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Title: Report of the National Library Service for the Year Ended 31 March 1958

Author: G. T. Alley and National Library Service (New Zealand)

Release Date: November 13, 2006 [EBook #19780]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Jonathan Ah Kit, Mark C. Orton, Ralph Janke,
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Coat of Arms of New Zealand






31 MARCH 1958

Presented to the House of Representatives by Leave

by authority:

r. e. owen, government printer, wellington, new zealand—1958


Letter of Transmission 3
Scientific, Technical, and Commercial Library Service 3
Regional and District Library Service 4
National Library Proposal 5
Book Stock 5
Request Service 5
Expenditure 5
Country Library Service 6
Free Public Libraries 6
Book Van 7
Minimum Standards for Public Libraries Participating in the Country Library Service 8
Independent Subscription Libraries 9
Hamper Service 9
Lighthouse Service 9
Free Service to Ministry of Works, State Hydro-electric, and New Zealand Forest Service Camps and Stations 9
Hospital and Institutional Library Service 9
Loan Collections 10
Periodicals Service 10
School Library Service 10
Loans to Smaller Public Libraries 11
Information and Request Service 11
Book List 11
Assistance to Islands Schools 13
Library School 14
National Library Centre 14
Inter-library Loan 15
Central Bureau for Library Book Imports 15
Libraries of Government Departments 16
Book Resources Committee of the NZLA 16
Union Catalogue 16
Bibliographical Section 16

The Hon. the Minister of Education.

Wellington, 16 July 1958.


I have the honour to submit the following report of the activities of the National Library Service. The report covers the work of the Service as a whole and its four divisions—Country Library Service, School Library Service, Library School, and National Library Centre.

The functions of the Service may be summed up as the provision of such assistance to any New Zealand library maintained directly or indirectly from public funds as circumstances and policy permit. More specifically, help is given by a lending service to rural, borough, and county libraries, by the provision of books for school libraries, by advancing professional training through the Library School, and by maintenance of records of all library holdings of books and periodicals, as well as other facilities and stock to aid the cooperative use of this material.

The National Library Service was formed in 1945 from the Country Library Service by Cabinet decision with the strong support of the New Zealand Library Association. During the war the Country Library Service had been given responsibility for several tasks of national scope, such as the War Library Service, the Central Bureau for Library Book Imports, the formation of a Union Catalogue, and the operation of part of the inter-library loan scheme.

The Country Library Service, which began in 1938, has maintained its van services to rural areas and has been brought into closer contact with its districts by decentralisation to three district offices—Christchurch in 1944, Palmerston North in 1948, and Hamilton in 1953.

The number of free libraries regularly receiving service has grown to 112. Special assistance in a number of cases has been given to libraries serving a population of up to 50,000 operating a free and rental service. The assistance given to the Gisborne and Wanganui Public Libraries has continued. New Plymouth Public Library which changed to free service in November 1957, and Palmerston North Public Library, which is expanding its service, have also received assistance. The fundamental principle of encouraging full local responsibility for adequate rate-supported libraries has continued.

The School Library Service has continued to bring a wide range and variety of books to school children, the rate of issue now exceeding one million copies annually. Distribution is effected through 15 centres.

During the year this Service received three valuable sets of books chosen to represent all phases of American life and thought. The Carnegie Corporation of New York made these sets available to some 26 libraries in New Zealand.

Scientific, Technical, and Commercial Library Service—A recommendation has been made by the New Zealand Library Association that impetus be given to scientific and technical library service, chiefly through public libraries. At a time when increasing reliance is being placed on the efficiency of our secondary industry the necessity of providing the fullest technical information to aid manufacturers will be apparent. Authority was obtained 12 years ago to establish such a service but it was not then possible to obtain qualified persons to begin it. It is hoped that conditions will permit a senior appointment during the present financial year to inaugurate the service.

Regional and District Library Service—Study has continued on the problems of ensuring an efficient and soundly based library service for New Zealand's whole population. The problems facing a local authority overseas with a population of 2,000,000 within a radius of a few miles are minor ones compared with those facing New Zealand library authorities, where the secondary cities are small, where the pattern of local government is uneven, and where the population as a whole has a high standard of education and is avid for books. Costs in New Zealand, per head of population, are bound to be relatively high; vigilance is necessary to ensure that they are no higher than they need be.

