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Library ''bulk-purchasing'' opens up free access

Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA)

January 15, 2004

Library “bulk-purchasing” opens up free access to “pay-to-view” electronic information for all New Zealanders

From kids doing homework to businesses researching international competitors –from March New Zealanders can access a new wealth of electronic resources for free through their local or school library.

Libraries across the country have come together for the first-time to negotiate a bulk purchase price for electronic information that previously only the bigger public or tertiary institution libraries could afford.

Now all New Zealanders can have free on-line access to thousands of magazines, journals, reference books, photographs, databases and graphics that in the past were only available to paid-up subscribers.

Mirla Edmundson, President of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA), said the initiative showed libraries at the forefront of information delivery in New Zealand.

“This initiative demonstrates the commitment of librarians to deliver the broadest range of information possible to their communities - however isolated or small,” Ms Edmundson said. It was particularly helpful for libraries previously unable to afford electronic information at this level and depth.

The resources, provided by vendors Gale and EBSCO, will allow library users to read the full text of popular magazines like North and South and Metro; delve through thousands of historical documents, biographies, maps and photos; and access a range of reference databases including one offering the latest opposing viewpoints on international hot topics and another providing comparative data on international companies. Along with electronic access to the full text of thousands of academic and medical journals, health articles, reference books and a host of resources specifically written and compiled for school students.

These resources will also now be available to every primary, intermediate and high school around the country at no cost for the first year as the Ministry of Education has stepped in to pay schools’ membership to the libraries’ purchasing group.

“ It will form a great basic homework and general reference resource for the country, delivered into the wired schools, libraries and households of
New Zealand,” Ms Edmundson said.

“On behalf of librarians nationally I want to congratulate and thank the National Library for leading the initiative that made this amazing opportunity possible,” she said. “It will truly impact on the lives of all New Zealanders.”

The e-resources will be launched in March 2004. Library users will be able to access the resources from home or work through library websites as well as at their local participating library.

A formal signing of the agreement between New Zealand libraries and the vendors Gale and Ebsco will be held commencing 4.30pm, Tuesday 20 January, in the Parliamentary Service Commission Room of the Parliamentary Library, Molesworth Street, Wellington.


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