Marx, Mao and others feature in a downsizing of 70,000 books by the National Library.

A political lobby group has launched a last-minute bid to stop the National Library dumping 70,000 books at a Lions Club book sale to be held – ironically – on election day, October 17.

The new pressure group, Ngā Kaitiaki o ngā Pukapuka/Book Guardians Aotearoa [BGA], was established at the weekend with the specific intent of putting a stop to the National Library’s controversial decision to get rid of over 625,000 books in its Overseas Published Collection.

Former Attorney General Chris Finlayson has pledged his support.

BGA executive member Christine Dann said, “Chris Finlayson is horrified at this further attack on the national collection, and is seeking an urgent meeting with the National Librarian and the Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs to discuss the inadvisability and possible illegality of the current cull, and to advise a halt to any further disposal until the new government and incoming ministers have been properly briefed on the matter.”

The library has already dumped an estimated 60,000 titles. According to Dann, it’s about to get rid of another 70,000 books next Monday, October 12, destined for the Kapiti Pakeke Lions Club book sale in Waikanae.

Dann said, “They are planning to let another 70,000 go on October 12. We suspect a lot of them are intended for the Kapiti Lions giant book sale on October 17, and we have written to the Lions Club organiser advising him of the steps that are being taken to establish the legality of the cull, and that we will keep the Lions posted on what happens.”

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