Should lunch be free on the Internet?

A ridiculous question, isn’t it? Digital lunches are not a thing, and never will be. Whatever farmers and growers and processors and cooks have created in the real world can only be eaten by consumers in the real world. Further, if you steal cherries from an orchard, or cans of beans from a supermarket, or … Continue reading Should lunch be free on the Internet?

NZ authors beware!

....the National Library is establishing a precedent for breaching your copyright. Book Guardians Executive Member and author Christine Dann is worried - very worried. On the back page of Scotty Morrison’s 2015 book Māori Made Easy (the nearest book to hand for checking purposes) it says “The right of Scotty Morrison to be identified as … Continue reading NZ authors beware!

Paper vs pixels. Why digitising the National Library’s books would be wrong in so many ways

“We are now in advanced discussions with an overseas digitisation partner” the National Librarian, Rachel Esson, told recipients of her June OPC [Overseas Published Collection] Update on 28 June 2021. She went on to say that it was her view that “...digitisation will safeguard New Zealanders’ access to the titles from the OPC now and … Continue reading Paper vs pixels. Why digitising the National Library’s books would be wrong in so many ways

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….

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?

A cultural and intellectual impoverishment

Dr Jonathan Lee, scholar of the Near East, writes about the National Library's book culling I am a British-born scholar and New Zealand citizen specializing in the social history of Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Indo-Iranian borderlands and in Islam and Muslim-Christian relations. My doctorate in Religious Studies is from the University of Leeds and … Continue reading A cultural and intellectual impoverishment