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Library Week 03 project reduce libraries' costs

Library Week 2003--project to reduce libraries' costs

A National Library sponsored project could result in lower costs for the country’s libraries the Minister Responsible for the National Library, Marian Hobbs, said today.

The project is exploring the feasibility of a New Zealand-wide, multi-sector purchasing consortium for online resources, to reduce costs to individual libraries and broaden access to these products.

"The consortium represents an opportunity to provide access to e-resources that sectors, such as schools and smaller public libraries, would not otherwise have," Marian Hobbs said.

This week (August 11–17) is Library Week and the minister acknowledged the part that libraries play in the community.

Visits to public libraries are the second most popular cultural activity after buying books, according to a recent report, A Measure of Culture: cultural experiences and cultural spending in New Zealand, launched by Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

"Library services play a huge role in our communities," Marian Hobbs said. "The way we regard our libraries says a lot about us."

Marian Hobbs said the recent enactment of the National Library Act 2003, enabled the National Library to look strategically at its approach to the management of electronic material.

The National Library is working on a Digital Library Programme and already offers online products such as Papers Past, an online collection of more than 600,000 pages of 19th-century New Zealand newspapers, and Discover Te Kohinga Taonga, online New Zealand material to support the Visual Arts and Music disciplines of the Arts curriculum.

As part of Library Week Marian Hobbs will participate in a nationwide simultaneous reading of Patricia Grace's The Kuia and the Spider from the Karori Library at 10.30am on Tuesday August 12.

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