New National Library Access proposal

An email just received from Melissa from the Coromandel….

Hello fellow homeschooling support organisations. You need to be aware of this!

As homeschoolers no information was sent out to us about this AT ALL. I have stumbled upon this because a person from the National Library approached me yesterday to get my thoughts and was surprised I did not know about this.
Also please read my response below….to the Auckland National library home schooling representative, a lovely man who is equally as upset about this as I am, and you will be.
We may need to be collective about a response to this. I know personally that this new proposal will cripple my topic teaching…
As a recap, this is how this will affect us as teachers/home educators *IF*we are included in the current proposal (which we are not at this moment, they have forgotten about us completely):
**We will not be able to physically visit the National Library to borrow books.
Schools will have to have a single representative for all school orders, which will be dealt with via online orders….and individual teachers can no longer go to the National Library to take out books themselves. If we as homeschoolers are not attached to a school, the question arises of OUR individual access to the NL.
*Teachers will only be able to advise the National Library of which topic they want to study with their children, and the librarians will choose the books for the children themselves (teachers will not be able to choose) and the focus will be on ‘reading for pleasure’, which has an emphasis on fiction books, with minimal non-fiction books added. At their discretion, not teacher’s choice. (Effectively having the ability to selectively censor the information we receive, which can leave us open to personal bias of librarians). Most educators use the National Library as a resource for in-depth topic studies….to enhance our curriculum. Historically the NL has been the source for school classrooms to have non-fiction topic books on the shelves.
So, no physical access, no choice in books, and an emphasis on fiction and not textbooks or non-fiction books.
The move is being made AWAY from non-fiction information, to just reading for pleasure…..’reading engagement’, as they term it.
The ability to borrow books under the current system ends in March this year.
Here is the email address for responses to this new initiative…..which, disturbingly is by the department of internal affairs!!  —
Begin forwarded message:
From: Melissa
Date: 8 January 2015 8:57:30 am NZDT
Subject: New Library Access proposal.
Thank you for your time yesterday
I have now thoroughly read the webpage that you forwarded to me, and am feeling distressed about how this will impact not only homeschoolers like me, but education in general in New Zealand.
This feels like a ‘dumbing down’ of learning options. The National Library has always been seen as a specialist topic provider to teachers and students, and in truth I see no alternatives being provided within the structure of the new proposal that would provide at least the current status quo of being able to choose topic books ourselves as teachers, and to go deeply into a specialised topic within our curriculum.
‘Reading engagement’ as defined within the page on the national library website I have read, ( to take an assumption that children do not enjoy reading specialised books that may be in non-fiction form. What a narrow view on how children’s minds work! My children love data mining from non-fiction, and studying this type of material brings very important life skills to the table, and equips a student for further study at a tertiary level. Non-fiction, topic-specific books are very much minimised as learning channels within this page.
This is concerning.
I am also very worried that Home Educators are not mentioned or catered for in the new proposal. It seems we have not been taken into account on any level.
 Consider our lack of access to the data bases that schools can access, and the fact that we are not classified as ‘schools’ with a representative contact person for National Library. This now directly affects whether or not we can access the library physically. So it seems both streams of information and access will now be impossible for us as individual teachers.
…….. can you please forward this email to the highest level of decision makers in this process?
I would very much like to be kept in the loop with what happens here, and I will be forwarding this email to the New Zealand Homeschooling Associations across the country for their collective responses to be contributed also.

National Library Services to Schools Transformation Programme –

questions and answers

What is the Services to Schools Transformation Programme?

The National Library is transforming its Services to Schools in response to library and education directions. We have developed a new vision statement which is for “all young people to have access to effective and connected library services and library learning environments that support their development as readers and digitally literate learners”.

Services to Schools will continue to support teachers and schools through the provision of print and online resources, and the development of school libraries. We will be moving to achieve our vision by implementing services with an increased emphasis on the priority areas of reading engagement, digital literacy and modern library learning environments.


Why is Services to Schools changing?
When is Services to Schools changing?
The reading engagement lending service commences from term three 2015. What’s happening to the loan service in terms one and two?
Can individual teachers and librarians get a walk-in loan for terms one and two in 2015?
Will individual teachers and librarians still be able to order books from term three 2015?
What is a reading engagement loan?
Will curriculum topic support still be available after term three 2015?
From term three 2015, how do schools request a reading engagement loan?
How many items are in a reading engagement loan?
Who decides what items are in each reading engagement loan?
Does a reading engagement loan only contain fiction books?
Can teachers use reading engagement loans to support curriculum delivery?
What will the loan freight arrangements be?
What will happen to schools regarding lost or unreturned items at the end of the reading engagement loan period?
Will there be any support for schools about how to manage the whole-school reading engagement loan?
What will happen to the Services to Schools collection? Is it downsizing?
What will happen to those non-fiction books that are not suitable for inclusion in the reading engagement loans?
Where can I find research about the impact reading for pleasure has on literacy achievement?
What is ‘enhanced online curriculum support’?
How will schools with limited access to technology provide curriculum topic support to students?
Where can I get print resources to support curriculum topics?
What does the Ministry of Education think of the Services to Schools Transformation Programme?


Please share/forward this link with others


Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here


Needing help for your home schooling journey:


Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started


Information on getting an exemption

This link is motivational:

Exemption Form online:

Coming Events:


One thought on “New National Library Access proposal

  1. It appears to me the intent is primarily to force educators and children to become more wired i.e. eliminate dependence on hard copy materials using an argument of ‘sustainability’, instead directing seekers towards ‘online’ resources.

    These ‘online’ resources are by nature very easy to manipulate, and of course, it is easier to track user interest.

    Very Orwellian, I must say. And quite opposite the way we feel God leading us here, to drag our heels in against the ‘wired’ incentives from smart phones to pads. Won’t be long before these very ‘practical’ decisions will have eternal consequences, if not already. At what point, if any, will the frogs feel the heat?

    The road to heaven or hell is one step at a time…which direction are we walking?

Comments are closed.