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New Zealand Falls Short Of UNESCO Library Guidelines

New Zealand Falls Short Of UNESCO Library Guidelines

LIANZA Media release November 7 2012

The Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) is disappointed New Zealand will not have a new law to protect public libraries.

The Local Government (Public Libraries) Amendment Bill was not passed at its first reading in Parliament tonight. The member’s bill was led through Parliament by Labour MP Darien Fenton.

LIANZA President Heather Lamond said the bill would have ensured New Zealand met UNESCO guidelines by making essential library services such as borrowing and internet use free of charge.

"This means libraries that are under financial pressure from councils are able to introduce charges for borrowing and internet use. The people that are affected most by charges are the ones that need the library services the most."

Ms Lamond said the association was heartened by the support for the Keep Public Libraries Free campaign.

"It’s obvious most New Zealanders are very fond of their local libraries. We’ll do everything we can to ensure public libraries continue to provide such important services to their communities."

She said many people had visited or emailed their MPs and made them aware of the value of public libraries.

ENDS

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