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Library Act fulfils Labour promise

Library Act fulfils Labour promise

The successful passing of the National Library Bill by Parliament today should be celebrated by the whole community, according to the National Library Minister Marian Hobbs.

Speaking from The Hague where she is attending the Conference to review the Chemical Weapons Convention, Marian Hobbs said the new act ensures the future security and standing of the Alexander Turnbull Library and its collections and its relationship with the National Library.

"The library community has been eagerly awaiting the passage of this law," Marian Hobbs said.

"Labour came to power in 1999 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. As MP for Wellington Central and National Library Minister I am thrilled that the hard work of all those associated with the library community has seen this achieved in law."

The National Library Act provides for the Crown to continue to own the Turnbull collections in perpetuity supported by a new body, the Guardians Kaitiaki of the Alexander Turnbull Library. The Library and Information Advisory Commission is also established to advise the minister on the rapidly changing field of information and to provide a national and international overview.

"This will support a more outward looking National Library, empowered to work alongside other bodies with related aims," Marian Hobbs said.

The Act extends 'legal deposit' to cover electronic as well as print materials.

"There is general agreement around the world that libraries must take appropriate steps to ensure that a country's documentary heritage, which is increasingly presented and stored in electronic form, is collected, preserved and accessible to future generations," Marian Hobbs said. "The Library will be consulting with affected publishers on format and access terms and conditions."

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