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Source: Auckland Council

Aucklanders are borrowing eBooks at unprecedented rates, as a free and easy way to keep people and families entertained at home.

Mayor Phil Goff said, “Checkouts of eBooks from Auckland Council Libraries are 23 per cent ahead of the same time last year and they’ve been rising fast over the past two weeks, more than double the numbers of March last year, reflecting the popularity of Auckland Libraries’ online services during the COVID-19 lockdown.”

“As we all help to reduce the spread of the virus by staying at home, eBooks are a great way to keep educated and entertained. Auckland Council Libraries has a huge variety of free online resources and services and staff are working hard to keep the offerings up-to-date.”

Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee Chair Councillor Alf Filipaina agrees: “Libraries offer a great range of online resources for the diverse population of Tāmaki Makaurau. There is something there for the whole whānau and the resources are free for our communities to access from home. Get online and become a member to make the most of this service.”

Over 715,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks have been checked out from Auckland Council Libraries’ OverDrive eBooks collection so far this year; 175,000 since Library buildings closed on 20 March.

In 2019, over 2 million eBooks were checked out for the entire year, a record number for Auckland. This year, checkouts are on track to significantly surpass that figure.

Libraries’ staff are working hard to support the higher demand for eResources by offering two large collections of ‘Guaranteed Available’ eBooks that are available to an unlimited number of people at the same time; one for classics and the other for recent fiction and non-fiction.

They are also putting extra resource into eBooks, constantly reviewing and curating book lists, monitoring supply and demand and providing additional copies of popular titles.

Staff are also working closely with their eCollection suppliers to get as much resource, easily accessible and available to library customers as they can.

In 2019 Auckland Council Libraries was one of only two library systems in the southern hemisphere to lend over 2 million eBooks from OverDrive, its main eBook supplier, an international company with a network of 45,000 libraries and schools in 78 countries.

Auckland Council Libraries’ buildings are currently closed until further notice, but they have a world of reading, listening and viewing you can access anytime, anywhere, online.

Check out what they have to offer, all completely free with an Auckland Council Libraries membership.

For those without a membership, it just takes a couple of easy steps and can be done entirely from home.

Head to to join and access online services and resources.