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I have fallen out of love with the National Library

Chris Pugsley, noted New Zealand military historian, wrote this beautiful essay in 2020 but it has not been published in full, until now. Chris has updated it and made some minor corrections, and given his permission for us to publish this here. Of course we all do love libraries, and a national library in particular. … Continue reading I have fallen out of love with the National Library

Lies, damned lies and public relations….

Lies, damned lies and public relations – or – how to spin throwing out 600,000+ National Library books “All governments lie” was the motto of renowned journalist I.F.Stone, who devoted a good part of his long career to catching the American government at it. He did so without the aid of the US Freedom of … Continue reading Lies, damned lies and public relations….

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?

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

The business case for keeping the nation’s books

Who made the business case for throwing out most of the National Library’s books? Nobody. There is no such good case, but Book Guardians Aotearoa has outlined the case for keeping them. Read on... Three years ago the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Tracey Martin, signed off on the National Librarian’s proposal to get rid … Continue reading The business case for keeping the nation’s books