UH Mānoa Library hosts 2022 Pacific Rim Research Libraries Alliance

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library will host the Pacific Rim Research Libraries Alliance (PRRLA) Annual Meeting, October 11–13. The cooperative venture of more than 40 academic libraries in 10 countries around the Pacific Rim aims to improve access to scholarly research materials in their libraries for the region. For the first time since its inception in 1997, the PRRLA meeting will be fully online in eight time zones across Asia, Oceania and North America.

Hoʻoulu Lāhui theme

The theme of the meeting is inspired by the 1874 motto, Hoʻoulu Lāhui of King David Kalākaua, aimed to strengthen the Hawaiian Kingdom by increasing Hawaiians after waves of epidemics, revitalizing cultural practices, furthering diplomatic relations with nations around the world, and forging regional alliances with the Pacific and Asia.

“As our libraries rebalance our practices from the COVID-19 pandemic, Hoʻoulu Lāhui serves as a metaphor to explore how PRRLA institutions adapted to meet patrons needs and plans/programs to build culturally driven spaces, resources and services to enrich our libraries,” said Public Services Division Head & South Asia Studies Librarian Monica Ghosh, who serves as program committee chair for UH Mānoa. “This motto also asks us to reflect on how we are integrating Indigenous and cultural knowledge—occurring simultaneously in academia—to deepen and inform how our libraries develop strategies to best care for our places and people, and advance solutions to make our world and work sustainable now and for the future.” 

Program focus on place

The online program includes a welcome from UH Mānoa Host and University Librarian, Clem Guthro; a message from the Secretariat and University Librarian, Gwenda Thomas at the University of Melbourne; and will culminate with a keynote address by Kaiwipunikauikawēkiu Punihei Lipe, UH Mānoa Native Hawaiian Affairs Program Officer. The program is managed by UH Mānoa Library Network Specialist Ed Yagi.

Participants are mainly library leaders, their designees and 17 librarians presenting their research on four panels. The moderators and presenters are a diverse group of people who represent the range of member libraries in Australia, Canada, China, Korea, Singapore and the U.S.

Several presenters are recipients of the Karl Lo Award, an annual competitive grant opportunity for librarians at member institutions and administered by PRRLA. This year, UH Mānoa Natural Sciences Librarian Jonathan Young, a Karl Lo awardee, will present his research on place-based instruction for science information literacy, along with colleagues Eleanor Kleiber from the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections and Keahiahi Long from the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge Lono Me Laka Resource Center sharing their work on a project titled Ka Wai Hāpai.  

Ghosh, and co-chairs Dongyun Ni and Kapena Shim have collaborated with colleagues across regions since January 2022 to develop a robust and engaging program that focuses on place.

To introduce participants to Hawaiʻi virtually, the online program includes:

  • a video about the UH Mānoa campus made in collaboration with the Office of Communications;
  • a history of the library;
  • information about Mānoa Valley and UH Mānoa; and
  • a digital exhibit, “Honoring the ʻĀina we call Home,” that highlights materials from the library’s special collections reflecting on Hawaiʻi as our home.

Led by the program committee co-chairs, the digital exhibit was created with the support of web developer, Daniel Ishimitsu, and contributions by special collection librarians Leilani Dawson, Karen Kadohiro Lauer, Dore Minatodani, Jodie Mattos, Patricia Polansky, Helen Wong-Smith, Dawn Sueoka and Malia Van Heukelem.

Design inspiration

The design inspiration for the schedule of events and program comes from pohole (fiddlehead fern, also known as hōʻiʻo on Hawaiʻi Island, warabi by the local Japanese, and pako by Filipinos), which is grown and harvested all over the Pacific and Asia and used in cuisines globally. The design choice for the PRRLA 2022 meeting represents a shared connection with the land and how it nourishes us across cultures. Kikuchi Design created the schedule and the program, including text, photos and the layout.

The PRRLA Annual Meeting alternates among member countries across and in the Pacific. The 2023 conference will be hosted by Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China.

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