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The abuse of the General Assembly Library by certain classes was strongly emphasised at the meeting of the Wellington Athenteum subscribers by Mr T. K. Macdonald, who suggested that the new Committee should make a representation to the Government on the subject. The library, he said, was supposed to be sacred to members of Parliament, but its books had a very large circulation amongst privileged people, consisting of whole families, in prominent mercantile and official circles. Personally he would be glad to see it open to all the public, but he did object, when going through the streets of Thorndon, to seeing people |carry away books who had no connection whatever with Parliament, while others were debarred by the very regulations from using the library. He was told that 300 or 400 people had the handling of the library in the recess, and they were the very folks who were best able to support the Athemeum ; but, on the principle that so largely obtained in Wellington, they preferred to get their literature "on the cheap " by sponging on the Parliamentary library. The privilege should either be open to all the people of Wellington and the whole colony, or be confined strictly to members of Parliament and heads of departments without their families. The president cordially agreed with Mr Macdonald's remarks, and said it was a matter of notoriety that the privileges of the library were given in the most reckless manner to people who had no right to them, whereas they were rigidly withheld from others who might fairly claim to be entitled to them, as, for instance, gentlemen in scholastic positions. There was neither reason nor equity in such a method, and he would take care that the matter was brought before an early meeting of the Council.

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Bibliographic details

CHEAP LITERATURF., Issue 7918, 28 May 1889

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CHEAP LITERATURF. Issue 7918, 28 May 1889

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