It has been apparent that cooperation between local authorities will be the major factor in making economies on a national scale. A note of the work of the Working Party on Library Cooperation of 27-28 August 1956 appeared in last year's annual report, and it was recorded that the Minister of Education, at the request of the New Zealand Library Association, had authorised payment of travelling expenses for its Committee on Regional Planning to enable its work to be carried out.

The committee worked during the year and met in Wellington for two full-day sessions on 6 and 7 June 1957 for consideration of the "establishment of regional and district library services as the best method of providing a more effective library service for the whole country". Its report was made to the New Zealand Library Association. After consideration by the executive of the Local Authorities Section, some amendments were made and the report published by the Association as Co-operation: A New Phase. Fifteen hundred copies were printed and were circulated to all local authorities for discussion.

The report states:

"1. The main problems facing public libraries are:

(i) The unfair distribution over the whole community of the costs of library service.

(ii) The continuing growth of the cost of municipal government to the point where it has become an embarrassment to the cities and boroughs concerned.

(iii) The failure of some local authorities to provide for library services."

"8. The basic factor in improving library services will be cooperation among local authorities. Such cooperation should be the condition of increased Government assistance."

"10. Government assistance to such federations should take the form of cash subsidies on all expenditure approved for subsidy by the federation, and by the Minister (or National Library Board)."

This report formed the main topic of discussion at the New Zealand Library Association conference in Invercargill in February 1958. The Association approached the Government for favourable consideration of the proposals contained in the report on 11 April 1958.

In the meantime the work of the Royal Commission on Local Government Finance is being followed carefully, as its findings will have considerable bearing on the problem of library finance.

An effort is also being made to foster among local authorities the willingness to cooperate, but progress in this field is slow.

National Library Proposal—The report of the Working Party of the Public Service Commission on the National Library proposal was earlier considered by the Government, which had approved it in principle. The House of Representatives last year approved the terms of reference of a Select Committee to be appointed to make recommendations for "ways and means of carrying out the decision of the Government to establish a National Library" and to consider various other associated matters. The decision to appoint such a Committee was reaffirmed in February 1958, the Committee was named shortly afterwards and has since met on several occasions. Independently of any solution of the accommodation problems of the Service which such a move might bring, the proposal merits the most careful consideration.

Book Stock—During the year, 19,283 fiction and 35,573 non-fiction were added to stock, a total of 54,856. Of these, 10,442 separate titles of non-fiction and 205 fiction titles were added to the headquarters collection, which now contains approximately 135,000 titles together with 11,000 volumes of periodicals; 15,305 volumes were withdrawn—12,134 fiction and 3,171 non-fiction—making the net additions 39,551. The total of headquarters and Country Library Service stock now amounts to 652,308, comprising 176,600 fiction and 475,708 non-fiction. As at 31 March 1958 the stock of the School Library Service was 1,091,189 the grand total of stock in the Service as a whole being 1,743,497.

Request Service—All libraries and groups receiving library service from the Country Library Service and all Government Departments may ask for special short-term loans of books of an informational type from the headquarters stock of this Service and, in addition, the headquarters stock is used extensively to satisfy inter-library loan requests. (See also the report of the Librarian, National Library Centre.)

Books Requested and Supplied

Year Ended 31 MarchIncrease
Per Cent
To Country Library Service libraries55,78261,87010.9
To Government Department libraries6,4236,9988.9
To interloan libraries8,0518,8019.3
Total issues70,25677,66910.6

During the year, 26,047 requests (an increase of 9.2 per cent) were referred to Wellington. Of the total issues, 4,975 were books belonging to other libraries throughout New Zealand, whose willing cooperation is gratefully acknowledged.

Expenditure—Expenditure under Subdivision XII, vote "Education", for the year was £264,956. This figure includes £94,544 for the purchase of books, of which £45,357 was for books and periodicals on behalf of Government Departments. The expenditure on behalf of Departments represents 12,146 books and standing orders for approximately 11,000 serial publications.

