LIANZA 2021 Conference Logo - FINAL




Bodley’s Librarian – in conversation

We are delighted to announce that Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian will be in conversation with our National Librarian, Rachel Esson. They will discuss the challenges that libraries have faced in the past, the present realities and the opportunities for libraries in our digital future.

Richard Ovenden has been Bodley’s Librarian in the University of Oxford since 2014.  Libraries in the Bodleian Libraries group include the Bodleian Library which has been a library for legal deposit for over 400 years and 27 other libraries across Oxford including major research libraries and faculty, department and institute libraries. Richard is the director of the Bodleian Library's Centre for the Study of the Book; a member of the American Philosophical Society, the  treasurer of the Consortium of European Research Libraries; the president of the Digital Preservation Coalition and was awarded the OBE by The Queen in 2019.



Future Ready: Equipping Information Professionals for the Digital Age

What does the 4th Industrial Revolution mean for knowledge and library services? These are exciting times with new opportunities to share learning and unlock the value of information. Our workforce has an important role in choosing how we respond to the current wave of technological advances. How will we harness digital technologies to better manage information for the communities we serve? Sue asks if we are being sufficiently proactive to better equip organisations, staff and citizens to make better use of information?

Sue Lacey Bryant is the National Lead for NHS Health Service Knowledge and Library Services at Health Education England. Her focus is on maximising opportunities to enhance knowledge services and on equipping the library workforce of today and tomorrow with the skills and confidence for success in our digital age. A Fellow of CILIP, Sue received the 'Walford Award' in 2018 for making an outstanding contribution to knowledge management. Sue is a trustee of CILIP Board and on the Editorial Advisory Board, HILJ.




Ruth Carlyle


Health literacy for thriving communities:
a partnership approach

In England, 43% of adults struggle with words-based health information, rising to 61% finding it hard to use health information that includes numbers as well as words (Rowlands et al, 2016). Similarly, in New Zealand, 56.2% of adults find it hard to access, assess and use health information (Kōrero Mārama, 2010).

Librarians and knowledge specialists in England are working together to address this health literacy challenge. Health Education England leads the strategic direction for health librarians and knowledge specialists in the National Health Service (NHS). The Knowledge for Healthcare strategy provides a structured model for health literacy, building on information literacy and digital navigation. This session demonstrates how NHS library staff collaborate with library colleagues in community and education settings to improve citizens’ health literacy; and introduces you to techniques such as “teach back” and “chunk and check” and how they can be integrated into information skills training and approaches.

Ruth Carlyle is a health librarian and a health promotion specialist based in the UK. She was the first information officer at the Motor Neurone Disease Association, then went on to information roles at the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Eczema Society and Macmillan Cancer Support. Whilst she was working at Macmillan, the cancer information and support services network expanded from 37 services to over 200 local services, mostly developed in partnership with the National Health Service (NHS).


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Engaging Libraries

Engaging Libraries is a programme supporting public libraries to work with research partners to deliver public engagement activities. The programme currently supports 16 libraries across the UK to engage members of the public on research relating to health, society and culture. Topics range from death to fake news, menopause to clean air, and hair in relation to culture and identity. The aims of the programme are to: energise and empower people through engagement with research about health, society and culture; enable public libraries to build upon and explore their civic role as safe spaces for participation and engagement with research; and facilitate partnerships between public libraries and universities. The programme is a partnership between the Carnegie UK , Wellcome and the Wolfson Foundation.

Jenny Peachey, Georgina Bowyer and Rachel Heydecker work at Carnegie UK. Together they deliver the Engaging Libraries programme.

Jenny is Senior Policy and Development Officer at the Carnegie UK where she leads the their Future of Public Libraries work. In this role she researched and published Making a Difference: Libraries, Lockdown and Looking Ahead (2020) and Shining a Light (2017): two key research and policy report series on UK library services. She is a member of various library-related committees and steering groups.

Georgina is a Policy and Development Officer. In addition to supporting Engaging Libraries, she works on projects relating to better job quality in the UK labour market, improving race inequality in the labour market, and work around the digital inclusion of children and young people.

Rachel is a Policy and Development Officer. In addition to supporting Engaging Libraries, she contributes to the Trust’s work on Affordable Credit to advance the scale and availability of fairer, cheaper alternatives to high cost credit.

