The Far North team put together a short clip celebrating Sabine’s library career here .
Sadly, on the morning of July 26, Sabine lost her battle with Motor Neurone disease and will be missed by many. Please read the tributes below and email LIANZA at email@example.com if you would like to add a tribute.
"I love this photo (below) taken at IFLA in Athens (August 2019) at the Australian Embassy we are with the German Library Association president and Sabine was so enthusiastic talking to her about IFLA and promoting New Zealand for WLIC 2020. She really was the most energetic and positive person - fun, hardworking, and great to spend time with. A great advocate for Aotearoa and for libraries we will miss her enormously."
Rachel Esson, National Librarian Te Pouhuaki
When we appointed our first group of NDF regional ambassadors in 2014 – charged with bringing the work of NDF into local communities around the motu – we were delighted to have someone passionate about making a difference in Northland. That connection with Sabine would last right up until very recently.
Sabine almost missed out on her first training as an ambassador. The best-laid plans left her stranded up north due to bad weather, despite the efforts of her husband ("my hero") driving her from her home in Kaikohe to Whangarei in an attempt to make a flight. She was not one to give up easily. A few weeks later, Sabine was able to get down to Wellington for a 1:1 training session – putting her desire to bring value from the NDF into her region above her personal interests. She later admitted she suffered badly from travel sickness. The journey was not trivial for her. But she arrived with a smile.
We always admired her dedication to running NDF regional events in Northland. The region is so spread out and the communities are small which made it more challenging to bring people together. But Sabine recognised the value in getting people together to create professional development and networking opportunities that have had a lasting impact.
We feel blessed to have met Sabine and to have had her on our side for the time we did. She was a gift to Aotearoa, the Far North, and to the digital GLAM community who care about connecting people with information and their heritage. She will be missed by many who have had the privilege of working with her, being served by her, spending time with her at conferences or local events, or knowing her as a friend.
Our condolences go out to her whānau, and especially her husband, John.
Thank you for being part of our network, Sabine. For sharing your expertise and energy with the NDF community. We won't forget you.
"Don't be sad for me, just live life meaningful and be kind to each other and enjoy the sunshine " – Sabine Weber Beard, July 15 2022
Virginia Gow and Joanna Szczepanski
“Sabine and I spent 10 wonderful days in Athens sharing a flat in the centre of Athens – we walked everywhere and had the best time. She was always energetic and filled with joy – she would go up to complete strangers and say, Hi I am Sabine from New Zealand. Everyone responded in kind – she was a fantastic ambassador for our wee nation.” Lis Marrow
“I was fortunate to work with Sabine in 2016 when she participated in the LIANZA Kotuku Emerging Leaders program. Sabine was a highly motivated member of the cohort, digging into the work and contributing thoughtfully throughout. Sabine was engaged and implemented the learnings both at work and in her contributions to the wider library community. It was great to have her as part of the 2016 cohort, her contribution lifted the experience for all those around her.” Cath Sheard
"I first met Sabine Weber-Beard in Kuala Lumpur at the 2018 IFLA World Library and Information Congress. I must have met over a thousand new faces over the course of the week, and yet Sabine’s was one that remained with me – a fellow adventurous spirit with an open mind and a passion for community. We soon found ourselves both elected to the IFLA Library Services to Multicultural Services Section Standing Committee, and found solidarity through being the ones who inevitably had to call in to committee meetings late in the night!
Working on the Standing Committee with Sabine, I remember her enthusiasm to put her hand up and offer to help. She was active in creating content for the section’s social media channels and contributed to the development of the forthcoming IFLA Guidelines for Library Services to Displaced Populations. She was always somebody who you could rely on to provide valuable and constructive feedback and support one another to keep trying to make a difference, especially through the challenges of the past two years.
But most of all, I’m grateful for Sabine’s generosity, kindness and friendship. Whilst IFLA is an important global platform for seeking innovation and sharing professional practice, what is perhaps more important is the social connections of friendship that we make along the way. Sabine epitomised this, and it’s these memories of friendship that are the most valuable when I look back at the time that we spent together at IFLA.
