account of where Hokitika’s street names come from. The book can now be downloaded as a PDF. Mike is hoping to make it available on Libby, our e-book platform, soon.

We have also created a database in Wikidata of all the different translations of The Luminaries; the library currently has it in 12 languages (the most in any library in New Zealand) and would like to have a full set. Mike has begun a regular meetup of people interested in becoming volunteer Wikipedia editors to help with projects like Hokitika street names and the history of the Driftwood and Sand Festival.  The meetings are open to anyone with an interest in local and natural history, art and culture who would like to get involved, no experience required!  Hold the date: New Zealand’s first WikiConference, to be held in Hokitika on March 20–21.

Embracing our culture and heritage