Magazine article American Libraries

Life among the Kiwis

Magazine article American Libraries

Life among the Kiwis

Article excerpt

I enjoyed Jennifer Dewey's opinion piece "The Price of Patronage" (AL, Nov./Dec. 2014, p. 25). I am a library director in Maine, but I moved to New Zealand in the late 1990s and spent the last three years I was there managing a public library. Overall, I loved New Zealand and especially the Wellington region. I lived there for most of the 10 years I was a Kiwi. I became a New Zealand citizen and hope to visit there again.

I started my library degree and career in New Zealand. Even though I was a library user in the US as a teen and young adult, I moved overseas in my 20s without ever having worked in a library. When I returned to the US, I was very surprised to find free internet access in American libraries, as I had assumed that broadband/internet connections were so expensive still that public libraries here may have to charge for access, as they did in New Zealand. I was pleasantly surprised that was not the case.

The paid bestseller collections in New Zealand really surprised me as a borrower, and when I tell American librarians, they can never believe it. …

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