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Bill shelves library charges

Darien Fenton
Labour List MP

30 August 2012

Bill shelves library charges

Keeping books, DVDs, music and internet use free of charge at public libraries is the aim of Labour MP Darien Fenton’s Member’s Bill drawn from the ballot today.

“Making sure our public libraries are as accessible as possible is a really important principle,” Darien Fenton said. “Libraries are an essential public service.

“At the moment local authorities are only obliged to ensure people can join their library free of charge. But over time we have seen a growth of user charges for best sellers, DVDs and multimedia resources.

“Libraries shouldn’t be used to raise council revenue,” Darien Fenton said.

“If we want an economy based on knowledge and innovation we need to break down barriers wherever we see them.

The Local Government (Public Libraries) Amendment Bill is in line with UNESCO Guidelines on Libraries and responds to calls from groups such as the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) to have such free public library services enshrined in law.

“The Bill would also require the National Librarian to monitor and report on the implementation to provide free library services and to make recommendations concerning those obligations.

“This Bill protects a vital public service. Libraries have been a cornerstone of our local communities for generations, and we must ensure that they continue to be for future generations,” Darien Fenton said.

ENDS

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