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Public Libraries Ordinance 1875

20. The Public Libraries Ordinance 1875.

[3rd September, 1875.]

Whereas by authority of “The Public Reserves Act 1854” and by conveyances for that purpose certain lands have been and are now or may hereafter be vested in the Superintendent of the Province of Canterbury upon trust for Public Libraries And whereas it is expedient to make provision for the management and administration of all such reserves and of the buildings erected thereon and the Libraries therein contained:

Be it therefore enacted by the Superintendent of the said Province with the advice and consent of the Provincial Council thereof as follows

1. Ordinance not to be in force in certain districts.

This Ordinance shall have no force in any district in which The Public Libraries’ Act 1869” shall have been adopted in accordance with the provisions of the said Act.

2. Superintendent may elect managers of land and buildings from among subscribers.

It shall be lawful for the Superintendent with the advice of the Executive Council on the requisition of the managing body of any Library contained in any building erected on any land vested in or leased for a period of not less than ten years to the said Superintendent to appoint from amongst the subscribers to the same so many persons as he shall think fit being not less than three nor more than nine to be managers of such land and of the buildings erected thereon and of the Library and furniture contained therein and such managers shall continue in office until the election of their successors as hereinafter provided.

3. Management of Library and purposes for which same shall be maintained.

The management of such Library shall forthwith be vested in such managers and their successors and the purposes for which they shall maintain the same shall

be to form or provide and carry on— (1) A lending and a reference Library.

(2) A Reading-room with a supply of newspapers and periodicals. (3) Meetings for social and intellectual improvement.

(4) Educational classes and lectures.

(5) The collection of scientific apparatus or other things illustrative of science or useful for education.

(6) The providing rational amusement and recreation.

Under such regulations as may from time to time be made by the members.

4. Annual Meeting for election of managing Committee.

There shall be a general meeting of the subscribers to such Library in the month of April in each year or so soon thereafter as may be found convenient and a Committee of Management for the ensuing year shall be elected at such meeting Provided that until such elections have taken place the managers appointed by the Superintendent shall continue to hold office.

5. Rules.

The Rules contained in the Schedule to this Ordinance shall be the Rules for the government and management of such Library until altered amended varied or rescinded by two-thirds of the subscribers present at the annual general meeting: Provided that no such alterations or amendments shall have any force until approved by the Superintendent in Council.

6. Interpretation.

The term Library shall be taken to mean and include Mechanics’ Institute,” Athenaeum,” “Reading-room.”

7. Title.

The Short Title of this Ordinance shall be “The Public Libraries Ordinance 1875.”


1. The general management of the Library shall be vested in a Committee consisting of a President Treasurer Secretary and Committeemen four of whom shall form a quorum.

2. The objects of the Committee of Management shall be to provide a suitable Library and Reading-room and by every other attainable means to promote the diffusion of information and instruction in literature science and art.

3. An annual meeting of the members shall take place on the second Monday in April in each year or as soon thereafter as may be found convenient for the election of officers and for general business Eight members shall form a quorum at these meetings.

4. The office bearers shall be elected annually. Out-going members of the committee shall be eligible for re-election.

5. It shall be competent for any three of the office-bearers or any ten of the members by a written requisition stating the proposed object to require the secretary to convene a special general meeting of the members of the Committee, of Management and the secretary on receiving such a requisition shall be bound to announce such a meeting forthwith by advertisement in the newspapers at least eight days previous to the meeting Only the subject stated in the requisition shall be discussed at such meetings.

6. The committee shall meet quarterly or more frequently if necessary and the secretary and treasurer shall take their instructions at these meetings The secretary shall have charge of the property of the Library and of all correspondence The treasurer shall attend to the collection of money and the payment of accounts Auditors shall be chosen annually one by the committee and one by the members at the annual general meeting.

7. No building for the purpose of the Library shall be erected or purchased or enlarged unless authorised by a resolution of two-thirds of the members present at a general meeting of the subscribers.

8. All persons desirous of becoming members must be approved of by the Managing Committee The annual subscription shall not be less than ten shillings or two shillings and sixpence per quarter payable in advance.

9. Strangers visiting the district when introduced by a member shall be allowed the use of the Reading-room gratuitously for one month.

10. A life membership may be purchased by the payment of not less than £5.

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