Expenditure under Subdivision III for the purchase of books by the School Library Service was £50,580.

G. T. Alley, Director.


On 31 March 1958, 989 towns and small centres were receiving regular loans of books, an increase of 32 centres over the previous year. In addition, 54 Ministry of Works, State Hydro-electric, and New Zealand Forest Service camps and stations were given library service. Books are also on loan to six places in the Chatham Islands, and to Niue, Rarotonga, and Pitcairn Island. Free loans of books on a population basis are given to mental hospitals and prisons situated both in country and urban districts.

Books, periodicals, and information are available to country people in the following ways:

Free loans of books on a population basis to libraries controlled by the local authorities, which in turn agree to make their libraries free and to maintain reasonable standards of library service.
Loans of books to independent subscription public libraries at a small annual charge per fifty books loaned.
Loans of books through hamper collections to isolated groups of readers at a small annual charge.
Free loans of books to lighthouse keepers and similar very remote readers.
Free loans of books on a population basis to Ministry of Works, State Hydro-electric, and New Zealand Forest Service camps.

All libraries served under (a) and (b) and the majority under (c) receive regular visits from one of the especially equipped book vans of this Service; at least three visits being paid to each library during a normal year. In addition, all persons, by whichever of the above means they receive library service, may obtain loans of requested books by post.


On 31 March 1958 there were participating in the service 107 libraries controlled by the following local authorities:

Administrative counties 5
Borough councils 94
Independent town districts 6
Dependent town districts 2

In addition, the following counties contribute to the funds of a public library supplying a free service to county residents:

County Public Library
Eltham Eltham
Patea Waverley
Wairoa Wairoa
Golden Bay Takaka
Lake Queenstown

These libraries served an estimated local population of 437,000, with a considerable number in surrounding areas. Besides the many requested books and periodicals 91,954 books are on regular loan to them.

By arrangement with the Waitemata, Patangata, Egmont, and Rangitikei County Councils the public libraries at Titirangi, Otane, Opunake, and Bulls respectively receive a free service.

Library buildings continue to improve. During the year new libraries were opened in Geraldine, Greymouth, New Lynn, and Morrinsville, and new buildings are planned in several other centres. This Service continues to assist in making available material on good overseas practice and New Zealand achievement. Assistance is also given in the design of the interiors of libraries and in specifications for equipment.

The best results are achieved when a local authority and the librarian prepare a written building programme, specifying the functions of the library, the various areas to be provided, the relationship between each, the number of books, readers, and librarians to be accommodated, and the equipment to be housed for efficient service. Such a document gives a clear directive to the architect, but at the same time allows him complete freedom of expression in designing the building.

The shortage of trained librarians continues. Three students from the 1957 Library School professional course accepted positions in public libraries serving centres of under 20,000 population, but they were all replacements for qualified librarians who had taken library work in other fields, so there was no net gain. There was at least one public library in a small town unable to fill its vacancy for a qualified librarian.

The short course for librarians from smaller centres, held at the Library School from 12 to 30 August 1957, was of great value to the participating librarians. The demand for training is very great and, with such eagerness to learn, the training given is immediately effective.

Cooperation between libraries participating in the Country Library Service has been developing slowly. A little more interest has been shown in the cooperative book-buying scheme fostered by this Service. There are now 22 libraries taking part. Libraries working together in this way for the first time this year are Blenheim, Cambridge, Kaikoura, Morrinsville, Picton, Putaruru, and Te Kuiti.

Assistance in staffing was given to the public libraries at Morrinsville and Picton for reorganisation and extension of local services. Field librarians continue to advise and assist on their regular visits.

A collection of 300 books was lent to the New Zealand IGY party at Scott Base, Ross Dependency, as had been done in the case of the New Zealand Antarctic Expedition a year earlier.

During the year ministerial approval was given for provision of a full-time librarian and complete service to be granted to the library at the new Benmore camp, subject to the Ministry of Works providing a satisfactory building.

