Hurunui Libraries: There’s a New Chap in Charge

Mark District Librarian April 2019We are welcoming a new District Librarian to the Hurunui, Mark O’Connell. Mark will be regularly visiting all our libraries around the district; managing, maintaining and developing library services.

The District Librarian role is considered ‘big shoes to fill’ after the departure of Justine Lester - who achieved a lot during her respected 10 years with us here at the Hurunui District Council. We believe Mark’s approach to library culture and his understanding of community will help him fill these shoes.

Mark says that along with their traditional functions, libraries are “increasingly hubs for their communities, creators of programs and events for all, places for people to connect”.

“I see these things already well established here” he said. “We will continue to grow and keep providing something for everyone”.

Mark comes to us with a wealth of experience from Waimakariri Libraries. His last role was Customer Support Team Leader for the Waimakariri District Council, in which he managed the Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre (the Library, Council Service Centre, Museum and Art Gallery).

Mark explains working in libraries can be a very fulfilling job. “Libraries are different things to different people, it’s a fascinating job” he says. “There is a real sense of making a difference in people’s lives”.

Along with the expected keen interest in books, Mark enjoys gardening and theatre. He says his gardening this year has involved lessons in keeping the water up in raised beds. Meanwhile, on the theatre front, Mark’s been known to do a bit of acting and is currently helping plan a mid-year show by the Rangiora Players – a comedy called ‘The Last Séance’.