Exterior of a library with large library sign and a open banner.

New Zealand libraries partnership programme

Find out about the COVID-19 recovery work being led by the National Library to support librarians and library services across New Zealand

Leading and supporting New Zealand's library system COVID-19 recovery

The Government is entrusting the National Library to lead and support COVID-19 recovery work across New Zealand’s library system, especially in public libraries, with a funding package of $58.8 million, over two to four years.

The programme will support librarians and library services to be retained in New Zealand libraries and assist them to support community recovery.

What is the funding for?

This funding will provide the opportunity:

  • to improve reading, literacy and wellbeing outcomes in communities
  • support building digital literacy among those who have been most excluded from online services and information during the pandemic or have lost jobs consequently, and
  • create new digital resources to support online learning for students.

This will primarily utilise and build skills and experience of librarians currently employed in the local government sector, particularly where they otherwise risk losing their own jobs.

Funding over four years

The $58.8m of funding over four years includes:

  • $30 million over two years to fund and upskill librarians in public libraries so they can provide greater support for library users and help bolster reading and digital literacy.
  • $4 million over four years to extend the National Library’s Aotearoa Peoples’ Network Kaharoa (APNK) public internet service to all public libraries. This provides free access to the internet and devices for any member of the public.
  • $11.5m over two years to help maintain library services by waiving National Library subscription charges to libraries.
  • $13.3m over four years for specialist library services to help schools and young people with the greatest need during the recovery.

Who will be involved with the programme and when will it start?

We are working to start a rapid co-design process with key partners in the library sector to shape the implementation of the programme from July 2020.

The National Librarian wants to ensure that we make the best use of this short-term investment to support jobs in libraries, recognising the work that librarians do to support job-seekers, learners and others during this time of economic hardship.

Find out more

More details will be available soon to support the co-design process and implementation.

This page will provide the most up to date information about the programme.

In the meantime, if you have any immediate questions you can contact us at librariespartner@dia.govt.nz


Feature image at top of page. Library in Cheviot New Zealand. Photo by Michal Klajban. Wikicommons. CC BY-SA