Book Van—During the year one of three book vans operating in the South Island was replaced. Using experience gained in recent replacements in the North Island the new van is constructed of aluminium alloy on a four-ton, long-wheel-base chassis. Particular care was taken in providing good sealing against dust and water, adequate natural lighting, and the best possible insulation.

Excellent insulation is achieved by a thick layer of expanded polystyrene on all sides, roof, and floor. Very efficient lighting without excessive heat problems has been provided by the installation of two large roof lights of double glazed, toughened, anti-sun polished plate, the upper light being held an inch above the roof line with a free flow of air between the panes. This form of construction has contributed to the good handling qualities of the van. Approximately 2,000 books are carried.

Minimum Standards for Public Libraries Participating in the Country Library Service—Overseas, most national and State organisations consider it their responsibility to publish statements of standard library practice, and codes for its evaluation. The most important statement is Public Library Service: A Guide to Evaluation, with Minimum Standards, which was approved by the Council of the American Library Association and published by the Association in Chicago in 1956.

In 1952 the New Zealand Library Association Standards Research Committee prepared its "Basic Standards for New Zealand Libraries, 1952", which was published in New Zealand Libraries 15:121-131; 145-150, Jl-Ag, S '52. This was based on the survey attempted by the visiting American librarian, Miss Miriam Tompkins, in 1950, but was not a formal pronouncement of the Association.

For the Country Library Service the problem has been present since 1938. Assistance to local authorities has been given on three conditions, approved by the Minister of Education at the inception of the Service. The third of these conditions is that the "local authority should maintain the library at a reasonable standard of service".

Country Library Service assistance to libraries has always been planned as service to assist local effort, not to supplant it. Where the local service does not reach a certain standard a certain proportion of the Country Library Service assistance loses its force. No matter how much the assistance is increased the local people cannot benefit fully from it unless the local authority houses it in a fair building, grafts it on to a reasonable local book collection, and has the whole serviced by an active and informed librarian. Continuity of good service is assured only when the basic objectives of library service are enunciated and clearly understood by the local authority.

Local authorities have not abused the flexible interpretation given to the "reasonable standard of service" condition, but have appreciated the fact that the Country Library Service always took into consideration any local difficulties that existed. Libraries generously supported by their local authorities without exception have made full use of all the services the Government has offered, and the local people have benefited from a first-class library service in its fullest cultural and educational sense.

Local provision has naturally varied, but since 1950 the pattern of local achievement has become more apparent, and the possibility was seen of drawing up some code for evaluation. Local authorities participating in this service were consulted and agreed to provide statistical notes on their own work. These data formed the basis of a draft statement which set out standards under headings of functions, service, staff, books, and buildings, and which was sent to local authorities for comment. It was gratifying to receive replies from so many, saying that they would consider such a statement quite fair and reasonable. Accordingly, the "Minimum Standards for Public Libraries Participating in the Country Library Service" was approved by the Minister of Education on 22 April 1958 and issued formally.

The document emphasises that it gives standards for minimum provision, and that local authorities aiming to give good service will not be satisfied until they are exceeded. That they are exceeded in several centres is a matter for congratulation, and the local authorities concerned have reason to be proud of their libraries, and are in every case anxious to maintain their good record.


During the year, 832 of these libraries were linked with this Service, compared with 801 for the previous year. Of these libraries, 253 are served from Hamilton, 191 from Palmerston North, and 388 from Christchurch.

Altogether 75,997 books were on loan to the 832 libraries, an average of over 91 books per library. Over the past 10 years the average for each library has increased from 79 books, or 15 per cent, thus demonstrating the increasing interest that country readers are taking in the type of books supplied by this Service. The figures shown as basic issues do not include the thousands of books loaned to these libraries on short term through the "request service".


In places where no library exists and where it is not possible for one to be formed and visited by a book van, a service to properly established groups by means of hampers is provided. During the year 45 of these groups received service, there being 3,325 books on regular loan to them. The hamper service is also extended to six places in the Chatham Islands and to Pitcairn Island.


The postal service has been continued to lighthouse keepers, fire lookouts in State Forests, and a few very remote readers in coastal islands. During the year a total of 1,851 books was issued, mostly by a hamper service.


