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Structure of the Library

Our leadership

The National Library is led by the National Library Leadership Team, consisting of the National Librarian of the National Library, the Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library, and other senior staff members. The Minister responsible for the National Library is the Hon Tracey Martin, Minister of Internal Affairs

Place within the Department of Internal Affairs

The National Library of New Zealand is a part of the Information and Knowledge branch of the Department of Internal Affairs. The branch also includes Archives New Zealand and Government Information Services.

The parts of the National Library work to collect, preserve and protect the documentary heritage of New Zealand and overseas, aid in the work of other libraries, and collaborate with other institutions that form the international library community.

Alexander Turnbull Library

The Alexander Turnbull team develops and maintains a comprehensive collection of documents relating to New Zealand and its people. The Alexander Turnbull Library holds both published and unpublished collections.

Published collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library include books, magazines and journals, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, music, websites, and other items that are published.

The Alexander Turnbull Library's unpublished collections include original manuscripts, oral histories, photographs, paintings, drawings, prints, and cartoons, organised by format.

Staff in the Alexander Turnbull Library:

  • build and manage comprehensive collections across all formats
  • arrange and describe items in the unpublished collections
  • provide access and research advice for the Alexander Turnbull Library collections
  • produce the annual research publication, the Alexander Turnbull Library record.

Content Services

Content Services is responsible for national shared services with the libraries of New Zealand, and the acquisition and description of published collection items for the National Library, Alexander Turnbull Library and Schools collections. Specific areas of responsibility include:

National services for New Zealand libraries

  • Delivering internet access, PCs, wifi and content filtering to public Libraries through the Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa
  • delivering shared library management and content discovery services to public libraries through Kōtui
  • providing the Te Puna shared services for cost effective cataloguing and interloan
  • facilitating collaborative and large scale digitisation programmes
  • contributing to the development of Maori Subject Headings
  • contributing New Zealand name and subject headings to the international authority control programmes

National services supporting authors and publishers

  • administration of the New Zealand's Legal Deposit scheme, which requires two copies of every item published in New Zealand to be deposited with the National Library
  • administration of the Public Lending Right to New Zealand Authors Scheme, which compensates authors for items held in New Zealand libraries
  • administration of the New Zealand agencies for standard numbers for books and serials, ISBNs and ISSNs

Content services is also responsible for the preservation of the National Library and Alexander Turnbull Library digital collections to ensure long term access. This includes responsibility for the bi-annual whole-of-domain web harvest.

Public Programmes

This team supports the National Library in creating new and diverse ways for all New Zealanders to access and interact with the National Library's collections and services, creating a distinctive, innovative and important knowledge place and space, accessible to all - onsite, online, and on the road.

We do this through a national programme of public activities, events, exhibitions, education workshops, seminars, displays, promotions and books launches. This team also has responsibility for the New Zealand Poet Laureate programmes.

The public programmes team also delivers curriculum-aligned educator-led programmes of He Tohu.

Services to Schools

Services to Schools supports literacy and learning in all schools, supporting educators to develop young New Zealanders who are engaged and motivated readers, with the skills and literacy to be confident and creative users of information and who are connected to their culture and heritage.

We work closely with learning communities nationwide to develop national approaches to reading engagement, modern library learning environments and digital literacy services. The Services to Schools’ team is located across 7 locations nationwide.

Services to Schools also focus on designing and developing new programmes and services, exploring new ways of connecting with educators and responding to new trends and directions in literacy and learning.

Digital New Zealand

Digital New Zealand develops services that provide digital access to New Zealand's heritage, and presents the National Library’s web face. Digital New Zealand works to:

  • enable the discovery, access, creation and reuse of digital content and knowledge
  • increase the amount of New Zealand digital content available for use
  • develop new online services and service delivery tools
  • provide information and interfaces for National Library services on the web.