A Bold Future for Public Libraries

Public Libraries of New Zealand – A Strategic Framework 2012 – 2017” charts the future of public libraries in New Zealand.  It is designed to help libraries, and their local councils to extend their services through new technology, and improve their efficiency through partnerships and alliances.

It addresses the challenges that public libraries face in meeting  the changing needs of their communities. There has been a significant shift in how people access information and interact in a digital environment. Public Libraries are responding to these changes by using technologies to deliver their purpose in new ways. This means access anywhere, anytime, via smart phone or computer, having E-books to download for free, helping local groups to record and store local history digitally so that it can be both preserved and shared, and giving people access to unique New Zealand treasures stored in other places.

Development of the framework involved input from a broad range of stakeholders and was supported by Local Government New Zealand,  which recognises the vital council service provided by libraries.

“Libraries are not just about bricks and mortar or even smart technology. They are places where people from all walks of life gather to read, browse, watch, examine, research, share ideas, teach, learn engage and debate. This document can inspire those who read it to continue to encourage these activities, and to deliver library services in exciting new ways, so that they are fit for purpose now and into the future,” says Lawrence Yule, President of Local Government New Zealand.

A number of national strategic priorities are outlined in the framework.  “This document has the potential to lead to some significant new developments, as we seek best value from our public libraries” says Ian Littleworth Chair, of the Association of Public Libraries Managers.

Download a PDF version of the framework and its summary, or order printed copies by clicking here. 

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New Zealand has over 300 public libraries and many local councils also provide mobile library services, and even one book bike, bringing a range of library services to people close to their homes.
For an interactive map featuring all New Zealand public libraries, click here. Alternatively, you can access a list by local Council here.