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The Public Library Will Never Die -
community engagement and service

Jane Stratton, the CEO and founder of the Think+DO Tank Foundation, wants to explore how librarians can be community-makers, community-enablers, and community-strengtheners. By drawing on her own experience of creating a multilingual community hub in a multilingual kids bookshop called “LOST IN BOOKS” in Australia, Jane will take librarians through a series of choices they can take to orientate their libraries towards community, engagement and service as a strategy for ongoing relevance and added public value.

In New Zealand, libraries are now better resourced with the New Zealand Libraries Partnership Programme, but how can the value of that package be maximised? And how can we ensure its insight into the power of libraries as a force for community-building and recovery has an enduring legacy?

Join Jane Stratton on this journey of choices to find out how libraries can remain relevant and continue to add public value in a time when the access to high quality information is at stake.

Jane Stratton is the creator of the highly successful social enterprise LOST IN BOOKS, a multilingual kids’ bookshop, creative community hub and safer space for women and children in Fairfield, South Western Sydney.

Jane works to elevate the voices of low-income and excluded community members to inform and to model systems reform. She enables multi-disciplinary collaborative projects, enterprises and enquiries in low-income communities in response to the question: “What would make life here easier, better or more affordable?”

Jane has an accomplished background in commercial and public interest law; human rights and social policy. She has worked for leading rights-based organisations including Human Rights Watch, UNHCR, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Australian Human Rights Commission. Jane was the Acting Head, Pro Bono and then the inaugural Head, Corporate Social Responsibility at Gilbert+Tobin Lawyers.

Jane’s intelligent and empathetic approach has fostered her reputation as a courageous leader at the forefront of collaborative work with communities, inspiring those within them and beyond them to broaden the horizon of what is possible.

Frances Koya Vaka'uta


Decolonising the Pacific Library - Rethinking the library of the future

What does it mean to decolonize a library? The ideal Pacific library of the future must be a decolonized, interactive, and engaging community space. Libraries, like museums and archives are important knowledge repositories but they are inherently colonial constructs which privilege a particular knowledge system that is premised on epistemological and institutional racism (Scheurich & Young, 1997). In the 21st century capitalist system, knowledge is both power and money driven and all non-mainstream knowledge including traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities exist on the periphery. Libraries perpetuate this mainstream thinking with this knowledge economy. What might it look like to decolonize our libraries consciously, purposefully and systematically as community space; and, to rethink our programmes and collections for a Pacific island audience? How do we incorporate the living library concept rather than a collection of books on shelves? In the Pacific islands, libraries are not commonplace and where they do exist, they are often ill-resourced with outdated collections and untrained personnel. Several big challenges need to be addressed when thinking about the Pacific library for the future. These include limited resourcing as well as little to no support for the literary arts and for Pacific island writers based in the islands. This includes writers writing in any language but even more specifically in their own indigenous mother tongues. We know there is a link between reading, literacy levels and libraries but the reality is there are too few libraries in the islands and literacy levels are consistently low. In this keynote, we will explore the idea of decolonizing the Pacific library and ways to revitalize the library as a living, engaging, open space for peoples of all ages.

Dr. Frances C. Koya Vaka’uta is Team Leader Culture for Development at the Human Rights and Social Development Division at SPC. Prior to joining SPC in January this year, Frances was Associate Professor and Director of the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies at the USP Laucala Campus in Suva. A teacher by profession, she first started at USP in 1998 teaching and researching on Curriculum Studies, Culture and Multicultural Education, Small Island Developing States, Indigenous Pedagogies and Methodologies, Pacific Studies and Resilience and Education for Sustainability. Over the last fifteen years, she has been actively engaged in policy development and community outreach in the areas of education, youth, arts and culture in the Pacific. Frances is the Traditional Knowledge advisor on the Pacific Island Forum Secretariats OPOC Team of Experts and serves as board member of the International Evaluation Academy (IEAc). She is a member of the co-editing team for Indigenous Science Network, and on the Editorial Advisory Board for the new Bristol University Press book series on Comparative and International Education. Over the last fifteen years, she has worked in the development space on various aspects of education, culture and arts policy, project development and evaluation. Frances is passionate about the safeguarding of indigenous knowledge systems and supporting local capacity for research and revitalization initiatives and advocates for resilience education, culture, the arts, and the status of the Pacific island-based artists.

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IFLA for Libraries – Libraries with IFLA

Barbara Lison will share a global view of libraries and share key library innovations from different countries and sectors. She will explain the role of the International Federation of Libraries Associations, the work it does, its new governance structure and how you can become involved and benefit from this global professional community.

