Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Free library services vital for new immigrants

LIANZA Press Release: 1 November 2012

Free library services vital for new immigrants

Public libraries are vital for helping immigrants find jobs and settle in New Zealand says the President of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) Heather Lamond.

LIANZA is running a Keep Public Libraries Free campaign to support the Local Government (Public Libraries) Amendment Bill, a member’s bill due to be read in Parliament in November.

If passed, the Bill would make public library services a statutory obligation for councils, and make core library services such as borrowing and internet access free.

Manager of Wellington’s Multicultural Learning and Support Services, Mary Collie-Holmes, said many new immigrants could not afford to pay even modest charges for internet use.

She said services offered through libraries helped immigrants find work and settle into their local community.

"Borrowing English language books aids in learning the language, whilst free internet provides access to newspapers and other resources in their own language that can help overcome feelings of social isolation."

Ada Nally, Multicultural Community Librarian at Wellington City Libraries,said a new immigrant from Eritrea thanked her recently for her help getting him work.

"He had been visiting Newtown library every week to get help reading the road code and practise speaking English with librarians. He proudly told us this week that he had gained his taxi licence," she said.

Ms Lamond said local and central government provided information and many forms online.

"From looking up council services, applying for housing, filling out citizenship forms to completing a census - free internet access in libraries ensures everyone in our communities can fully participate in society."

Debbie Duncan, Manager of Upper Hutt City Library, said the number of people using library internet access for job applications had increased because many jobs were now only advertised online.

"Those library members that used to come and read job advertisements in the newspaper now have to use the internet to check out vacancies. Even the lower-paid jobs in chain stores and food outlets now require online applications, however the people we see applying for these roles lack the necessary computer skills and require significant staff time to assist them with their applications."

Ms Lamond said whilst many public libraries were able to provide free internet access through the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa (APNK), a number still had to charge for internet use.

"If this bill was passed it would bring us into line with other countries such as the UK, Canada and Australia, who have laws protecting free library services. This is our chance to give all New Zealanders the opportunity to further themselves and participate in our democracy."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Court Sends Back TPP Decision: 'Blanket Approach' In Turning Down OIA Not Lawful

"When the minister refused Professor Kelsey’s request, neither he nor his officials assessed each piece of information requested against the criteria in the act for withholding official information," Justice Collins said in his judgment. More>>


CTU Conference: Helen Kelly On Standing Down

So now I have left you a big list of jobs to do when I go, I do want to talk about leaving for a little bit. I am going to miss this job. It is, believe it or not – fun and interesting ... More>>


Members' Bills: Seymour Lodges Assisted Dying Bill

“The End of Life Choice Bill is a response to the anguish faced by a small but significant minority of people with terminal illness or who are grievously and irremediably ill, as they anticipate the prospect of intolerable suffering and the indignity of the final few days and weeks of their lives,” said Mr Seymour. More>>


Activism: SHAN Protest Against State Housing Sales

The State Housing Action Network (SHAN) led a protest in Wellington against the sale of state housing by the Government. At midday thirty to forty protestors marched from Civic Square to Parliament accompanied by the sounds of the Brass Razoo Solidarity Band. More>>

1080 Threat: Police Arrest 60 Year Old Auckland Man

New Zealand Police have arrested a 60-year-old Auckland businessman in relation to the criminal blackmail threat to poison infant formula with 1080, made public in March this year. More>>


Canterbury Transition Bill First Reading: Government Hiding From ECan Submissions

The Government has radically reduced the amount of time for public submissions on their controversial ECan bill, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods... “Their shortened timeline could mean that instead of the usual six weeks, Cantabrians get just one week to submit their views on the bill." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our Apparent Inability To Stand Up To Australia

Alas, and only days before the first meeting between our Prime Minister John Key and the new Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull, this country is showing no sign of standing up for itself. Quite the reverse. We seem to be rolling over, and making gestures of appeasement. More>>


Health Not-So-Many Benefits: Auditor-General On Scrapped Cost-Saving Plan

The Auditor-General decided to look into the costs and benefits of HBL’s work in the health sector and, where possible, identify lessons... We found that several factors contributed to the difficulties that befell HBL and, in particular, the Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain (FPSC) programme. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news