Your library can become a culturally inclusive physical and online learning space for Māori learners. Here are examples of library exteriors and interiors, display options, signage, and separate Māori collections.
The Gallery for a range of photographs of school libraries
Building or remodelling the library for practical information and advice on library design and layout.
Students have to feel welcome, and the library has to feel familiar so it provides a positive, supportive learning environment.
The following design and layout features, illustrated with photographs, promote the library’s role in supporting Māori students’ learning and cultural needs.
The following examples show how Māori art, carvings and names have been used to reflect Māori culture on the exterior of library buildings.
Camberley School in Hastings
Mt Maunganui College’s former library’s exterior
In the school library’s interior, cultural inclusiveness can be incorporated in many ways in the aesthetics, layout and facilities. The following examples show how Māori art and carvings have been used to reflect Māori culture.
Melville High School Library, Hamilton
Issue desk in Vardon School Library, Hamilton
Waikare School library mural incorporating the school’s pepeha
Here are some ideas for engaging your school community in planning a more culturally inclusive space:
You can plan your library layout to shelve Māori language resources and Māori topics written in English materials in a separate Māori collection or within the English language collection. However, consider how you will help students distinguish the resources.
An additional option is to promote tribal histories by creating a separate iwi collection.
The benefits for having a separate Māori collection include:
Clover Park signage for their Māori collection
Ngā Taiātea Wharekura, Hamilton has developed a separate iwi collection
Whatever system you decide, you can use spine labels to help your library users readily identify each collection and the types of resources within the collection. For example:
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae has distinguished their fiction books written in te reo Māori from books that have Māori content but are written in English, by using red kōwhaiwhai and white kōwhaiwhai labels.
For guidance on what materials to include in your library’s Māori collection, see the following sections:
Māori books are often thin and paper-backed, especially if you include MED resources in your collection. It is important to think about the best type of shelving to use to display and promote these resources effectively.
Omanaia school uses two-tiered magazine racks and slotted shelving very effectively for their Māori picture books.
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae has five bays of face-out picture book shelving for their Māori picture books.
For further information about styles of library shelving available and advice on how to calculate the number of required shelves, see the Shelving requirements chart.
For ideas on library signage, including how to create your own signs and Dewey shelf guides in Māori, see the following resources:
At Upper Harbour School, the signage was designed by a local signwriter and incorporates the school’s theme of paua.
Northland College Māori topic shelf guides
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe has used indicator blocks in te reo Māori for their non-fiction shelf signage.
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