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National Library reconsidering plans to send thousands of books overseas

News from National Library
Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa National Library is reconsidering its plans for the Overseas Published Collections in light of concerns raised by interested parties, including issues associated with copyright. The National Library will not export any of the Overseas Published Collections until it considers its next steps.

National Librarian Te Pouhuaki Rachel Esson says the National Library has listened to multiple views and worked hard to support New Zealanders’ ongoing access to books from the Overseas Published Collections.

“We are aiming to balance our duty to all New Zealanders with the concerns of our valued book sector colleagues and will continue to build relationships with them,” says Ms Esson.

Ms Esson also says: “It is part of the National Library’s mission to remove barriers to knowledge, ensure New Zealanders have the skills to create knowledge and preserve knowledge for future generations. We are taking some time to look at all available options that align with our collection plans, while preserving author and publisher interests.”

When the project first began mid-2018 it appeared likely that books remaining at the end of the process would face secure destruction. The National Library continues to work to avoid this outcome.

Books from the Overseas Published Collections that fit within the National Library’s collecting priorities, as set out in the 2015 Collections Policy and Collecting Plan, have been identified by skilled library staff and will be retained by the National Library. The Overseas Published Collections are from the National Library General Collections. No items from the Alexander Turnbull collections or New Zealand publications are part of this project. The Alexander Turnbull Library Collections, which continue to grow, are held as a separate collection in perpetuity.