Is knitting the new reading?

Christine Dann is a knitter and a reader. She makes the case for keeping these very different activities separate. If anyone reading this can pinpoint the year(s) in which New Zealand public libraries flipped from meeting the general definition of library in the Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science - “Library -- from the … Continue reading Is knitting the new reading?

The lamentable history of National Library disposals, Part 1: 1862-1965

Bill Direen surveys the intertwined history of New Zealand's parliamentary and national libraries, in this first of a two-part history, that goes some way to explaining the current crises facing the National Library. Between the well-intentioned throwing of 750 valued reference books into the sea in 1862, and the 1960s, disposals were not boasted of, … Continue reading The lamentable history of National Library disposals, Part 1: 1862-1965

The disposal of New Zealand’s first library, in 1862

Most people know that parliament moved from Auckland to Wellington around 1865, so that South Island representatives would not have so far to travel. You might not know that because of that shift, New Zealand's first ever national library was literally thrown into the sea. In 1862 a temporary session of Parliament was to be … Continue reading The disposal of New Zealand’s first library, in 1862

Our National Library must collect all voices: Bill Direen reviews a collection of new Asian writing in Aotearoa

A CLEAR DAWN: NEW ASIAN VOICES FROM AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND Co-edited by Paula Morris and Alison Wong. FORMAT: Flexibind & Ebook. 352 pp. ISBN: 9781869409470. $49.99 A celebration of emerging New Zealand writers of Asian heritage has appeared, co-edited by Paula Morris and Alison Wong. The collection contains poetry, fiction and essays. Given New Zealand's … Continue reading Our National Library must collect all voices: Bill Direen reviews a collection of new Asian writing in Aotearoa

Great libraries make great writers

Every great writer is a reader from an early age. In this article Christine Dann examines the vital importance of easy access to good libraries for New Zealand’s first two internationally acclaimed authors, and wonders if New Zealand will produce any more now that both easy access and good libraries are under threat. If you … Continue reading Great libraries make great writers

The truth about what is happening to our National Library

The National Library website currently displays a page about the Overseas Published Collection which purports to explain about the disposal "project". Unfortunately it contains factual errors and misleading statements. Here we set out to dispel the myths and explain what is really happening behind the glossy words. They state that they plan to "rehome" some … Continue reading The truth about what is happening to our National Library

Who takes care of the (book) caretakers?

Which statutory body advises the Minister about the National Library? Are they forthcoming about their meetings and their discussions? Or are they merely a committee that rubber stamps the requests of the management of the National Library, the institution they are meant to oversee? Publicly available documents suggest that governance of the National Library is … Continue reading Who takes care of the (book) caretakers?

Labour minister presides over destruction of New Zealand labour history

As Book Guardians Aotearoa found out when it met with the Minister of Internal Affairs on March 24, it seems that this Labour Party minister intends to continue to carry out the policy signed off by her New Zealand First Party predecessor in the role – the ‘secure destruction’ of most of the books in … Continue reading Labour minister presides over destruction of New Zealand labour history