Meet our staff
Here are the Librarians working for Matamata-Piako District Libraries:
Josh - Library Assistant
I joined the libraries after college, worked here for three years, then wandered off on a mystical quest into the land of Nod where I was taught how to skateboard by a Chinese man with a full back tattoo. I then returned to the libraries having gained much in the way of wisdom but having also lost some measure of my sanity. I like reading about English country houses, British sports cars and the New Zealand wilderness.
Articles like this: https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/beyond-the-desert-road/ are why I like the NZ Geo website, as it teaches me facts about the places I like to visit and the animals that I encounter in my travels. Here’s another good one: https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/whio/
You can get on to the NZ Geo website for free at any of our libraries, using our computers, or the free WiFi. We've also got the NZ Geographic magazines in print in the libraries, too.
Lorraine - Library Team Leader
I'm a tattoeed crazy Winnie the Pooh follower who loves to read!
Being Team Leader in our Local Library is the best position out. I am a Grandma with 5 grandsons and I live for my family and my love of books. I love all the changes that are happening in Libraries, and technology now plays a big part in our day-to-day service. Encouraging young ones to explore in our space, then watching them come back as Young Adults and then parents has been a delight over the years.
I have just enjoyed reading the “Sara Maas Thorne of Glass” series which is a great read to escape into if you like fantasy books.
Digging in our electronic databases, I have been using “Ancestry Library Edition” quite a lot lately. This is available in the library and is a great place to start looking into your family history. If you are looking for information on The Treaty of Waitangi, visit http://treatyofwaitangicollection.bwb.co.nz.ezmatamata.kotui.org.nz/index.html to learn all the history of the Treaty and read “The story of the treaty" by Claudia Orange.
Rachel - Customer Services Librarian
Coming from a teaching background, I entered libraries because I am passionate about reading and digital literacy. I have been in libraries for almost twelve years, two of those at MPDC. I read quite a few books & eBooks in different genres (variety is the spice of life after all!). The database I’ve used the most is ‘Papers Past’ and have found out all sorts of information on my family – even confirming stories passed down orally through the family.
Heather - Library Team Leader
I’ve been in Matamata-Piako Libraries for 3 years now, and am the current Team Leader at Morrinsville Library. I love my job, and really enjoy getting to know our community as they come into the library. My bookshelf is now full of picture books and board books from the library – my girls are always asking for more special treats from the library. As a member of a non-profit committee, I have really appreciated the access to GivUs through the library. This is a free database for any library member to find out what grants and scholarships are available to community groups, and how to apply for them. You only have to come into the library once to sign up – then you can access the database from home.
Ciaran - Library Assistant
I’ve been a librarian since September 2018 and I’m loving it. Before that I worked in journalism, where an eye for detail and grammar also comes in handy! I’ve always loved reading, particularly horror. I’ve recently been reading an embarrassing amount of Stephen King, as well as reacquainting myself with some of the old masters, such as Poe and Lovecraft.
One of the many perks of regularly being in the library is having access to the many online resources we provide, particularly Press Reader, as it supplies a quick and easy way to catch up with current events via the many publications it provides access to. Give it a try next time you’re in the library – otherwise, happy reading!
Vicki - Library Team Leader
I have worked as a librarian since 1998 – first in a primary school for twelve months, then at a Secondary school. I worked for two years at an Intermediate School and then went back to Secondary – working two years on Waiheke Island at the local High School. I have been in my current role for nearly 7 and a half years.
I first started working in a library at the school that my sons attended due to my love of reading and books and I have to admit the school holidays made the position appealing. But it became apparent that there was so much more and the ability to empower so many people and assist them in their love of reading or the various other areas that now encompass libraries makes it an enjoyable career option. The only genre I don’t tend to read from is Sci Fi – no real reason – I read fiction and non-fiction.
In terms of online resources – I discovered Press Reader when I was living in the country and I have to say it is fantastic. The other online resource that I love going on to when my granddaughter visits is Tumble Books. It is a resource for pre-primary and primary children where they can choose to read, sing, listen or watch, and is accessed with your library card. It is a lot of fun and contains everything from storybooks that are read to you to videos to watch. It also has language learning center where you can select books from world languages.
