Penny Hulse | MNZM | Former Deputy Mayor of Auckland | Local Government Specialist
Kate Hannah is the Founder and Director of The Disinformation Project Aotearoa, a research consortium which has studied misinformation and disinformation in Aotearoa New Zealand since February 2020. A cultural historian of science and technology, Hannah focuses on the role of the internet in information disorders, dangerous speech, and hate speech, with specific interest in the role of and impacts of misogyny, racism, and white supremacism in socio-political discourses.
She is experienced in research translation for decision-makers, communication, public engagement and consultation, and community co-development of research and research outcomes. Part of the Te Pūnaha Matatini team that won the 2021 Prime Minister’s Science Prize for their work in supporting Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid response, Hannah is a US State Department 2022 International Visitor Leadership Program alum, participating in a program focused on Disinformation in the Pacific. She is a Principal Investigator with Te Pūnaha Matatini, and a PhD candidate at the Centre for Science and Society at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington.
Daniel Lewis | General Manager, Digital Operations Casey Cardinia Libraries, Victoria, Australia
Louise LaHatte | Principal Advisor Arts, Culture and Heritage Connected Communities, Auckland Council
Louise LaHatte is Principal Advisor Arts, Culture and Heritage for Connected Communities, the department of Auckland Council that delivers library and other services.
Having worked for local government in Auckland for 36 years, she has experienced the rich tapestry of change that working in a political environment can bring, as well as the evolution of libraries in response to societal and technological changes. She has been actively involved in LIANZA and PLNZ and in campaigns to protect the freedom to read and to remove barriers to library use.
Leading the planning and delivery of public library services for Christchurch City and Banks Peninsula.
Carolyn has sponsored several library building projects in recent years which form a key part of the Christchurch rebuild after the 2010/11 earthquakes. The largest of these is Tūranga, the multi award winning new central library which opened in October 2018. A key anchor project in the rebuild and flagship for the city’s library services, Tūranga welcomed one million visitors in its first year of operation.
Carolyn is a fellow of LIANZA (the Library and Information Association of New Zealand) and served as President in 2010/11. For several years Carolyn was also a member of LIAC (the Library and Information Advisory Commission), a national body advising the Minister for the National Library. She is also a member of both Public Libraries of New Zealand (PLNZ) and IFLA, the International Federation of Libraries.
Laurinda Thomas | Manager, Libraries and Community Spaces, Wellington City Council
Laurinda Thomas is the Manager, Libraries and Community Spaces at Wellington City Council. Laurinda has worked across the libraries and information field for more than 20 years, holding positions across both the private and public sector.
She is a former President of LIANZA and lifelong advocate for the transformative power of libraries, speaking at TEDxWellington in 2016. Laurinda also sits on the boards of the Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa, and the Aurora Foundation.
Rachel Esson | Te Pouhuaki National Librarian | Director of the National Library
Appointed Te Pouhuaki National Librarian on 17 December 2020, Rachel Esson is responsible for leading all National Library services in New Zealand. She also contributes to the leadership of the Information and Knowledge Services branch of the Department of Internal Affairs.
Previously Director Content Services of the National Library, Rachel is the first internal appointment to the role. Rachel is a professionally registered librarian who has held senior and strategic roles in academic and research libraries for many years. She has researched and published in the area of evaluation of library services.
Her previous roles have included Associate Chief Librarian Alexander Turnbull Library, Associate Director Library Academic Services at Victoria University, and Medical Librarian (University of Otago, Wellington). She is a fellow of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) and is actively involved with association governance.
Mark Crookston | Director, Content Services, National Library of New Zealand
Former leadership roles in the sector include Associate Chief Librarian in the Alexander Turnbull Library, Principal Advisor to the Chief Archivist at Archives NZ, Secretary-General of the Pacific Branch of the International Council on Archives, and Programme Director Documentary Heritage at the National Library of New Zealand. Mark loves developing sustainable collaborations, connecting people and communities to their histories, and managing collections that support societal memory, people’s rights, accountability, and scholarship. He lives in Petone, Te Awakairangi (Lower Hutt) with his family.
Marion Read | Local Government New Zealand Libraries Policy Advisor
Echo Janman | Manager Community Hub Central Auckland at Auckland Council
Dyane Hosler - Chair | PLNZ
Back, left to right:
Jock Walker | Cultural Support
*Forum presenters maybe subject to change.