The offloading of 600,000 books from the National Library's overseas collection - 178,000 of which are held in Whanganui - has caused concern among academics and researchers.
The Chronicle reported last week that the National Library's overseas collection project is now well under way but concern has been raised about the loss of publicly held information.
Associate Professor of History at Victoria University of Wellington, Delores Janiewski, said the idea that all 600,000 books could still be accessed was "ridiculous".
"The whole idea of 'all this information is on the internet' is very dangerous in my opinion," she said.
"The amount of misinformation circulated online is well known, and these books offer valuable, well researched information on many, many topics."
Janiewski said the loss of these books would ultimately mean the loss of valuable, trusted information.
"There is certainly no guarantee that all 600,000 books have been digitalised, and can be accessed from other libraries around the world."
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Independent researcher Michael Pringle, another critic of the project, said it wasn't up to the National Library to determine what constituted New Zealand history and what did not.
"It seems incredible that a state asset can essentially be given away for free.
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"They are as much a part of our heritage as books published here in New Zealand.
"New Zealanders come from all corners of the world, and our interests don't just stop at our borders."
Pringle said he has been a regular user of the overseas collection for many years.
"I always expected the National Library to keep hold of these books, some of which are the only ones in the whole country.
"Big libraries around the world have huge collections, and I don't think any of them have decided to just get rid of a whole lot of them."
Budget cuts at a government level was another factor that Pringle believed was behind the decision, forcing the National Library to enforce a rushed, undercooked plan.
"Perhaps it comes down to money."
But director of content services at the National Library, Rachel Esson, said it was not about money.
"The National Library's role is to develop, grow and evolve collections that are relevant to the people they serve, and the decision to rehome a portion of our Overseas Published Collections is not about lack of funds," she said.
"We still collect and hold a significant amount of material published overseas and our expert staff are ensuring that important items from the Overseas Published Collection are retained in our collections.
"No other library in the world is going to collect and preserve our stories, that's our job.
"The National Library's role is not to hold a large static collection of mostly unused books, we are not the library of last resort."