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Public Libraries Looking Ahead

Media release - Hon Judith Tizard, Minister Responsible for the National Library

Public Libraries Looking Ahead

1 May 2006

For the first time an agreed direction and future has been developed for New Zealand's public libraries in a strategy launched today by Judith Tizard - Minister Responsible for the National Library.

"I welcome the release of the strategic framework for public libraries this document will guide libraries and their funders over the next 10 years as they make decisions about the directions libraries are taking in this digital age," Judith said.

"Public libraries are invaluable to our democratic way of life they contribute to our economic, social and cultural life both locally and nationally."

"This work will prove to be seminal It has the potential to galvanise action at a national level as well as at the local level."

The vision of the Strategic Framework is 'Public Libraries engage, inspire and inform citizens and help build strong communities'.

"I am pleased that the strategy emphasises these four key areas:
- Accessing information, ideas and works of the imagination;
- Supporting independent lifelong learning and literacy
- Enabling online access to the digital world
- Building community participation and development.

"This Labour-led government is committed to New Zealand becoming a knowledge economy. Our focus in the next three years is on economic transformation, support for families to reach their potential, and national identity.

"Libraries contribute to all three areas, providing much needed information and recreational and learning opportunities for their communities.

"I also welcome this initiative as a truly outstanding example of collaboration between LIANZA, Local Government NZ and the National Library of NZ to providing the funding and people to make this happen.

"Its strength comes from the wide range of stakeholders who have contributed to it through an extensive consultation process."

Ends

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