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Book & Print in New Zealand : A Guide to Print Culture in Aotearoa


Perhaps uniquely amongst the institutions and agencies described in this book, the key to the study of the history of libraries in New Zealand and to knowledge of their operations and resources lies within the institutions themselves. This survey deals primarily with specific published sources of information about New Zealand libraries, but also draws attention to certain reference tools found in libraries which open up further sources of information.

However, these tools must be viewed as nothing more than indicators of where to look. If libraries are to be exploited for maximum benefit, an enquirer needs to bear in mind that libraries are more than their collections and the buildings which house them: the critical element is the corps of librarians who operate the service. They have the skills and the knowledge to guide an enquirer through the sources.

Sources of information about print culture are also to be found in media other than print. Electronic files, electronic bulletin boards and directories may often be elusive, transitory, and imperfect, but increasingly they are useful sources of current information and provide traces to other sources. These new media are today the stock-in-trade of libraries, and librarians are familiar with their peculiarities and strengths.