Rachel Esson has been appointed as New Zealand’s National Librarian Te Pouhuaki. Rachel takes up the role from within the National Library, where she currently serves as Director for Content Services.
LIANZA Executive Director Ana Pickering says that the association is delighted with the appointment of Rachel Esson to the role of National Librarian. “LIANZA members have first-hand experience of Rachel’s commitment to the sector in her many association roles over the years; from LIANZA Health SIG, LIANZA Te Upoko te Ika a Maui regional councillor to LIANZA President. Rachel was also very involved in the bid to bring the IFLA WLIC to New Zealand and presented LIANZA’s Equal Pay Amendment Bill submission. And who can forget her cry to action at the conference in Manukau City last year – We are LIANZA! Our sector will be very proud of her appointment and our membership are looking forward to working with her in this new role."
“Rachel stood out due to her passion for libraries after a long career in various library areas - including her time with us as the Associate Chief Librarian Research Collections at Alexander Turnbull Library and as Director of Content Services.”
Rachel says there are extraordinary opportunities with the implementation of the Tāhuhu programme requiring a paradigm shift for the National Library and Archives New Zealand. “Now is the time to re-examine how we operate and deliver our services as we move increasingly into a digital world, removing barriers to turning knowledge into value for New Zealanders.”
The role of National Librarian – Te Pouhuaki is a strategic leadership position, charged with setting the direction for the National Library.
Peter Murray says with significant recent investment in Aotearoa New Zealand history and libraries, this is an exciting time to join the National Library and a key role in leading the work to better safeguard and preserve our collections so current and future generations can access our unique stories and heritage.
Recruitment opened earlier this year for the role of National Librarian Te Pouhuaki, following Bill Macnaught’s retirement.
“I would like to thank Bill for his great leadership of National Library over the past ten years, leading the establishment the library within the Department of Internal Affairs, He Tohu delivery, Services to Schools modernisation, and completing strategic Directions to 2030,” says Peter Murray. “Bill leaves us with a clear path to the future which I am delighted Rachel will take up in the leadership role.”
You can read an interview with Bill Macnaught in the December Issue of Library Life.
Rachel will assume the role of National Librarian Te Pouhuaki on 17 December.
Rachel Esson is currently Director of Content Services at the National Library of NZ, a role she has held since 2016, having held senior and strategic roles in academic and research libraries, including Associate Chief Librarian Research Collections at the Alexander Turnbull Library. Rachel is a professionally registered librarian with a Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from Victoria University, and holds a Certificate in Tertiary Teaching from the University of Otago. She has researched and published in evaluation of library services. Before joining the National Library leadership team, Rachel was Associate Director, Library Academic Services at Victoria University and Medical Librarian (University of Otago, Wellington). She is actively involved with the Library and Information Association of NZ (LIANZA) and is Immediate Past President.