From York to Waikato - welcome to our new Librarian

An expatriate Kiwi is returning to New Zealand to take up the management of the University of Waikato Library.

13 May 2021

Michelle Blake is originally from Wellington and will return to New Zealand with her family after living in the UK for the past 15 years.

Michelle Blake

A qualified Librarian, Michelle is currently the Interim Director of Library & Archives at the University of York, where she manages a substantial operational budget and leads a 140-strong team across three sites. She also has leadership experience at the London School of Economics.

Michelle is passionate about the value and impact of libraries and their transformative power for public good. She says she’s delighted to be able to bring this passion to the University of Waikato.

I believe the University’s motto, Ko Te Tangata (meaning For The People), really sets it apart. I’m really looking forward to getting to know, and working with, the University and wider local community.

Michelle works to challenge the traditional notions of what a library is, an approach welcomed by the University.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Robyn Longhurst, says as the heart of the University, the Library’s mission is to support the creation and dissemination of knowledge.

“We’re really looking forward to the skills Michelle will bring to the job, and I know she is looking forward to getting to Hamilton, meeting colleagues and getting started.”

Michelle’s return to her home country with her family, pending flight and MIQ availability, will take place in time for her to commence at the University in September.



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