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Libraries more important than ever

Libraries more important than ever

The Library and Information Association of New Zealand (LIANZA) is urging Local and Central Governments to consider the value of public libraries as they make important decisions around their funding.

Heather Lamond, LIANZA President, said the association was delighted the see the Local Government (Public Libraries) Amendment Bill drawn from the Parliamentary Ballot on August 30.

“This is an opportunity to ensure that all New Zealand citizens have access to core public library services at no charge,” she said.

The bill, being led by Labour MP Darien Fenton, would keep books, DVDs, music and internet use free of charge in public libraries.

Ms Lamond said the importance of public libraries was being examined by many councils as they made plans for the future.

“The recently released Public Libraries Strategic Framework highlights the important role libraries can play in enabling all New Zealanders to participate in the digital environment and in connecting people with knowledge. Libraries should sit at the heart of their communities in this revolution.”

“While it is a challenging time for all public services in terms of funding, it is important to consider the value public libraries bring to the community in the widest sense – both in services and place.”

The Kiwis Count survey, carried out by the State Services Commission earlier this year, showed New Zealanders were visiting public libraries more often and rated their service higher than any other public service.

Further information:
Kiwis Count Survey
Public Library Strategic Framework
Local Government (Public Libraries) Amendment Bill

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