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Title: Report of the Chief Librarian for the Year 1924-25
Author: New Zealand. General Assembly Library
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Report of the Chief Librarian for the Year 1924-25" ***

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Parliamentary Library and the Online Distributed



                             NEW ZEALAND.

                      GENERAL ASSEMBLY LIBRARY.


      _Laid on the Table of the House of Representatives by Leave._



I have the honour to submit the following report for the year 1924-25:--

                      RECESS LIBRARY COMMITTEE.

The Recess Library Committee, the constitution of which was altered by
resolution passed by both Chambers of the Legislature at the close of
last session, held three meetings during the recess, under the
chairmanship of the Hon. the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
the Hon. Charles E. Statham. Two of these meetings were informal, as a
full quorum was unobtainable. At the third meeting, however, there was
a full quorum, and the business done at the previous meetings was duly
confirmed. In view of the great difficulty which obtains of securing a
quorum at the meetings as called, the question is worth consideration
as to the desirableness of making some slight alteration in the rule
under which the Recess Committee is now constituted.

                      ADDITIONS TO THE LIBRARY.

The number of new accessions since the date of the last report is
2,089, which is lower than that in the previous Library year, the
previous total having been 2,700. This latter, however, includes some
500 volumes of the Herries bequest. Owing to the financial position of
the Library being much better at the end of the financial year, it is
more than probable that next year's report will chronicle a
substantially higher increase.

The various volumes of the Herries bequest have been repaired and
rebound where necessary, and have been added to the shelves in their
respective classes.

The total number of catalogued books and other accessions on the 18th
June was over 109,705--which, in view of the fact of the greatly
enhanced cost of books (the Library vote, £700, being to-day only £100
a year more than it was thirty years ago), must be deemed satisfactory.

Important orders for new books are now in course of execution, the
volumes being due early in this year's session. An attempt has been
made to cover all the more important additions in literature on the
great problems of the day; and, whilst economy has had to be practised,
and a careful selection made of the books and publications generally
which really count, it will, I think, be found that very few works of
outstanding merit and importance have been overlooked.

In accordance with the policy of not clashing with the Alexander H.
Turnbull Library, rare and expensive works of literature dealing with
the early history of New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific have not
been bought, but all works of recent and current interest on the
Dominion and the Commonwealth, or affecting the various problems of the
Pacific, are regularly added.

Works on various political and social problems continue to be more
specially favoured by members of both branches of the Legislature, to
whom baskets of books are forwarded during the recess. After these,
biography is most in favour.

                            LIBRARY STAFF.

During the greater part of last year's recess the Chief Librarian was
absent in Australia in quest of better health; and he may be pardoned,
I trust, for here expressing his personal gratitude to the Minister in
Charge of the Legislative Department (the Hon. Mr. Nosworthy) and the
then Prime Minister (the Right Hon. W. F. Massey), for the great
consideration and kindness these gentlemen displayed in granting him
the necessary leave of absence.

Until the Chief Librarian's return, early in October, Mr. W. S.
Wauchop, M.A., who in August assumed the duties of First Assistant in
the Library, had charge of the institution, under the Joint Library
Committee. Mr. Wauchop has proved himself a most obliging member of the

                          RECESS PRIVILEGES.

The number of persons to whom recess privileges were granted during the
recess, 1924-25, was 670, as against 740 in the previous year; the
latter number being exceptionally large owing to the greater length of
the recess in the earlier period.

The number of books lent to recess-privilege holders for the year
1924-25 was 6,135, as against 6,587 in the previous recess period. As a
rule, the class of books taken out by recess-privilege holders (and
here it may be noted that the New Zealand General Assembly Library is
the only legislative library in the world from which volumes may be
taken out during the recess) is of such a character as proves that the
privilege is greatly valued by the best class of readers.

No fiction, it should again be recorded, is lent out save to members of
Parliament, and those on the full-privilege list--a relatively small

A detailed list showing the professions, trades, occupations, &c., of
those to whom the recess privileges are granted is at the disposal of

During the recess, I regret to say, it has been found that a few plates
were purloined from art and other magazines, and cuttings made in the
newspaper files. Whenever a case of this kind is detected, an
attempt--unfortunately up to now abortive--has been made to detect the
offender, and the art magazines are now filed in the staff-room, and
not issued to those who use the Library during the recess, save members
of Parliament. On the whole, however, the cases of vandalism are
exceedingly few, and it gives me pleasure to testify to the care and
good usage which is almost uniformly displayed by those who are
honoured by being granted the recess privileges.


