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National Library of New Zealand

Share your nation’s cultural heritage with the world

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"The national agreement that we have with OCLC means that New Zealand libraries can take advantage of the scale that OCLC offers with WorldCat, [and] we still have our local needs catered for.”

Jenny McDonald, Manager, Collaborative Services

In an effort to make New Zealand’s cultural heritage available, the National Library of New Zealand manages Te Puna Services. Te Puna offers interlibrary loan, cataloging, and discovery tools to its member libraries—92% of all libraries in New Zealand, which support a diverse range of communities. “Te Puna offers a means for the entire population to borrow or access any item from any library in New Zealand that participates,” explained Jenny McDonald, Manager, Collaborative Services. “Te Puna is one of a few truly collaborative approaches in terms of libraries.”

Syndeo® allows Te Puna to host its national bibliographic infrastructure on OCLC’s WorldShare® Platform with WorldCat® as its foundation. WorldCat makes the National Library’s rich collections—including audio files, maps, digital collections, and primary source materials—visible and usable not only across New Zealand, but also around the world. “Our previous technology reflected an era where the metadata it managed largely related to the print era,” Jenny said. “With WorldShare and WorldCat, our capacity and ability to meet future challenges is undoubtedly stronger.”

"The inclusion of Ngā Upoko Tukutuku, or the Māori Subject Headings, in WorldCat allows New Zealand librarians to reflect indigenous content using metadata specifically created with our cultural context."

--Dale Cousens, Team Leader, Collection Development

One of the most exciting aspects of including Te Puna collections on WorldCat through Syndeo is making Ngā Upoko Tukutuku, Māori subject headings, available to the world. As Dale Cousens, Team Leader, Collection Development, explained, “The really special thing about having them included on Te Puna is that it makes the cultural aspect of the materials able to be described.” Ngā Upoko Tukutuku are more than simple translations of existing subject headings; rather, they provide context and articulate the conceptual genealogy of the terms. Through WorldCat, not only can librarians worldwide rely on Ngā Upoko Tukutuku to catalog Māori items, but also, as Dale said, access “a template for the inclusion of indigenous knowledge in describing materials, so that hopefully other groups around the world will be able to follow the example of Ngā Upoko Tukutuku and Te Puna.”

Te Puna libraries—which include university, public, government, law, and research libraries—use cloud-based WorldShare services, such as WorldShare Collection Manager and WorldCat Discovery, and WorldShare Interlibrary Loan to automate routine resource sharing tasks. Being hosted through the cloud, Jenny said, is like “your IT capabilities have multiplied overnight. Suddenly, there are teams who are taking care of your upgrades.” She added, “Although we can take advantage of the scale that being in the WorldShare Platform can bring, it in no way compromises our independence and localized needs.” New Zealand library users can still search, discover, and locate items specific to New Zealand, which is the primary mission of the National Library. WorldCat and Syndeo allow Te Puna to open their New Zealand collections to the rest of the world as well.

Map showing location of National Library of New Zealand

Library at a glance

  • Manages Te Puna Services, which offers interlibrary loan, cataloging, acquisitions, and discovery tools to member libraries
  • Targets efforts to preserve New Zealand’s heritage and artifacts, to increase access to knowledge, and to improve literacy
  • Houses the permanent He Tohu exhibit, which gives citizens the chance to view New Zealand’s most important historic documents: the 1835 Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand, the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition

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