Keep Public Libraries Free
Did you know that there is no legislation in Aotearoa New Zealand to prevent councils from making public libraries charge patrons for the basic services such as book, music and DVD loans, and internet use?
In 2011 and 2012, LIANZA ran a Keep Public Libraries Free campaign in support of a Member’s bill, the Local Government (Public Libraries) Amendment Bill, led through Parliament by Labour MP Darien Fenton
The bill would have ensured New Zealand met UNESCO guidelines by making essential library services such as borrowing and internet use free of charge. On November 7 2012, the bill was surprisingly voted down 61 to 60.
Heather Lamond, who was the LIANZA President at the time of the vote, said that although LIANZA was disappointed with the result, the association was heartened by the public support across Aotearoa New Zealand for the Keep Public Libraries Free campaign. The campaign made it clear that most New Zealanders believe in the importance of local libraries and the free services they provide.