I have been a paid up personal member of LIANZA since I joined as a new graduate in late 1986 – 33 years – although there might have been one year missed while travelling on my OE! Throughout these last 34 years I’ve been hugely appreciative of the leadership in information freedom and democracy that LIANZA has provided our country with. And proud to be part of it in some small way.
Much of my work has involved initiating transformative thinking behind the scenes and supporting leaders to address some of the pressing needs for NZers and the library and information sector.
Michaela led the 2001 launch of the Wellington City Libraries library management system – the first public library catalogue in the country with a customised online interface for children and te reo Māori and Samoan language interfaces. In the early 2000s she co-wrote (with Jenny McDonald and Moira Fraser) the case to the then National Librarian, successfully requesting funding for a staff member to lead the sector in collaborative purchasing of electronic resources. This resulted in the birth of EPIC, which is still in existence today.
Also in the early 2000s, Michaela proposed to LIANZA Council (together with Moira Fraser) a LIANZA initiative to help prepare the profession for electronic resources. The training series was successful and self-funding. She was twice a recipient of the LIANZA 3M Award for Innovation in Libraries. She has been an active submitter to LIANZA on subjects such as professional registration. Michaela drafted (together with Sue Sutherland) the initial proposal for a national collaborative approach to funding free internet at public libraries, which Sue Sutherland and contributors then developed into the funding bid for the service which eventually became Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa (APNK). She was convenor of the LIANZA conference organising committee in 2006 – Next Generation Libraries.
But wait, there’s more! Michaela was a working group member on the first national and highly successful Public Libraries Summit, which gave birth to the first iteration of the Public Libraries Strategic Framework. She has held LIANZA Professional Registration for 10 years and was awarded a LIANZA Fellowship in 2008. From 2013-16 she steered the development of Online Cenotaph, a national collaborative approach to community building, eliciting community content and sharing documentary heritage using a social media-based platform. From 2016-2019 she was a member of the LIANZA Credentials Committee, evaluating nominations for the professional wards. This year, 2019, Michaela chaired the committee.
As this list of achievements attests, Michaela has made an outstanding contribution to her profession and to LIANZA, she has truly earned her retirement! LIANZA Office and Council wish her all the very best for whatever the future holds.
On a personal note, my areas of passion have always been around the power of reading and digital inclusion for all. I am also very grateful for the talented professionals I have been able to work with during their careers. I’ve actively encouraged many young professionals to share new thinking and practice and submit conference proposals, and I have supported those selected to prepare for and attend conference.