Sarah - Library Assistant
When I first started at the library (10 whole years ago) I only worked for one hour per day shelving the books at Te Aroha Library. Initially I took the job as I was working from home and was finding that very isolating, I needed to get out of the house but still have time to focus on my own work as an artist. I also love books and reading so the job was a perfect fit. I gradually picked up more hours as the library staff changed and now I work around 20 hours per week. My life has also changed a lot as I now fit my library job around my kids rather than my art (which leapt into the backseat of life around the same time as the morning sickness kicked in).
I don’t have nearly enough time in life to read now that I have a family but I am really enjoying re-reading many of my childhood favourites to my boys and am consistently amazed at how vivid the memories are of books I read decades before. The books I like to read for myself are often the fiction books that hardly ever get checked out. The books that make me think and challenge me, often books about what make people tick rather than events as such.
Over the past 2 years I have been studying Tikanga and Te Reo through Te Wananga o Aotearoa so one of the online databases I have found particularly useful has been the Treaty of Waitangi collection. A brilliant resource with complete books on the Treaty available online for everyone to access.
I have also been enjoying pottery classes to fulfil my creative urge and hope to find more time to get back to making jewellery.
Annelies - Technical Services Assistant Librarian
I originally started working in libraries for the love of books but stayed for the love of people/community (with being surrounded by books as nice bonus). I've worked in a variety of libraries both overseas and in New Zealand and have been at Matamata-Piako Libraries for the past 2 years. I mostly enjoy reading fantasy and historical fiction. However with two small kids I end up reading more board and picture books (I'll be branching out into early readers shortly), so I'm always on the hunt for new and interesting kids books. Being from Belgium I love using Press Reader to be able to flick through newspapers and magazines from back 'home'.
Josie - Library Assistant
After cutting my teeth on publishing, PR, journalism and teacher aide-ing, I joined the staff at Te Aroha Library in 2003, and, blimey, I’m still here!
My genres of choice are mystery, literature, children’s and teens, and gardening. I’m a big fan of our magazine collection, and despite being a Real Book freak, love how easy it is to use the Wheelers e-platform too. One of my favourite online resources is Papers Past, which I like to dip into to track the antics of my ancestors in various parts of the country. Find this resource from the library website by clicking on the ‘Digital’ tab, choosing ‘Electronic Resources’ then ‘National Library’, then scroll down to ‘Papers Past’. Not only old newspapers, but letters, journals and even parliamentary papers as far back as the 1820s are yours for the browsing.
Fascinating Fact About Me: I‘m an extremely competitive mini-golf player (not good, just competitive).
Charissa - Library Assistant
I grew up often visiting my local library in Papakura & I first started volunteering in the library before getting my first library job at 17 for the Waikato District Council. I have been working here in the Matamata-Piako Libraries for the past 3 ½ years when I moved to Matamata after spending 8 months traveling though UK & Europe. I love traveling & reading, though carting around the amount books I can go through doesn’t help towards light packing. Ebooks are a life saver! I love being able to travel with a whole range of eBooks and audio books at my disposal though the ePlateform app we have here at Matamata Piako Libraries.
I have been lucky enough to have visited over 30 different countries so far, and while each place has been stunning it in its own unique way, you realise how lovely New Zealand is & how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. In the library, you can access the free New Zealand Geographic website. You can spend hours on this site reading articles from the different magazine issues as well as view stunning photography from throughout New Zealand. This always inspires me in planning road trips & walks within New Zealand in between my larger overseas travels.
Judith - Customer Services Librarian
Being a Librarian has taught me a lot, not just about the books but the people who read the books and also the way technology has evolved in the Library over the many years I have been working there. The type of books I like to read are generally fiction, sometimes I’m in the mood for a good thriller/adventure, or maybe a family saga or anything in between! I like to travel so travel biographies are another favourite.
When I’m on holiday I can log into our website and maybe download a book or two or maybe catch up with the local news in Press Reader. All I have to remember is my Library card to be able to log in! There are lots of sites to explore on our website so go exploring! You never know what you might find.
Helen - District Librarian
I’m a dabbler in all sorts of things and that’s why I enjoy being a librarian. It has bits of everything: customer service, problem solving, teaching, event planning, research, story telling and more. I love the sea, and kayaking especially, and coincidentally someone once told me that she sees librarians as navigators. I like that image very much. Masterfile is my go-to source for all topics - medical problems, work-related issues, book reviews, or history and geography of a place before I travel there. It provides the sort of expert help that saves me going to a university library or hunting down an expensive professional journal.