New Zealand libraries started to invest in digital books in 2011 when 40 locations started to deal with Overdrive in metropolitan areas such as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. At the same time, a local initiative developed by library and educational book supplier Wheelers implemented its own system homegrown e-book lending service with Tauranga and Hamilton library districts. Library patrons have really started to embrace the concept of digital as more than 800,000 e-Books were borrowed from library databases in 2013, up from about 350,000 in 2012
Executive director of Public Libraries New Zealand Tim Antric said despite the popularity of e-Books, a market would always exist for traditional printed books. “There’s a comfort in sitting down and reading a traditional book, even if we look at kids today there’s still a passion for that paper book. Tim also said more people than ever were going to libraries, with more than 37 million visits recorded last year.
It is interesting that e-Books are getting the big headline here, but the report does not mention anything to do with digital newspapers, magazines, academic books or research reports.
Many of the top newspapers in New Zealand have been digitized lately and are available for the public to download from the library. PressReader provides access to The Press, The Dominion Post and The New Zealand Herald, as well as many smaller, regional publications International coverage includes over 200 Australian newspapers and magazines and major newspapers from most parts of the world.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.