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Librarians Oppose Ban On Parallel Importing

News Release 22 July 2009

Librarians Oppose Re-Introduction Of A Ban On Parallel Importing In New Zealand

The Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) strongly opposes the re-introduction of a ban on parallel importing which would be a disaster for New Zealand libraries.

“The re-introduction of a ban on parallel importing would have an appalling effect on New Zealand libraries, severely limiting their ability to provide a range of recorded knowledge as cheaply and as quickly as possible to their users, thereby seriously impeding education, research and scholarly endeavours in New Zealand” the President of LIANZA, Barbara Garriock, said today.

Libraries currently import a substantial number of books directly from publishers and suppliers overseas, including technical and specialised titles, journals and audio-visual materials.

Forcing libraries to import these materials through local distributors and bookshops would greatly increase prices, and in turn heavily reduce the number of works libraries are able to add to their collections.

“The ban on parallel importing would severely hinder the speed at which materials are acquired and the specialised and technical nature of many library resources means that these are not currently, and never will be, held in New Zealand by the agents of overseas publishers” Ms Garriock noted.

The ban would also prevent libraries from taking advantage of the value-added services provided by specialist library suppliers, such as provision of shelf-ready processing of library materials.

“New Zealand libraries are a long way from sources of supply and it is essential that they be able to obtain books, journals and other materials directly from overseas, to ensure that materials are available to the New Zealand public at a cost which maximises use of the tax and ratepayer dollar” Ms Garriock said.

ENDS

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