Secretary, IFLA Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section"
a loving heart and gusto for life
fiercely protective, loyal and creative
always putting others first
gifts from Bine randomly turning up in the post
always with a just-perfect, thoughtful message
spookily just when you needed a reminder
that you are loved
an adventurous spirit
riding motorbikes - fast
loving her animals more than
never ever suffering fools
original and alternative thinker
finally, a deep and abiding love for libraries
and many of the people she met
globally through her work – her community
we love her back
Adjoa K. Boateng
IFLA PC Chair
I received a number of memorable thoughtful gifts but the one that sticks out of course is what I received from Sabine.
Sabine sent me a personally hand-made carved white bone necklace for my baby. She also posted two large banana boxes full of baby things: glass baby bottles, German-made onesies, cloth nappies; a bunch of baby things with German origin. She included a note saying that motherhood hadn't been in the cards for her, so she was gifting these boxes that had been in storage for years, on to me.
This act showed me how immensely thoughtful Sabine is and how unique that thoughtfulness truly is to her.
A vibrant woman always remembered, and never forgotten. I will miss you Sabine."
I do remember seeking her out when my whānau and I were travelling in the Bay of Islands and Far North, in late 2020 – but I’m sure we’d met in person at various LIANZA Conferences or forums before then. That time, Sabine made a special effort to come see me at Paihia, while I was lushing about in holiday mode. We discussed our love of the world at large (and New Zealand’s Far North in particular), travelling, meeting people, animals, essential oils, creative pursuits, not to mention the state of the library sector, what drives us and how/where we wanted to make a difference.
I was left, as seemed to be the case after any interaction with the beautiful Bine, feeling inspired and engaged. Sabine herself promptly set off to do two things – she took me for a tour of the jewel that is the Paihia Library and issued a swag of pony books in her name for my daughter to read while we stayed there (we’d ended up bereft of reading matter). And she handcrafted two beautiful glass-fused necklaces for my daughter and me, made lovingly with our favourite colours.
I, and many others, have been so inspired by Sabine’s courage and humility as she faced her indescribably tough journey over recent months. And while her passing has left such a massive gap in our hearts and in our lives, the legacy she leaves us is timeless and will inspire and energise through the ages.
Arohanui to her “rock” JB, her whānau and all her friends."
We got to know each other at the inaugural LIANZA Kōtuku leadership course in 2016. One of the outcomes of that course was a mentorship program, and thankfully a very wise person paired the two of us. A mentor/mentee relationship can be a powerful thing for both individuals and their respective communities, especially when both parties want to do their very best for each other: “nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora te manuhiri” (with your food basket, and my food basket, the people will thrive). Sabine always gave so much to her communities and during this time I watched her learn, grow, and thrive.
The Sabine I knew was keen to improve herself and the places she worked, while also encouraging others to do the same — whether it was in the Far North District Council library network, or her contribution to various boards. For example, she was a member of LIANZA Hikuwai Committee, a Regional Ambassador for the National Digital Forum in New Zealand, and in 2021 she was elected to the 20 member IFLA Regional Division Committee for Asia-Oceania (which I was very proud to nominate her for).
Two weeks ago I attended the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Dublin and it was incredibly heart-warming to hear so much aroha for Sabine. It was clear that she was a great inspiration to many people, partly because of her strong belief in IFLA’s principles: developing library action plans and needs, and contributing to United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The widespread acknowledgment of her influence at this event is impressive, especially for someone whose first IFLA Congress was 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.
Sabine and I shared a lot of fun across various social media channels including Instagram where she was a regular promoter of love, life, libraries, creativity, her rohe, and food. Reflecting back on some of her posts, I can see that being at opposite ends of the dietary spectrum often engendered many laughs between the two of us — she had a fantastic sense of humour. 😊
Over the years, Sabine developed the most delightful habit of referring to me as “dear Andy…”, which now brings tears to my eyes. Her ray of sunshine will forever shine in my heart.
Me te tino aroha me te whakaute.