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National Library of New Zealand

From Academic Kids

The National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) is New Zealand's legal deposit library and a public service department, charged with the obligation to 'enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations' (National Library of New Zealand Act 2003). Under the Act, it is also expected to be:

  • 'collecting, preserving, and protecting documents, particularly those relating to New Zealand, and making them accessible for all the people of New Zealand, in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga; and
  • 'supplementing and furthering the work of other libraries in New Zealand; and
  • 'working collaboratively with other institutions having similar purposes, including those forming part of the international library community.'

It is said to be unique in that unlike many other national libraries, it has links to primary and secondary schools through an extensive Schools Programme with 15 service centres and 3 Curriculum Information Service branches around New Zealand. The Legal Deposit Office is also New Zealand's agency for ISBN and ISSN.

The library is headquartered adjacent to the New Zealand Parliament and opposite the Court of Appeal in Molesworth Street, Wellington.

Alexander Turnbull Library

The Alexander Turnbull Library forms part of the National Library, and is located at its Wellington branch. Named after Alexander Horsburgh Turnbull, whose 1918 bequest forms the original portion of the collection, it 'holds New Zealandís documentary research collections' (National Library of New Zealand Act 2003). It is charged under the Act to

  • 'Preserve, protect, develop, and make accessible for all the people of New Zealand the collections of that library in perpetuity and in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga; and
  • 'Develop the research collections and the services of the Alexander Turnbull Library, particularly in the fields of New Zealand and Pacific studies and rare books; and
  • 'Develop and maintain a comprehensive collection of documents relating to New Zealand and the people of New Zealand.'

Now at the National Library's present Wellington branch, its former site at Turnbull House in Bowen Street is now run by the Department of Conservation.

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