During the year 54 camps or stations received visits from the book van, in addition to one receiving hamper service from the Christchurch office. Altogether 7,691 books are on loan to such places.


Visits have continued from the book vans to 12 general hospitals with an exchange of 1,405 books. Twelve mental hospitals received 3,910 books and 13 prisons 3,125 books. During the year assistance has been given to the Department of Justice in book and periodical selection.

Difficulties occur from time to time in connection with the service to prisons and mental hospitals. They arise from the lack of supervision of these libraries by trained library staff. Officers engaged in other duties are not in a position to organise the full service which would be of such benefit to patients and prisoners.

From the special TB collection 1,620 books were exchanged at four-monthly intervals for 15 sanatoria and tuberculosis wards of public hospitals. Three hundred and thirteen books were sent on request (250 non-fiction and 63 fiction). Sixty-four requests could not be fulfilled as the required books were not available through the stock or through purchase, and the resources of other collections are not used for these borrowers.


Collections of books, pamphlets, and periodicals to illustrate particular subjects are available for short periods not only to affiliated libraries but also to university and the larger public libraries.


 Year ended 31 March
Number of collections sent628640
Number of books included26,66726,645


A total of 1,127 titles is now taken by the Wellington office, of which 821 copies are circulated regularly to Government Department libraries. Four hundred and eighty copies are sent direct from the publishers to the Country Library Service offices in Hamilton, Palmerston North, and Christchurch, and are sent out regularly to 93 affiliated libraries. In addition, the periodicals held in Wellington are available on short-term loan to public and other libraries which are interested in them.


In 1941 the Minister of Education approved the establishment of a New Zealand School Library Service, the purchasing of books to be financed from the augmented item "School and Class Libraries" in the vote "Education", the administration being undertaken by the Country Library Service, as it then was. This new service was to provide not school text books, but a wide and varied choice of books of high imaginative quality or technical excellence, suitable for children at all levels of ability and stages of development. The smaller and more remote country schools were to be given priority. Books were to be freely available for reading at home.

The provision of supplies of books which circulate among schools goes some way towards setting free the money for library books, available to schools by way of annual capitation grant and from local contribution, which is eligible for subsidy. These funds may then be used to build at each school (a) a collection of such basic reference books as are needed always at hand; (b) reading material for the preparatory classes; (c) books of purely local interest; (d) other books which it is desired to have permanently.

By cooperation between the Education Board and the Dunedin City Council considerable progress had been made in service to schools in Otago since 1938. Vigorous exploitation of a book stock selected in terms of children's interests followed the most enlightened overseas practice, linking skilfully the activities of home, school, and public library, as well as introducing to this country books not previously known here.

Beginning in Canterbury in March 1942 by incorporating the Travelling Library for Rural Schools, the School Library Service has developed until, today, exchanges of books are sent to 2,490 schools with a total roll (excluding primers) of 298,317. These figures do not include those for post-primary schools, which make use of the information and request service only.

Services available to schools and to the smaller public libraries can be broadly defined as general exchanges of books, information and request service, provision of book lists, and advice on library planning.

General exchanges of books, changed regularly, are sent to all primary, intermediate, and district high schools and the primary departments of registered private schools which join the service, for the use of pupils in Standard 1 and upwards. These books are intended mainly for recreational reading, both at home and at school. The number sent in each exchange is based on the school roll, exclusive of primer classes, on a scale of not fewer than one per child, while for small schools it is usually possible to increase this to two or three books per child. Exchanges are made at least once a year, with further exchanges during the year for smaller schools to the extent that books and staff make possible. Where satisfactory arrangements for storage and adequate use can be made, exchanges of suitable books are also sent to the smaller public libraries which provide free service in their children's and young adults' sections. The number of books sent is based on the population of the area controlled by the local authority. Post-primary schools depending, as they do, mainly on their own libraries, do not receive exchanges of books but participate with the other schools in the information and request and other services available. The post-primary departments of district high schools are eligible for all services, including exchanges.

