Category Archives: Showcase

Kete Tasman – Making New Zealand history accessible

Hosting and computing resources provided by the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa are helping make a unique local historical resource more accessible.

Kete, an online digital repository hosted by APNK as well as scanning and computing facilities are allowing staff and volunteers at Richmond Library, Tasman District to upload and share First World War information with a broader audience.

Remembering The Soldiers of Tasman

Richmond Library holds an invaluable local historical resource in the form of the WWI Roll of Honour folders. These 3 large binders contain records and information on all the men of the Tasman area who fought in The Great War. Painstakingly compiled by volunteers these binders were donated to the library in 2005 so that the public could have access to the unique information they contain. In some cases this includes soldiers’ diary entries and photographs.

However, the size and unique nature of the binders meant that access could still be problematic. Louise Gribbons, Assistant Library Information Services, explains –

“Customers had to come into the Richmond Library to read them, which meant a 3 hour drive for some people within our district. The ring binders are also very heavy, meaning elderly and disabled customers were really disadvantaged. “

Sharing Local History Online with Kete

In December 2012 Richmond Library staff, like Karen Dickerson, Local History Librarian (pictured), with the permission of the original compilers, began scanning and digitising the content of the binders which document the military details of nearly 500 Tasman men. Using their APNK scanner and computers they have added this information to the ‘World War I Centenary: 1914-2014’ basket on Kete Tasman.

The People’s Network hosts Kete Tasman on behalf of the library as a repository for local content, one that both library staff and members of the wider community can use and add to.

Making the rolls available on Kete Tasman as well as on a shelf has already had a noticeable effect -

“Having them online has meant they are Google searchable. We have received emails from people (New Zealand and overseas) who have found their relative – some have emailed us to see if we have further information.”

Adding Community Stories

The online Roll of Honour represents a useful resource for Tasman residents on its own, however the collaborative nature of Kete means that additional information from other sources can always be added. Potentially locals and family members can give a fuller story of the lives of Tasman’s WWI soldiers.

“We are hoping to inspire families and other organisations to add their World War I materials to the Kete.”

Thanks to APNK for permission to use this case study. Original article.

Showcasing Hamilton’s Diverse Communities

Tools and services provided by the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa have helped to build a bridge between Hamilton City Libraries and the city’s ethnic communities.

The People’s Network’s provision of Kete, an online digital repository for community voices, memories, and stories, is allowing Hamilton’s various migrant communities to share their experiences online. It’s also providing a space for valuable library-held historical material on the web.

Community Space Online

One of the functions that Kete Hamilton fulfils is as an online space for community organisations operating within the region.  One of these is the Waikato Filipino Association (WFA) which manages its own “basket” or area within Hamilton City Libraries’ Kete. Gladys Stephens, the Association’s president, is enthusiastic about the benefits of Kete to her organisation.

“WFA Kete is assisting the Filipino community by providing interesting topics, contents, highlights of the club’s community activities and giving a good view of the Philippine culture and traditions.”

Individual stories contributed by members of other migrant communities include; a local woman recounting her experience of growing up Muslim in Hamilton in the 1970s, the story of Joe Di Maio, Hamilton City Councillor, whose family in Italy sent him to New Zealand in the wake of WWII, or the harrowing tale of an Iraqi refugee’s journey to a new life in New Zealand.

In each case the stories of New Zealanders with unique experiences have been captured and made available in an online environment – stories that would not have been told and recorded without Kete.

Forging a Library-Community Connection

In addition to providing a vehicle for local communities to share stories and news with each other Hamilton’s Kete has been a catalyst for local people to discover their library.  Smita Biswas, Hamilton City Libraries’ Digital Access Manager has noticed that involvement with Kete “… has brought in community members who were less aware or lacked confidence in using the library and its rich resources.”

Within communities that have a Kete presence there’s been further engagement with the library in the form of individuals offering to help library staff in the sometimes tricky task of creating library collections in the world languages area.

Past and Future Heritage

Librarians are contributing to Kete Hamilton too, uploading and managing the “Hamilton Heritage” basket. This area of the Kete plays host to a selection of images held by Hamilton City Libraries in its historic photographs collection and includes pictures of the people, places and events of Hamilton’s past.

But ‘heritage’ isn’t just about what’s been significant in the days of yore.  It’s about preserving what may be significant in the future.  Biswas is keen to point out that capturing the community events and profiles of people alive today will have benefits further down the track.

“Kete Hamilton is on its way to becoming a very useful resource for historians in the future.”

April 2010

Thanks to APNK for permission to use this case study. Original article.