Connecting, engaging and learning: the INELI Oceania network

ALIA Library

Davis, Heather; Steer, Rātangihia; Thorpe, Kirsten

National 2016 Conference, 29 August-2 September 2016 Adelaide: Engage Create Lead

[Peer reviewed] Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi (With your basket and my basket the people will flourish). This is a Māori whakatoki or proverb that is used in everyday life and refers to co-operation and the combination of resources to get ahead.

This conference paper will discuss the first International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) OCEANIA cohort which was established in 2014. INELI Oceania is based on the International Network of Library Innovators, an initiative of the Global Libraries project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. INELI-Oceania provides emerging library leaders within the Oceania region - Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific nations - with opportunities to connect with each other to explore new ideas, to experiment with new services, and to learn from one another. As a place of online engagement INELI Oceania has developed a network of innovators who are actively engaged in online learning and reflective practice in a trusted and supportive environment. The network, which includes online learning modules on topics such as innovation, risk, change management and advocacy, is supported by a group of mentors and a project manager.
This paper will introduce the INELI Oceania network and its aims. The authors share their experiences of how the learnings gained in the network have been applied through case studies focused on the Advocacy module of the course. Advocacy in this context is defined as the actions that influence decision making and involves articulating the value of libraries, identifying key messages and creating the right connections to create positive outcomes for the library/industry.
In looking at the case studies, The authors discuss challenges in leading development of library services in environments of significant change, for example restructures or amalgamations.  They also look at the role of the library in influencing societal change through community consultation and collaboration, and will acknowledge the value of international and cross cultural perspectives in addressing current challenges and demands.
The paper will seek to spark interest and conversation about the skills and attributes required to collaborate and lead in the 21st century library. The speakers will  emphasise the value of a learning environment that promotes trust and honesty, builds resilience and self-awareness, and the absolute necessity of networks and support. 

Deakin, ACT : Australian Library and Information Association