The National Archives of Fiji has been selected to be part of a global study on Information Culture in Archives commissioned by the International Council on Archives, and carried out by Dr Gillian Oliver and Dr Eric Boamah. “Learning to Walk the Talk: A case study of the National Archives of Fiji”. The research is aimed at helping archivists understand and apply the key concept of Information culture as part of the next generations’ recordkeeping practice. The case study is part of a multi-national research programme supported by the International Council on Archives.
After conducting interviews and an organizational analysis the Oliver and Boamah are very positive of the direction the National Archives of Fiji is taking. “The future looks very bright indeed. There’s an amazing journey ahead which will doubtless be very challenging. In our interactions with staff we witnessed the vision, the motivation and collegial work ethic that will be essential to success so I have no doubt that the National Archives of Fiji will achieve its goals. “It was truly wonderful, from both personal and professional perspectives. We learnt a great deal, the input from staff at all levels of the Archives will make an enormous contribution to development of internationally appropriate recordkeeping strategies.”
A Programme Director at the Master of Information Studies in the School of Information Management at the Victoria University of Wellington Dr Oliver has 15 years of experience teaching with records and archives.
Over the years Dr Oliver has taught for seven years at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand before she joined the Victoria University of Wellington. She was also fortunate to spend a semester at Tallinn University of Estonia. During her stint at these institutions she has seen changes in the way information is managed at Archival institutions.
“There is so much awareness now of the importance of facilitating access to archives and increasing awareness of archives. The proliferation of digital information is forcing re-rethinking of practices that were appropriate in a paper environment, but impractical in the digital age.
Her advice to any archival institution striving to work at world class level:
“To be outwards focussed – to understand their environment, the needs of their users, and to build strong relationships with key partners locally and internationally e.g. other cultural heritage institutions or government ICT agencies. No Archives is an island!”