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National Library funding boost

16 June 2000 Media Statement

National Library funding boost

The National Library received a $3 million boost in the Budget, the Minister responsible for the National Library, Marian Hobbs, said today.

Two million dollars of this new Government funding will be for improving electronic access to information and managing library acquisitions. One million dollars will go to the Alexander Turnbull Library for buying rare and unique heritage materials.

Marian Hobbs said the money triples the acquisitions budget of the Alexander Turnbull Library, which is responsible for acquiring, preserving and making available the heritage materials at the National Library.

"The new cash will be used to acquire material in electronic formats that originates from New Zealand and the Pacific Islands," she said. "The Library will also be able to acquire heritage items such as books, manuscripts and pictures that it could not otherwise afford.

"A portion of the $2 million earmarked for electronic initiatives and the management of the additional heritage material will be spent on digitising published and unpublished materials mainly from the heritage collections, such as maps, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs, drawings and prints.

"The emphasis will be on digitising the most commonly requested items that library users have, until now, had to travel to Wellington to see.

"This will significantly enhance the Library’s efforts to preserve the original heritage materials while making them widely available electronically to the New Zealand public."

The remainder of the money will be spent on cataloguing activities. This will include the creation of electronic records for published and unpublished heritage items, as well as for materials in the Library’s general collection, Marian Hobbs added.

The money will also enable the Library to increase its cataloguing of New Zealand publications before they are printed, so that electronic records are available by the time of publication.

The cataloguing activities are aimed at increasing access to a wider range of New Zealand and Pacific books, serials and journals.

"The library is a national institution which has always been dedicated to serving all New Zealanders, through its own collections, through support for school libraries and public libraries, and through the information networks that it supports," Marian Hobbs said. "This funding boost will help ensure the National Library becomes even more accessible."


ENDS

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