The information and request service, available to all schools which have joined the service, supplies to both children and teachers, on short-term loan, books and other material to meet individual needs not satisfied by the general exchanges. The particular aim is to meet requests for children's books and books for school purposes. Schools have been urged to make the fullest use of this service which helps to ensure that the right book reaches the child who needs it, for classroom activity or any other worth-while purpose. Material for the personal or study needs of teachers cannot usually be supplied by the School Library Service; such requests can, however, be handed to the nearest public library or "B" library group linked with the Country Library Service. When schools are establishing new libraries extra help by way of special collections or indefinite loans is given. All public libraries and groups receiving library service from the Country Library Service may use the information and request service. During the year 328,482 books were sent out in response to requests.

The preparation of book lists, which have proved of value to schools and public libraries has been continued this year. The supplements to Junior Fiction and Non-Fiction for Primary Schools are annotated lists of the better, recently published children's books, other than those appearing in countries with which there are currency difficulties; these supplements are distributed twice a year to schools and public libraries which ask to be placed on a mailing list. "For the Post-primary Library", a series of annotated lists of current titles, has been appearing regularly in the Education Gazette since 16 July 1951. Public libraries and larger post-primary schools will find further suggestions in the cyclostyled series "Books for Young Adults" which appears at intervals; it includes books for recreational reading and gives special consideration to suitable adult titles. Other lists are prepared for publication as the need arises. A bibliography of material published by the Service from its inception in 1942 appeared in the annual report for the year ended 31 March 1956. Since that date the following items have been added:

Books for young adults: List 5, October 1956; List 6, June 1957; List 7, November 1957.

Books for young people, 1957.

Interim list of subject headings for New Zealand school libraries, o.p.

Junior fiction.

Supplements: April 1956 to September 1956; October 1956 to March 1957; April 1957 to September 1957.

Non-fiction for primary schools. (Supplements have title, Junior Non-fiction.)

Supplements: April 1956 to September 1956; October 1956 to March 1957; April 1957 to September 1957.

Quick-reference books for high-school libraries, 1956.

Sets of books for French classes, August 1956.

In addition to this published material, buying and reading lists are constantly being prepared to meet the special needs of individual schools, public libraries, and groups concerned with the reading of children and adolescents.

Assistance is given to schools planning new libraries or reorganising existing libraries. The visiting of schools to give help where needed and to discuss the use of books is still limited by staff shortages.

Except for small parcels which are sent by post, books are distributed in hampers or cartons by rail or road transport from 15 centres—North Island: Whangarei and Hastings public libraries; offices of the Country Library Service in Hamilton and Palmerston North and of the School Library Service in Auckland, Napier, New Plymouth, Wanganui, and Wellington. South Island: Greymouth, Timaru, Dunedin, and Invercargill public libraries; the office of the Country Library Service in Christchurch and of the School Library Service in Nelson. Schools are usually served by the nearest School Library Service office.

The headquarters office at Wellington is responsible for the coordination of the service, for the selection, ordering, classifying, and cataloguing of new books and their dispatch to district offices, the maintenance of a comprehensive collection of children's and young people's books used to meet requests which cannot be supplied from local offices, and the distribution of books to schools and public libraries in or near Wellington city and the Hutt Valley. To enable children at smaller country schools to see and to choose for themselves from a wide range of books, the possibilities of service by book van are being considered.

Since its establishment schools joining the service have paid a subscription at the rate of 1s. per pupil (Standard 1 and upwards) for each of the first two years. Ministerial authority was given during the year to discontinue this levy.

Schools borrowing books are asked to accept responsibility for (a) safe-keeping of books while on loan to the school, including books issued to members of staff for school use; (b) return of books when due; (c) payment for books lost or damaged beyond fair wear and tear; (d) payment of freight and postal charges from school to School Library Service office.

Books are made available to special institutions controlled by the Education Department. Primary pupils of the Correspondence School are provided with individual postal service from district offices. Child welfare institutions, training centres, health camps, and other special groups are given service according to their needs. Teachers' training colleges, young people's groups, kindergartens, and nursery play centre supervisors are also helped. Visits to School Library Service offices by teachers in training are arranged wherever possible.

