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Labour lends voice to teachers’ call to can library plan

Labour is calling on the Government to reverse a decision to cut teacher and student access to specialist non-fiction National Library books amid fears it will have a detrimental effect on learning, especially for smaller schools and those that do not have full access to online resources.

The Government is getting rid of the current print lending service and replacing it with a new ‘reading engagement service’, meaning teachers will no longer be able to order books for specialist topic studies.

“Tens of thousands of requests are made by teachers for almost a million items from the National Library each year; this is hardly a service with dwindling demand,” Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

In a letter to Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne she says schools don’t have the money to keep their own large collections and the move will have an enormous impact on them.

“They rely on the National Library to provide the service to support their classroom programmes. It is vital, especially to small schools and those who may have limited or patchy access to electronic resources.

“Consultation has been really poor, but it’s not too late for the Minister to listen to schools and put a stop to this change. We would be the first to congratulate him if he did,” Jacinda Ardern says.