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Another 'First' For The Alexander Turnbull Library

15 March 2007

Another 'First' For The Alexander Turnbull Library

Margaret Calder was the first woman to be appointed as Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library. Her successor, Chris Szekely, represents another 'first' in the Library's history. At a combined farewell and welcome ceremony on Monday 19 March, Mr Szekely will be the first Maori appointed as Chief Librarian.

Margaret Calder's association with the Turnbull dates back to her employment there in the 1960s after graduating from Victoria University. She gained library qualifications in Australia, and returned from the Mitchell Library in Sydney in 1988 to become Assistant Chief Librarian.

'The possibilities that online technology provides to bring the past of New Zealand and the Pacific to students in the present and the future is the highlight of my time at the Turnbull,' Ms Calder said. 'I am looking forward to the creation of new knowledge from the fusion of new ways of seeing and using old knowledge.'

Chris Szekely previously held the position of City Librarian at the Manukau City Council, where he headed one of the largest and fastest growing public library services in New Zealand. He was also instrumental in setting up Te Ra pa Whakahau, the professional association of Maori librarians.

Announcing Mr Szekely's appointment, Penny Carnaby, National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mataurange o Aotearoa, said, 'Chris Szekely is one of the most highly respected and dynamic leaders within New Zealand's library and information sector, and I firmly believe that he has the vision, conviction and skills to both nurture the Turnbull Library's mana and history and confidently steer its development in the digital age.'

All media representatives are invited to attend the changeover function on Monday 19 March. Guests have been asked to gather in the Library forecourt at 10.45am for an 11am start. A light lunch and opportunities for interviews will take place following the formalities.

ENDS


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