Barbara Lison has been working as Director of the Bremen Public Library, one of the largest public library systems in Germany for almost 30 years. She has advocated for libraries on national and international levels and served as president of both the German Library Association and Bibliothek Information Deutschland. Barbara has been a member of International Federation of Library Association’s (IFLA) Governing Board, held the position of treasurer and is now IFLA President-elect. Barbara becomes the IFLA President in August 2021. Barbara is an expert on any aspect of the management of libraries, especially innovation, HRM, customer orientation and change management.


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The power of stories

Each of us has a story about who we are, where we’ve come from and where we might be going.

But where do those stories come from? How do our stories influence our mental health? And how can we tell more helpful, hopeful stories about our lives – especially as we navigate the ups and downs of Covid?

Jehan has wrestled with these questions. He’s one of New Zealand’s top TV journalists. He is also a survivor of depression. Jehan will provide a challenging and enlightening perspective on the healing power of storytelling. He will offer practical tools to help you to reshape your own story.

Jehan Casinader is a journalist, author and mental health advocate. For more than a decade, he reported for TVNZ’s flagship programmes, including Sunday, Seven Sharp, Close Up and Breakfast and was named “Broadcast Reporter of the Year” at the Voyager Media Awards in 2020. Jehan is the author of This Is Not How It Ends: How rewriting your story can save your life (HarperCollins).


Glenis-Photo credit - RNZ


Decolonising our libraries and communities

Glenis will speak about the challenges that Aotearoa faces in fighting racism and bias and the steps we must all take to contribute to transformation and strengthening our communities.

Glenis Philip-Barbara (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Oepōhatu, Clan McDonald) has had a lifelong interest in the sustainability of Māori knowledge systems and practices, especially in te reo Māori and has worked in the public sector for 30 years. Glenis has been Chief Executive, Maori Language Commission; Associate Deputy Chief Executive, Child Youth and Family. In October last year she became the first Assistant Māori Children's Commissioner appointed to the newly-created position by children’s commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft.

In previous roles, Glenis has led national research projects, initiated specialised learning projects, led the establishment of a regional education plan, helped the marae with restoration projects, initiated and established a national Māori language research centre and rolled out five major investigations into the state of te reo, supported the safe inclusion of care-experienced young people into a major change programme and assisted tertiary education providers to improve their performace.


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ben brown


The writers that libraries created

Kate De Goldi, award-winning children and short story author, and Ben Brown, poet, author and the inaugural Te Awhi Rito New Zealand Reading Ambassador, come together in conversation to discuss the role libraries played in their careers. During the closing keynote, Kate and Ben will discuss the importance libraries play in their communities and the influence librarians have on people’s lives. Join Kate and Ben as they take you on their own personal journey with libraries and librarians, and discover how librarians became their most favourite people.

Kate De Goldi is one of New Zealand’s most loved authors, whose short fiction, novels and picture books engage children, teenagers and adults alike. She is the author of the phenomenal The 10 PM Question, which has been published extensively overseas, and is a two-time winner of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year Award. The 10 PM Question won Book of the Year and Best Young Adult Fiction in the 2009 New Zealand Post Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards, was a runner-up in the 2009 Montana NZ Book Awards, and won the Readers’ Choice Award. She has a regular spot reviewing children’s books on Saturday Mornings with Kim Hill on National Radio.

Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa) is an award winning children’s author, a nonfiction writer, a poet and performer. He was appointed inaugural Children’s Reading Ambassador for New Zealand, Te Awhi Rito in May 2021. Born in Motueka more years ago than he cares to remember, he now lives in Lyttelton, writing for his supper, reading for the love of it and otherwise reflecting on a new coalescence of words and where they might lead him. He is also the father of two, which he regards as his finest work to date.

Hemi Whaanga


Indigenous identity and sovereignty in the digital sphere

The astounding growth in digital content alongside the proliferation of Mātauranga and Indigenous knowledge being made available through this medium has transformed and affected the ways in which we participate, communicate, share, access, distribute and view knowledge and information on a local, regional, national and global scale.  Alongside this larger global trend, there is a growing concern amongst Indigenous communities to preserve, safeguard and protect our digital objects and content as a vital resource for communities. In this talk we will discuss some of the challenges that Indigenous peoples currently face in the digital realm. It will be argued that the strength and legitimacy of our Indigenous voice and the impact of our digital footprint lies in our ability to access, use, practice, share, manage, and ultimately control our identity and sovereignty in this space. Treating the digital realm as Terra Nullius 2.0 will, if we do not actively engage as Indigenous peoples in the shaping and creating its future, have ongoing consequences for our linguistic, cultural, social and economic existence.

