Vast Active Library and Information Science blog. From a recent library science graduate in Wellington, New Zealand. A focus on reference and current awareness tools and issues, especially free, web-based resources.

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Thursday, June 26, 2003
(personal) Back from the marae  
First up - greetings to the new visitors that I've seen turning up in my referrer logs. I'd especially like to welcome the two people who were looking for the Male Librarian (and obviously got VALISblog because I link to him). A huge extra special welcome goes to the Google searcher who clicked onto my blog having searched on 'naked librarian'. I have a feeling they may have been disappointed. Sorry. (Course, there is that essay on library porn online somewhere, which includes links to the actual porn - if I could be bothered I'd go find the link but hey, I don't want to look at the porn, so if you do, maybe you should use this as a chance to practice your search skills).

More seriously, I'm glad to see at least a few of my classmates have been checking this site out. Hope you find it at least vaguely interesting - would be better if the comments facility was working, but I can't seem to get it to work right.

Our entire staff have spent the last two days on a marae, both as a team-building exercise and as a chance to learn more about Maori culture, protocol, language and worldview, all of which is especially important to us as a government agency. (Non New Zealanders who don't have any idea what I'm talking about could check out for a good introduction. The Maori are a Pacific Island people indigenous to New Zealand, and as partners in the Treaty of Waitangi, it's incumbent on government agencies to consult with and understand Maori).

Was a worthwhile experience, on the whole. I've never slept on a marae, and having 30-40 of us in one big room was kinda interesting. Definitely helped strengthen the bonds between us. And it was certainly the most interesting Marae I've ever seen - it seems to have been built haphazardly up a hill, with new sections added on and on (apparently it's on 8 levels). It looks like something out of Gormenghast, rather than my idea of a traditional marae. In terms of the content, we did tend to cover the same ground that we went over at the start of this year with the MLIS class. So it was a little redundant, but it did make some points stick more clearly in my mind. And I definitely picked up a good amount of the language.

An appropriate proverb: He tapu te matauranga - knowledge is sacred.


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