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Turnbull Library Status And Collections Assured

The future security and status of the Alexander Turnbull Library will be assured under new legislation to be introduced to Parliament this year, the Minister Responsible for the National Library, Marian Hobbs, said today.

An amendment to the National Library Act 1965 will confirm that the Crown will hold the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library forever and that the Turnbull Library will remain part of the National Library.

"Labour came to power promising both to secure Turnbull's unique status and to support the National Library as an institution of primary significance in New Zealand's creative economy," Marian Hobbs said. "I am thrilled the government has endorsed proposals which are the result of intensive work by all those associated with the library community."

Marian Hobbs said the legislation would acknowledge the security and status of the Alexander Turnbull Library by:
- defining its purpose
- defining the functions and powers of the Chief Librarian
- confirming the Crown’s undertakings to preserve, protect, develop and make accessible the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library forever.

"While people want the synergy of the two institutions they also wish the Turnbull to be visible, not subsumed," Marian Hobbs said. "The legislation will do this
by making the complementary purposes of the Turnbull and the National Library clear.

"Proposals from LIANZA, the library and information association, for a National Information Strategy call for a co-ordinated and planned approach to create a knowledge society.

"The bill will redefine the purpose of the National Library to include working alongside organisations with related aims such as museums and archives as well as with other libraries in our communities.

"The bill will replace the existing Trustees of the National Library with two new groups. One body, to be called the Guardians of the Alexander Turnbull Library, will assume those functions of the Trustees that relate to the Alexander Turnbull Library. This will include providing advice to the Minister, and acting as an assurance to the people of New Zealand that the Turnbull Library collections will be held in perpetuity.
"The bill will also provide for a Ministerial advisory body on general library and information issues, including access to library and information services, and developments in the role of library and information services in New Zealand’s cultural and economic life.

"The new body will support cross-sectoral collaboration and efficiency in protecting, preserving and promoting access to information, including documentary heritage and mätauranga Mäori (Maori knowledge).

"The bill will include a number of other amendments, including providing a stronger Mäori dimension to the work of the National Library. In particular, the bill will affirm the status of the material held by the National Library and the Alexander Turnbull Library as taonga for all the people of New Zealand," Marian Hobbs concluded.

Ends

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