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.
For further information, see the School libraries galleries for a range of photographs of school libraries
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.
Spotlight: Culturally inclusive environment
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:
- Survey students, school staff and the school community on how to make your library a more culturally inclusive space.
- Set up a meeting in the library to discuss changes to a more culturally inclusive space.
- Invite other staff members to attend, making sure you target staff with expertise, such as the art teacher and Māori teacher. Walk them through this part of the website to begin the meeting.
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:
- A separate collection gives status to your Māori resources
- It makes it easier and quicker for students to locate Māori material
- It encourages and inspires use of other Māori books located within the Māori collection
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:
- a red kōwhaiwhai label for resources in te reo Māori, including bilingual titles
- a white kōwhaiwhai label for Māori topics written in English.
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:
- Providing Māori information resources which outlines types of resources for your Māori collection and provides links to many useful Māori internet sites, including high interest curriculum topics.
- Think of your students and how to provide the best physical access to Māori resources to support their reading and information needs.
- A school with a bilingual class, for example, will have different needs from a school that does not.
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:
- Māori signage list (DOC): This list of Māori library terms will give you some suggestions for signage to use in your school library. Consult your local Māori school community about the options.
- Wall signs using Māori clipart (DOC). Please acknowledge the Māori clipart website in your signage.
- Dewey shelf signage list (DOC): Provides suggestions for non-fiction subjects in both English and te reo Māori.
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.