A callout for expressions of interest for committee members was made in late June and appointments to the committee have been approved by LIANZA Council this week.
One of the first actions for the standing committee will be appoint a chair and to begin work on a LIANZA statement that recognises that there is a climate emergency and that libraries have an important part to play in society’s response to this crisis. This will align LIANZA with other library association like ALIA and local government colleagues and organisations in taking this symbolic and necessary step to unify the library and information sector around this issue and demonstrate a commitment to climate action. The committee will also start to develop a workplan for the year ahead.
Alexis McCullough, Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau |Auckland Libraries
Alexis is Senior Librarian Community Engagement at Auckland Libraries. She has worked with Rob Cruickshank and Jane Clark to establish the standing committee.
“I’m driven to this mahi as I believe, like LIANZA 2023 conference keynote Michael Peter Edson, that the library and information profession needs to reflect on the inherent activist nature of our work and embrace opportunities to take action on issues of injustice. Our colleagues across the profession are increasingly being called upon to respond to the climate crisis. Whether taking up temporary emergency management and welfare roles during extreme weather events, adopting leadership roles on cross-organisation sustainability working groups, supporting grassroots, community-led and iwi-led initiatives to increase community resilience, and combatting misinformation and climate change denial, you’ll find us there.”
Rob Cruickshank, School of Earth & Environment, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Rob is a university lecturer and previously worked at Christchurch City Libraries. Rob also serves on the LIANZA Standing Committee on Freedom of Information.
“I has witnessed how libraries have been focal points for community action and resilience-building after disasters such as the Christchurch earthquakes, and I believe that libraries will continue to be crucial to our communities as we collectively navigate the existential crisis posed by climate change.”
Jane Clark, Te Putanga ki te ao Mātauranga | Massey University Library
Jane works as Information and Research Services Manager.
“I am keen to bring my enthusiasm for climate action, and how we can support this through positive change, to the library sector. With colleagues, I set up a library group called Ngā Kaitiaki Taiao which advocates for environmental sustainability at Massey’s libraries. I’m a member of a bike ‘burb which promotes cycling as a form of travel and I might have cycled over the Auckland Harbour Bridge in a mass protest action a few years ago.”
Kākahu Ethan Banks, Central Otago and Queenstown Libraries
Kākahu is a library assistant at Cromwell Public Library, with previous experience as a policy advisor and researcher for the Green Party New Zealand, the Ministry of Primary Industries and Te Puni Kōkiri.
“Climate change is a pressing issue for many of the world’s people today, especially for Māori who are disproportionately affected by climate change. I bring my whakapapa with me, being from Tauranga Moana as an uri of Tamapahore, Pūkenga and Ranginui and the mana of Muriwai. I bring my understanding of mātauranga Māori with experience in sustainability and environmental management and restoration.”
Sarah Jordan, Ngā Puna Mātauranga o Te Awa Kairangi ki Uta | Upper Hutt Libraries
Sarah has recently moved to Upper Hutt Libraries and works as Customer Experience Central Services Team Leader.
“Libraries and sustainability are my two biggest passions and I am really excited about this opportunity! I am a big believer that libraries, particularly public libraries, have an important role to play in both education and setting good examples when it comes to climate and environmental issues.”
Kay Stodart, Porirua City Libraries
Kay is a library assistant at Porirua Library and has previously worked at Whitireia Polytechnic Library and Te Herenga Waka |Victoria University Library on Gateway placements.
“As someone passionate about climate action, I am proud to see LIANZA stepping up and leading the way for other industries. I want to be part of the team making this important change. I bring forward the perspective of a young person and knowledge from involvement in School Strike for Climate NZ (SS4C).”
Justine Lester, Tasman District Libraries
Justine is the Collection Services Librarian at Tasman District Libraries.
“Whilst there are obvious areas for climate action around the design and heating of our buildings the plastic footprint of our physical collections is larger than we realise. This standing committee is an opportunity for LIANZA to assist New Zealand libraries to develop or implement best practice in the reduction of the environmental impact of our collections and services.”