Beware of Bearing Gifts for Greece: The National Library of New Zealand and the Fate of 1% of the Overseas Published Collection

So things are supposedly on hold, so far as the National Library of New Zealand’s idiotic plans to purge its Overseas Published Collection go. Supposedly. There is currently a lot of uncertainty floating around right now, and there is absolutely no reason to trust the National Library of New Zealand on anything.

But as of today, I can reveal an interesting piece of news. Namely, we now know 6,275 items from the collection were requested by the National Library of Greece. And we know which items too, together with their Dewey Decimal categorisation:

The Official Information Act 1982 is a wonderful thing.

A skim over the request list shows that we aren’t talking Windows 95 manuals here. We are talking valuable, and often specialised volumes, weighted towards religious texts and overseas literature. Appropriately enough, given that this is Greece doing the requesting, there is plenty that pertains to their country, its history, and philosophy.

So good on the National Library of Greece for doing its job, in terms of helping preserve human knowledge – these are 6,275 books that could have literally ended up in a landfill in the Philippines if the morons running the National Library of New Zealand had got their way. If our local idiots are the Vandals, then clearly the Greek library is taking on the preservation role of medieval Constantinople. But due to uncertainty, we still do not know if these books are getting delivered to Greece, or whether they have already been sent – we can only see what has been requested.

The other point is that this list only represents one percent of the trashed volumes of the Overseas Published Collection. Goodness only knows what will befall (or has already befallen) much of the remaining ninety-nine percent. One also wonders what the other great national libraries of the world have been doing, so far as rescuing the items that pertain to them.

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