Assistance to several Pacific Island schools has been continued from the Auckland office by means of extended loans. Under this system the schools receive an original bulk loan which they check annually, reporting losses and returning damaged and worn books for replacement, wherever possible, by new titles, so that loans will not degenerate into collections of old books. The schools concerned were listed in last year's annual report. The desirability of extension of this service is constantly in review.

During the year members of the staff acted as librarians at the usual teachers' refresher courses. Appropriate collections of books always create considerable interest. Discussions at these courses have been helpful in the selection of books and have brought about an increased awareness of the uses of books in a wide range of schools.

Below are tables showing details of the School Library Service as at 31 March 1958. The figures for the number of "schools" and "pupils" include those for primary schools and post-primary departments of district high schools but do not include those for other post-primary schools as these do not receive general exchanges of books. (Figures in parentheses are for the previous year.)

(Standard 1
and upwards)
Education Board schools2,004(1,973)252,469(241,148)
Departmental schools and institutions211(216)13,996(14,270)
Private schools275(260)31,852(28,175)


 Year Ended 31 March
Books Supplied19581957
In exchanges to— 
All schools, Standard 1 to Form II676,637648,816
District high schools, Form III to Form VI34,45232,439
Public libraries, children's departments34,63930,926
Public libraries, young people's sections22,72422,307

Total for exchanges768,452734,488

On request and in loan collections, including indefinite loans— 


Book Stock—Additions to stock were 70,228 fiction and 48,789 non-fiction. Withdrawals were 47,645 fiction and 11,834 non-fiction. The stock now stands at 1,091,189, of which 656,911 are fiction and 434,278 are non-fiction. One thousand four hundred and sixty-nine new titles were added during the year.



At the end of November nine diplomas and five certificates were awarded to 14 students who completed the course. For health reasons one student accepted under the Colombo Plan returned to his own country at the end of the first term. Of the successful students two returned to the libraries in which they had been employed before attending the school, three were appointed librarians of smaller public libraries, four joined the staffs of city public libraries, two are now members of the School Library Service staff, and one the librarian of the Central Military District. The two holders of UNESCO Fellowships are consolidating their training by carrying out practical work in the Delhi Public Library for three months.


This course began on 4 March with 17 New Zealand students and the three Indonesian students who have been working in libraries in New Zealand since February 1957.

Four students have a master's and nine a bachelor's degree in arts, one a bachelor's degree in music, and two are holders of the New Zealand Library Association's Certificate.


Part II of this course was held at the Library School from 14 January to 15 February. Twenty-two students attended and all were recommended for the award of the Association's certificate.


A short course for librarians and library assistants mainly from smaller public libraries was held from 12 to 31 August. There were 21 students from the following public libraries: Birkenhead, Blenheim, Dargaville, Devonport, Hawera, Howick, Huntly, Inglewood, Kaiapoi, Kaikohe, Kaitaia, Martinborough, Mataura, Nelson Institute, Otaki, Palmerston, Rangiora, Taumarunui, Upper Hutt, Waiuku, Warkworth, and a field librarian from the Country Library Service, Hamilton.

In addition to lectures and practical exercises, several hours were set aside for the informal discussion of problems and special questions raised by the students. Senior members of National Library Service headquarters joined the staff of the school in these discussions.

Limits imposed by the size of the school made it necessary to defer acceptance of some students eligible for this course.

A short course on similar lines will be offered again in August this year to librarians or library assistants of small public libraries who are not able to take advantage of other means of training.

As in previous years we wish to acknowledge the valuable contribution made to these courses by visiting lecturers and the libraries which lend us books.


The National Library Centre, in addition to acting as the division responsible for the headquarters work of the Service, has continued to promote the cooperative use of library resources. Staff at headquarters are still working under very difficult conditions and there is a continuing and pressing need both for administrative working space and adequate housing for the book collections.

Inter-library Loan—All inter-library loan requests for books and periodicals the location of which is not known are sent to the National Centre. Items which are not found in the Union Catalogue of non-fiction books, the Union List of Serials, or other bibliographical sources are listed in the weekly publication Book Resources, which is sent to 39 libraries for checking.

