After 27 years in Melbourne, Australia, Kim Tairi was drawn home.
Kim, who has over 20 years’ experience in the tertiary sector, is passionate about providing access to knowledge and learning. She was lured back by AUT’s passion, diversity and commitment to tika, pono and aroha.
“I’ve always worked for universities of technology. They tend to be younger, more nimble and not so traditional in their approach. You can get things done.
“And AUT is much more diverse than any other university I've worked for. We're a reflection of our community, and it’s one of the reasons I came back to Aotearoa New Zealand and chose AUT. My whānau are all in Melbourne, but I felt this is an organisation that has heart and the opportunity to try new things. I have no regrets about the move.”
Kim jokes that she used to be terrified of school librarians, and although times have changed she acknowledges ‘libraries are quite daunting places when you start at university’.
“In terms of our place in the community, it’s really important that we offer a great student experience to ensure that the library is a welcoming and engaging place.
“Our people are friendly. We have quite an involved recruitment process to get the right sort of people and we’re careful about who we put in those roles. It’s about openness. We’re here to support students’ journeys, just like the academics are.”
The future of libraries, Kim says, is about co-locating different services within an exciting, dynamic environment. We aim to provide exceptional learning experiences to people who use the library.
“Libraries are complex ecosystems. At AUT we have six different teams within the library, all doing different things. It’s a mix of cutting-edge digital services, as well as traditional library offerings.”
In essence according to Kim, libraries are all about kaitiakitanga (taking care) of resources, whakawhanautanga (shared experiences) and manaakitanga (kindness, support, respect and care).
"We are here to serve our AUT community and provide access to kete of knowledge."
As the first and only indigenous university librarian in Aotearoa, New Zealand she is proud to be part of the AUT community.