Dr Hēmi Whaanga is an associate professor in Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao (The Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies) at the University of Waikato. Hēmi has worked as a project leader and researcher on a range of projects centred on the revitalisation and protection of te reo Māori and knowledge (including Mātauranga Māori, digitisation of indigenous knowledge, ICT and indigenous knowledge, traditional ecological knowledge, language revitalisation, linguistics, language teaching and curriculum development). He affiliates to Ngāti Kahungunu through his father, and Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe and Waitaha through his mother. He currently leads Ātea, a Science for Technological Innovation collaboration between researchers at the University of Waikato, University of Otago, University of Canterbury and iwi, to build and design an immersive experience that will draw on Māori protocol and world views as well as new technologies to preserve and share knowledge, language and culture in the digital realm.

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Social Justice at a Crossroads:  Reimagining the role of the Library and Information Sector

Workplaces, as corporate citizens, are uniquely positioned to facilitate higher standards of living and quality of life for the communities in which it seeks a licence to operate.  These communities are increasingly diverse and access to resources is increasingly inequitable.

In this context, diversity and inclusion are recognized as strategic enablers of positive business and social outcomes.  As places of work, what are the opportunities and challenges facing the library and information sector in its efforts to develop cultures of inclusion?  But more importantly, how does this sector take advantage of its respected institutional position to participate as an agent of change in the conversation towards improved social justice?

In times of uncertainty and downturn, it is easy to hunker down and hide behind familiar models of practice. But, if approached creatively, this could be the best time to find new frameworks that propel us forward.

Maretha Smit is the CEO of Diversity Works New Zealand, the national body for workplace diversity and inclusion. She has held a number of executive leadership roles in her native South Africa and in New Zealand, including that of Chief Executive of a large member organisation where she effected significant transformational change across an entire sector.

She has a strong background and appreciation of the challenges in diversity and inclusion, with experience in the disability sector, as well as delivering programmes to improve social cohesion through performing arts, education and training.

Maretha has a degree in Psychology from the University of Stellenbosch, a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is a Chartered Director of the Institute of Directors (South Africa). She is also a Trustee and Chair of the Finance Committee of Belong Aotearoa, a specialist settlement agency that focuses on addressing the barriers to successful integration of newcomers in New Zealand.


Michele MC


We are thrilled to announce that Michele A'Court will be our LIANZA 2021 Conference MC.  The MC role is essential to link delegates and speakers, sessions and days, to bring the themes together and engage our online conference audiences. And we think Michele is the perfect for the job!

Michele says, "It is hard to imagine anything better than spending a few days with library people. Books have always been at the core of my life, and Friday night visits to our public library with my mother, brother and grandmother were a family ritual - I can still feel the joy I felt then at knowing I could take home anything I wanted. (This must be how rich people feel when they walk into a car yard.) All these years later, my local library still feels like the heart of our community. I cannot wait to be with people who feel the same way."

Winner of Comedian of the Decade (Female) at the 2010 NZ Comedy Guild Awards, Michele is a full-time professional stand-up comedian and freelance writer. Her work turns up everywhere - on stage, television, radio, newspapers and magazines - and she is in demand as a comic, an event MC, and also as a social commentator across all media. Michele is a regular panelist on ThreeNow’s award-winning comedy show 7 Days and week-night show The Project and on Radio NZ National’s The Paneand Nine to Noon.

Michele relishes the opportunity to comment on current social issues and she is a frequent contributor to several national NZ magazines including NZ Woman's Weekly and The Spinoff.

As an after-dinner speaker, event host and conference MC, Michele’s hundreds of corporate clients over the past 20 years include financial advisors, health care workers, classical musicians, IT specialists, plumbers, insurance specialists, bankers, builders, lawyers, electrical workers, travel agents and scientists.

Michele is also a published author. Her memoir/instructional book Stuff I Forgot To Tell My Daughter is based on her hour-long show of the same name. 2018 saw Michele release her second book How We Met, a series of interviews with couples investigating how they met, and how they stay together.

We are delighted to have Michele as our LIANZA 2021 Conference MC.