Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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'Pākēhā Librarianship at the Interface': Being an ally in Māori student success through teaching and learning information literacies

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Version 2 2023-03-14, 03:02
Version 1 2021-11-13, 12:36
posted on 2023-03-14, 03:02 authored by Ritchie, Alexander J. R.

Research problem: Emerging from significant bicultural change within Aotearoa New Zealand libraries in the past 25 years, this research examines and attempts to implement an relationshipbased, culturally relevant approach to teaching and learning information literacy in an academic library, building on an approach outline by Roy, Lilley and Luehrsen (2011). Methodology: This exploratory study employed an action research methodology and was conducted within the Division of Sciences at Otago University. It sought to consult Māori staff and senior postgraduates, and then develop a teaching intervention for undergraduate Māori science students, then evaluate it with them. Weaving a research framework incorporating Kaupapa Māori theory, Research at the Interface, & Pākēhā as Ally of Tino Rangatiratanga, it was planned in three stages; observe & plan; act; and evaluate. Results: Only the initial stage was able to be carried out due to time constraints.Preliminary findings cover six main themes addressing student support and information literacy teaching with undergraduate Māori science students, including: the challenges of 'crossing the library threshold' and sustaining student engagement, developing ongoing relationships of integrity and reciprocity in the library, holistic student development and recognising student diversity, and finally culturally-relevant teaching for effective learning. Reflections on researching as pākēhā with Māori staff and students at in university context, and noted the importance of timing and place in supporting Māori students, and the need for relationships of integrity and mutual respect enabled by ongoing communication. Implications: Academic libraries can improve support for Māori student success at University, and pākehā librarians must take a role supporting this work. Culturally-relevant models of teaching and learning information literacy, combined with attention to developing relationships of trust, reciprocity and mutual respect, may improve Māori student success and support development of both library staff and relevant, effective library services. Future research could examine the use of storytelling and song in 'interface' information literacies teaching and learning as well as investigating mixed methods evaluation of this approach, and explore cross-cultural rituals of encounter in the library.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

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Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Information Management