As usual, stock-taking was proceeded with during the recess, the
classes dealt with being Class 910-919 (Voyages and Travels) and Class
920-929 (Biography, Memoirs, &c.). Mr. W. F. Johnson, who conducted
this particular work with great care, furnishes the following report:--

"I have the honour to report that, with Mr. Dighton, I have completed
the stock-taking of the two classes mentioned above, with results as

"Class 910-919 (Voyages and Travels): This class--one of the largest in
the Library--was last taken stock of in the year 1918, when twenty-two
volumes were reported missing. Since that date 419 volumes have been
added to this class, making the total number in this section 5,326. The
result of this stock-taking shows that eleven volumes were
unaccounted-for, a list of which is appended.

"Class 920-929 (Biography, &c.): This class also was last taken in
1918, when fourteen volumes were reported as missing. Since that time
360 volumes have been added to this class, making the total number in
this section 4,157. At this stock-taking the number unaccounted-for is
twenty-two, several of which are quite recent accessions to the
Library. It is difficult to believe that many of these books are lost
to the Library, as, of the fourteen reported lost at last stock-taking,
several were found in their places upon the shelves. The utmost care
has been taken in verifying the stock-sheets with the registers, and
with checking the volumes themselves. A list of books not accounted for
in each class is appended hereto, and I hand you herewith the working


There must always be a certain degree of wear-and-tear upon the
volumes, either those used during the session or during the recess; and
there are unquestionably a large number of volumes in the Library which
urgently stand in need of being rebound, rebacked, or otherwise
repaired. The number, too, of periodicals of various kinds, the back
numbers of which are of great value to members, has largely increased
of late years, and, as a substantially increased charge is now made for
binding, the annual vote for this purpose is being found markedly
inadequate. A large number of magazines have been withdrawn from the
binding-list, but the enormous increase in the number of books,
periodicals, pamphlets, &c., and the files of newspapers, which
certainly should be bound if the Library is to meet the requirements of
members, has certainly made the position much more serious. In view of
the increased cost of binding, the existing annual vote can only be
regarded as insufficient, and I would respectfully plead for a fairly
substantial increase.


The correspondence of the Library has quite materially increased in
volume. Inquiries from all parts of the Dominion for information as to
the value of certain rare books, requests for assistance in literary
matters, and on questions relative to the Copyright Act, have involved
considerable work, Mr. W. F. Johnson having rendered valuable aid in
assisting the Chief Librarian in this matter.

Officials of various State Departments continue to make considerable
use of the Library during the recess, and in several instances have
acknowledged the assistance rendered them in their researches by the
Library staff.

The usual monthly lists of accessions have been sent out during the

I have to express my thanks to the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the
Joint Library Committee (the Hon. the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and J. McC. Dickson, Esq., M.P.), and to the Chairman
and Deputy Chairman of the Recess Library Committee (the Hon. the
Speaker and the Hon. Dr. Collins, M.L.C.) for the attention these
gentlemen have given the Library matters during the year; also to the
High Commissioner and his staff for the promptitude and care with which
they have attended to Library business in London.

                          LIBRARY ACCOUNTS.

In an appendix will be found the Library balance-sheet for the year
ended 31st March, 1925, together with a copy of the Auditor's

                                  I have, &c.,
                                      CHARLES WILSON,
                                          Chief Librarian.

                     *      *      *      *      *


                      GENERAL ASSEMBLY LIBRARY.


        _Receipts._       £  s. d.          _Expenditure._   £   s. d.

Balance, 1st April, 1924 448 19 3 | Purchase books and periodicals,
                                  |  Great Britain          226  9 10
Annual grant             700  0 0 | Purchase periodicals,
                                  |   America                13 12 10
Private Bill fees        150  0 0 | Purchase books and periodicals,
                                  |  New Zealand            456  0  4
                                  |  State Fire Insurance     8  8  0
                                  |  Repairs, typewriter      0  4  0
                                  |  Balance, 31st March, 1925--
                                  |    Bank of New Zealand  591 19  2
                                  |    Cash in hand           2  6  1
                      ----------- |                      ------------
                      £1,298 19 3 |                      £1,298 19  3
                      =========== |                      ============

[NOTE BY CHIEF LIBRARIAN.--The balance at Bank of New Zealand, 31st
March, 1925, will probably be exhausted by existing commitments before
the next grant is received.]

                                      CHARLES WILSON,
                                          Chief Librarian.

            Examined and found correct.--G. F. C. CAMPBELL,
                    Controller and Auditor-General.

         _Approximate Cost of Paper._--Preparation, not given;
                     printing (475 copies), £3 5s.

By Authority: W. A. G. SKINNER, Government Printer, Wellington.--1925.

_Price 3d._]

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