Keynote address 3 – Libraries and Knowledge Centres in the Northern Territory: helping to keep culture strong

TITLE: Libraries and Knowledge Centres in the Northern Territory: helping to keep culture strong

ABSTRACT: The Northern Territory Library supports the network of Public Libraries and Knowledge Centres that operate throughout the Territory. While the larger municipalities provide regular, mainstream public library services, the residents of the smaller towns have found that the Libraries and Knowledge Centres (LKC) Program better meets their needs.

The LKC program assists local people to preserve and share their cultural heritage using the Our Story database. Community members archive digital recordings, photographs, film, stories and songs in local languages, using library computers. A key component of the program is the locally employed Community Library Officers who manage the day to day operation of the Libraries and Knowledge Centres with strong support from the Northern Territory Library.

In August 2007the Northern Territory Library was named the first Australian recipient of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Access to Learning Award. The award honours the Library’s innovative approach to bringing computer and Internet technology to remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

The presentation will focus on the success of the Libraries and Knowledge Centres from a library perspective as well as how the program is helping to keep local culture strong, by supporting communities to collect, preserve and share their cultural heritage. The paper will conclude with a brief description of the three key strategies which will drive further development of the program.

SPEAKER: Jo McGill

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