Auckland's libraries standing strong in the digital age

April 28, 2024

Auckland's libraries standing strong in the digital age

Onehunga Library, one of Auckland’s 56 libraries that provides community services for the public. PHOTO: Jamie Lawlor

Auckland's 56 libraries are flourishing in their communities as physical spaces offering vital services, even as their books are digitised for reading online.

They have become a space that offers even more than books, says Dany Miller, a librarian at Onehunga Library.

“Libraries are something that you just can’t replicate online, they provide an opportunity for children to connect and new parents to connect with each other," she said.

"I think that there will always be a need for that, although things may change shape slightly, I think that there will always be a need for what libraries do.”

As well as books, local libraries are a space for community events, school holiday programmes, free internet access, and resources such as JPs and the Citizen Advice Bureau.

Auckland Council services, such as dog registry and paying rates, are also available at 13 selected libraries.

Auckland Library manager Catherine Leonard says that libraries are adapting to customer demand and preferences by offering both in-person and online services.

“We have a lot of customers, with 4 million in-person visits in the last six months, as well as having many more customers interacting with our collections and our specialist staff via our online platforms and tools," she said.

“Our e-collections are hugely popular and represent approximately 28 per cent of our recent borrowing, placing Auckland libraries in 22nd place internationally for e-lending.”

An Auckland library user says that she will never stop using the services that her local library provides.

“It’s a nice outing and I love to read and keep learning, it’s ultimately just something for me to do.”

The 2023/2024 council budget reveals that for all 56 Auckland Libraries, just $19 million is allocated to keep this public service running.

Auckland's Matariki festival this year highlights indigenous art

Auckland's Matariki festival this year highlights indigenous art

Nabeelah Khan June 12, 2024

University students and professors weigh in on newly proposed ‘assistant psychology’ role

University students and professors weigh in on newly proposed ‘assistant psychology’ role

Nabeelah Khan June 5, 2024

Giving journalism a ‘face-lift’ in a time of crisis

Giving journalism a ‘face-lift’ in a time of crisis

Jamie Lawlor June 4, 2024