News, Events and Culture

Senior library and local government manager appointed to lead Libraries and Community Services

Friday June 19 2015

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Debbie Duncan has over 20 years' experience in local government library management and community services. She comes to Palmerston North from Upper Hutt City Council and before that worked with Womens' Refuge and the Department of Social Welfare.

Mrs Duncan is the previous chair of the Association of Public Libraries New Zealand, a chartered associate of ALIANZA and a registered member of RLIANZA.

Palmerston North City Council chief executive Paddy Clifford says he is pleased someone of Debbie's calibre will take over the reins from Anthony Lewis. Mrs Duncan has proven herself both in the library and community services fields and will be a welcome addition to Council's senior leadership team.

"Like us here in Palmerston North, she has the experience of merging community services and library teams. It's pleasing to appoint someone who shares our vision - libraries are central to communities and provide the basis for improved engagement and support for residents."

Mr Clifford says he wants to thank publicly Wes ten Hove for helping the library and community services through the transition period. He provided the team with stability and good management.

"It is an exciting time to be a librarian, says Mrs Duncan "Elsewhere in the world libraries are under threat. Not here in Palmerston North where it is transforming to meet the needs of residents, so it remains relevant for years to come."

"The introduction of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) in July, will further allow the library to become the Living Room of the City. Staff will have more time to inspire people to explore the pathways to the world by helping them with content creation, accessing online databases and carrying out research. Both the central library and the community libraries will become more interactive places."

"I'm honoured to be following in the footsteps of Anthony Lewis. I have admired him from a far and am looking forward to hearing his thoughts on the planned redesign of the central library."

I'm really looking forward to getting to know the Non-Government Organisation sector in Palmerston North and will work to ensure our community services team provide them with the support required to ensure the city's safety net and arts sector are strengthened."

Mrs Duncan and her husband will move to Palmerston North in due course. Mr Clifford hopes the community joins him in welcoming the Duncan's to Palmerston North and offers the support required to manage a leading library and community services team that will strengthen and grow our community.

For more information:
Paddy Clifford
Chief Executive
Palmerston North City Council
C/o Dominica Pikimaui
356 8199