INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour to stand up for National Library

Published: Fri 18 Jun 1999 12:38 AM
Labour is promising a vigorous campaign to save the services provided by the National library.
MP Marian Hobbs said that the Government was throwing away an important part of the country's heritage with its disregard for the National Library, its resources, and its services.
A delegation from the library met with Marian Hobbs and Labour Leader Helen Clark this week and Ms Hobbs said Labour was convinced that the path the Government was taking was destructive and unnecessary.
"For example, in January this year the Government sold 32,000 books for $1 each - including 12350 biographies and 11,130 history titles.
"In other words, they made less than half of what they paid out to a incompetent Fire Service Commission Chairman and as a result New Zealanders are denied access to large volumes of historical information.
"Allegations that up to 80% of the general collection will be sold off have to be taken seriously. The National Government has no right to sell off collections amassed by previous governments for the benefit of generations of New Zealanders.
"Another negative spin-off is illustrated by the dozens of faxes and letters I have been receiving from choirs and music groups worried about the disposal of the collections of choral and orchestral scores that they have borrowed for performances. They are performances which are made possible by the National Library loan system. Without this scheme, musical performances by communities, for communities, are going to be too expensive.
"Labour believes strongly that the National Library has an important role to play in the preservation and promotion of our cultural heritage and identity.
"As we are currently fighting for the preservation of public radio, we will use our influence in Parliament to lobby and argue in favour of the retention of the National Library as we know it," Marian Hobbs said.

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