Our Leadership Group
The National Library Leadership Team consists of the National Librarian of the National Library, the Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library/Deputy National Librarian, and other senior staff members.
Bill Macnaught, National Librarian
Chris Szekely, Chief Librarian, Alexander Turnbull Library
Aaron Fleming, Acting Director, Literacy, Learning and Public Programmes
Rachel Esson, Acting Director, Content Services
Andy Neale, Manager, DigitalNZ
Lewis Brown, Manager, Planning and Development
Corin Haines, Manager, Services to Public Libraries
Since 2011 Bill Macnaught has been responsible for leading all National Library services in New Zealand. He also contributes to the leadership of the Information and Knowledge Services branch of the Department of Internal Affairs.
Before coming to New Zealand, he was the Director of Libraries and Arts and later Head of Cultural Development at Gateshead Council in the northeast of England. There he initiated several major arts projects including the ‘Angel of the North’ sculpture by Sir Antony Gormley and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. In addition, Bill was Chair of the UK government’s Advisory Council on Libraries and was a Visiting Professor in librarianship at the University of Northumbria. In 2005 he was awarded a CBE for services to public libraries and cultural life in the UK.
From 2005 to 2011 Bill was Manager Puke Ariki in New Plymouth. Bill was a founder member of the Governance Group for the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa programme, which was inspired by a similar UK project in which he had been involved. He initiated the discussions that led to the National Library supporting the Kōtui project, designed to deliver better value for public libraries through the collective procurement of library management IT services.
Bill’s ambition is to lead the Library through the ‘Digital Shift’ to make it easier, today and in the future, for New Zealanders to use the knowledge we hold and to co-create new knowledge for cultural and economic benefit. Bill is passionate about the prospect of New Zealand having the most useful knowledge networks in the world.
Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library
Chris Szekely has held the statutory role of Chief Librarian since 2007. He is responsible for ensuring that the collections of the Turnbull are preserved, protected, developed and made accessible.
Previously, Chris was Manager of Manukau Libraries in South Auckland, and he is a founding member of Te Rōpū Whakahau, an association for Maori working in libraries and information management. He was an inaugural Commissioner on the Library and Information Advisory Commission in 2003. His professional interests include services to Maori and New Zealand children's literature.
Chris sees the future of the Turnbull as an institution that continues to provide a trusted repository for New Zealand's documentary heritage, along with onsite facilities that are welcoming and relevant, and people who are expert and knowledgeable. He is excited by the opportunities for enhancing the use of collections through digital delivery.
Acting Director Literacy, Learning and Public Programmes
Aaron leads the Services to Schools and Public Programmes teams, developing nationwide services that engage, motivate and inspire young people, educators and communities to enjoy reading and to support their development as digitally literate learners. Aaron joined the National Library in 2016 following a career in local government where he was the author of the Hamilton Libraries Plan.
Services to Schools work closely with learning communities nationwide to develop national approaches to reading engagement, modern library learning environments and digital literacy services. His Services to Schools team is located across seven locations nationwide.
The Public Programmes team focuses on providing a welcoming entry for visitors and create experiences that foster interest in learning and discovering more through programmes of events, exhibition, tours, and rich learning experiences.
Acting Director Content Services
Rachel Esson oversees the strategy and activities of Content Services, which collects and describes the National Library’s collections, and provides services to libraries, publishers and authors. She joined the National Library four years ago and has held positions in the Alexander Turnbull Library and been responsible for developing and managing the heritage collections of the National Library.
She 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 the evaluation of library services. Her previous roles have included 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 and is currently the councillor for the Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui Wellington region.
Andy Neale heads Digital New Zealand, the home of Library’s public online services. He guides the strategic path of many digital initiatives, including working with partners nationally and globally. Andy advocates for open access and customer focus in product and service design.
He has been with the Library since 2005 and has launched numerous new initiatives, and driven the adoption of continuous improvement processes in the online space. Prior to joining the Library he was a member of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Global IT team based in London.
Andy is the current chair of the National Digital Forum and a co-founder of both the DigitalNZ service, and the Mix and Mash remix competition. With an interesting background in marketing, information systems design, and computer science, he has more than 15 years experience in the development of web and digital services.
Manager, Planning and Development
Lewis manages a small team that is responsible for the National Library's business planning and reporting processes, and providing professional support to the National Librarian including on international collaboration.
Lewis joined the Library in 2006 to help lead the development and writing of the New Zealand Digital Content Strategy, and has since worked in a variety of roles spanning policy analysis, strategy and governance support and planning. For a period he worked with Digital New Zealand developing the Make it Digital guides to digital content creation.
He is keen to see the National Library successfully meet the challenges of the digital 'tipping point' as New Zealand's creative output and knowledge becomes more commonly produced in the digital realm rather than in print.
Manager, Services to Public Libraries
Corin manages the relationship between the National Library and public libraries across New Zealand, and the services the National Library provides. This includes the Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa, which provides internet access into public libraries, and the Kōtui library management system.
Corin joined the National Library in March 2014 after spending 8 years working in public libraries in the Auckland region, most recently as Manager, Digital Services for Auckland Libraries. His career has seen him work in a variety of tertiary and public libraries across New Zealand, specialising in digital services and IT.
He is very interested in the role of public libraries in New Zealand, and particularly how the provision of Internet through public libraries plays a vital role in developing digital literacy within their communities.
Corin is a former president of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA).