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.