Mary Warus

Mary Warus

Mary Warus, a library adviser for schools, public libraries, and government libraries in Papua New Guinea (PNG) will be attending International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) Australia and then in New Zealand.

The INELI – Oceania as Mary says is a two year leadership development program for emerging library leaders from Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

“Participants are brought together in a program design to develop their effectiveness as leaders and innovators able to contribute significantly to the future development of public libraries in the region.

“The program is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is based on their successful Global Libraries’ initiative INELI (International Network of Emerging Innovators) established in 2011” Mary says.

The objective of the INELI-Oceania program is to create a regional network of emerging library innovators and foster collaboration and partnerships among stakeholders in the region.

The program according to Mary will be delivered in partnership with ALIA (Australia Library and Information association); LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa); and NSLA (National and State Library of Australasia). Other organisations offering sponsorship for the program include State Library of Australia, national library of New Zealand, State Library of Queensland, the State Library of Victoria and Public Libraries Victoria Network as well as Yarra Plenty Regional Library and Auckland City Libraries.

“INELI-Oceania will build the skill level of participants through online learning modules and workshops held during two convenings. There will be two cohorts of INELI-Oceania with at least 16 participants, 4 sponsors and 4 mentors involved in each program, along with an experienced learning facilitator” Mary says.

The first cohort of INELI-Oceania will include 16 library professional from New Zealand (6), Australia (6), and South Pacific (4).
Mary Kairu Warus, a returning Australian Leadership Awardee, a Library Adviser at the National Library of Papua New Guinea, Office of Libraries and Archives has been selected and offered a position on the INELI-Oceania program. She is the only representative selected to represent Papua New Guinea, on this INELI-Oceania program.

Mary is selected with other participants from Oceania countries who demonstrate a potential for: leadership, innovation and collaboration. The INELI-Oceania program participants will be expected to engage in program activities for 2 years from May 2014 through the second Convening in June 2016. It is anticipated that it will require 1 to 2 hours per week to complete the Skills Building modules and participate in the INELI-Oceania online community.

Papua New Guinea has 20 public libraries after it has gained independence in 1975. These libraries were than under the umbrella of the National Library Service of Papua New Guinea but until then its functions were than taken away and transferred and managed by the 20 provincial governments. To date many of these public libraries have closed and currently only 6 are operating.


Mary is confident that her participation in the program will be beneficial to the development of public libraries in Papua New Guinea,

“The aim of attending this 2 year leadership program is to significantly contribute to the future development of public libraries in Papua New Guinea, to help restore back what has dead away. This 2 year program will also help Mary to create and network with emerging library innovators from Oceania countries and foster collaboration and partnership among stakeholders in the region to see ways or best practices to help restore public library services in Papua New Guinea.

“If public libraries in each provinces are restored this will help drive literacy rates to increase. The National Library Service of Papua New Guinea can help but needs the support of the government, stakeholders and donor agencies to see the importance of the love for books, reading and libraries by giving the people of Papua New Guinea greater access to information” Mary says.