Interloan cards received7,197100.07,640100.0
Supplied from National Library Service4,31259.94,41157.7
Supplied from other Wellington libraries1712.41391.8
Supplied from Union Catalogue records94913.21,05513.8
Supplied from Union List of Serials1011.41732.3
Not supplied for various reasons6418.96648.7
Listed on Book Resources1,02314.21,19815.7

Four hundred and seventy-five titles not found in any library were ordered for national stock.

The number of requests received by the centre represents probably less than half the total volume of traffic among New Zealand libraries, the proportion of direct interloan being higher in the special and university libraries. Interloan was devised and introduced among libraries by the New Zealand Library Association and in its operation the responsibility of the National Library Service is not merely to act as a clearing house but to provide all the material it reasonably can to make the system effective. Other libraries participate reciprocally, or lend so that they may the more freely borrow. The contribution, as has always been expected, is a varying one and one or two libraries may consider that they have a substantial and unrealisable credit balance in their favour. The point beyond which certain libraries may feel they cannot go in the common interest has not so far been determined administratively but it may be necessary to consider this. If so, it is better that it be done quantitatively on the basis of a common library policy rather than that the present procedure should become an embarrassment or be administered capriciously or conservatively.

Central Bureau for Library Book Imports—After the introduction of import control in January the Government approved that the facilities of the bureau should be extended to meet the situation and assure libraries of their essential supplies. The bureau was set up in 1940 as a responsibility of the Country Library Service as a result of discussions between the Government and the Library Association. Because libraries undertook to avoid unnecessary duplication and develop cooperative ways of recording and using their holdings, the 50 per cent cut in book imports made in 1939 was restored and the necessary machinery established to safeguard the country's supply of essential publications.

The situation now is that recommendations for licences are made to the Comptroller of Customs in two categories: firstly, block licence in annual or six-monthly lots to cover a full licensing period, on behalf of public libraries serving a population of 20,000 and over, university libraries, and a few special libraries; secondly, individual recommendations on behalf of smaller libraries which are made on the basis of orders sent in when making application. Book-sellers are expected to give libraries a proportionate share of their 1956 transactions on which their current licence would be computed.

Block licence recommendations, normally made at the end of the year—and for some years only for anticipated imports from scheduled countries, chiefly the dollar area—were held over until the present calendar year and statistically will be included in the figures for the 1958 licensing period.

Libraries of Government Departments—A total of £45,357 was spent on behalf of Government Departments financed from the Consolidated Fund and purchasing through the National Library Service. Of this total, £25,344 was for standing orders, chiefly periodical subscriptions. The value, nationally, of a range of periodicals wider than that which is now received by all the libraries would scarcely be disputed, but the degree of duplication between and particularly within Departments continues to cause concern.

Book Resources Committee of the New Zealand Library Association—The Book Resources Committee of which the Librarian, National Centre, is Secretary, has continued to act as the national planning and advisory body in the cooperative acquisition, recording, and use of publications. In June and July of this year Dr K. D. Metcalf, Librarian Emeritus of Harvard, at the joint invitation of the United States Educational Foundation in New Zealand and the New Zealand Government, will visit New Zealand. Dr Metcalf will visit the main centres and will have discussions with the committee and the Government on policy matters.

Union Catalogue—During the year 26,033 new titles were added including 2,928 from the microfilmed record of library catalogues. The catalogue now includes over 400,000 entries.


Union List of Serials—The typing and printing of the sixth (cumulative) supplement to the Union List of Serials has commenced and publication is anticipated early in 1959.

Index to New Zealand Periodicals—The 1956 issue of the index, the first for which the National Library Service has accepted the responsibility of publication, was printed by photo-offset and distributed. The 1957 issue is being prepared in the same way. The possibility of simplifying production by printing direct from the typed cards is being explored.

General—Printed catalogue cards for 247 New Zealand books and pamphlets were issued during the year. Work on the national bibliography, from 1890 to 1950, has continued and it is hoped to commence the typing of a preliminary check list of holdings at the end of the year.

by authority:

r. e. owen, government printer, wellington, new zealand—1958

Price 1 s.

96098-58 G

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Report of the National Library Service
for the Year Ended 31 March 1958, by G. T. Alley and National Library Service (New Zealand)


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