Congratulations to winners of 2021 ALIA NT Recognition Awards 

Canberra, 19 November 2021: Andrew Aragala from City of Darwin Libraries and Katherine Public Library were announced as the winners of the 2021 ALIA NT Recognition Awards at a presentation on Thursday 18 November to celebrate and recognise the work of a team or individual working in any library and information sector in the Northern Territory. The event was held at the Northern Territory Library, Darwin and online

Andrew Aragala won the Urban Libraries Merit Award for the delivery of several programs and services to vulnerable community members, including those experiencing homelessness and mental health issues. In addition to developing the Librarian's Guide to Homelessness and rolling out training to all library staff, Andrew turned a National Homelessness Week initiative from a simple barbecue into a major event of over 150 attendees and involving 16 local service providers. He was also responsible for running Homeless Link Up, a free event for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness, held in partnership with NT Shelter.
The runner up for the Urban Libraries Merit Award was Northern Territory Police Fire and Emergency Services (NTPFES) Library. In late 2020, the NTPFES Library commenced a project to rename the 13 classrooms at the Northern Territory Police Fire and Emergency Services College using local First Nation languages. A corresponding research assignment has been developed and embedded in the curriculum to introduce NTPFES recruits to local languages and cultural understandings, and the library has also published a cultural competency guide including First Nations languages as a key component.
The Regional and Remote Libraries Merit Award went to Katherine Public Library. The library was commended for its new layout aimed at engaging intergenerational community events, including Seniors Storytime, NAIDOC Storytime with Indigenous seniors and Dungeons & Dragons mentoring between young men and seniors.  Library staff were also recognised for rising to the challenge of the flow on effect of COVID-19, in particular the need to assist tourists applying for travel border passes to all states. Between August 2020 and August 2021, the team helped with applications for well over 1000 passes and worked tirelessly to keep on top of the changes to border restrictions, help people with form-filling and to download the necessary apps.
After such a big year it was wonderful to celebrate the winners of these awards and to see so many exciting nominations for the remarkable work underway in library and information services across the Territory.