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Auckland Libraries expands digital access

New Zealand’s Auckland Libraries had adjusted to the times and are far from the outdated stereotype of being silent and musty.

According to a recent press release, Auckland Libraries is awash with activities wherein kids are coding robots in makerspace zones, Aucklanders of all kinds are using the free Wi-Fi, and students gathered in study groups, among others.

Additionally, the reading itself has gone beyond the walls of the library as Aucklanders are downloading free eBooks, eMagazines and eAudio everywhere, which they use during their daily commute, on holiday, or when they are curled up at home.

Going digital

The Auckland Libraries General Manager shared some of the changes and plans about the future.

Libraries have evolved as the needs of the customers evolve. Aucklanders, according to her, are increasingly making use of digital information.

Since libraries serve as a centre of exploration, experience, learning and connection in the city, it is their mission to provide both a physical space for communities to come together, as well as a digital world to enjoy anywhere and anytime.

All of the libraries are about reaching people where they are and connecting them with what they need and the promise to be welcoming to all.

On the digital side, a major focus is on the online offerings and making them as easy as possible to access.

Various services available

The Auckland Libraries offer a plethora of services that will help build the future in digital, community, youth and Māori Services.

Auckland Libraries is not just the buildings. It is about the digital experience, making it accessible and innovative. The digital services are as follows:

  1. eCollections and eReading

Auckland Libraries is growing its eCollection. It is already offering 200,000 eBook, eMagazine and eAudiobook titles and still growing.

  1. eReading app

To make things even easier, libraries launched the Libby app for library members to access eBooks on their smartphone, tablet or iPods.

In the future, users will be able to sign-up and download the app instantly, without being a registered library user.

  1. Accessing heritage online

This year Auckland Libraries launched Kura Heritage Collections Online, which opened access to over 600,000 heritage documents, photographs, maps, manuscripts and more.

Ultimately, the collection will house over 2 million items online, so keep an eye out.

Expanding access for all

The mission of Auckland Libraries is to connect communities with what they need, and provide a place for them to explore, experience, learn and connect.

This year, Auckland Libraries expanded their mobile services, now running pop-up libraries at 39 aged-care facilities and retirement villages, plus visiting parks, beaches and events.

The service also makes personal home visits for people unable to get to a library.

The Library considers the youth and children as vital to the city. As such, it provides support, advice and a safe space to grow.

Mobile libraries are able to help the children. Mobile buses and vans regularly visit schools all over the city with books, library cards and expert librarians.

Furthermore, libraries are about supporting and celebrating the Māori identity, and growing the Māori language.

The people involved are building a future where Auckland Libraries is something that can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime.

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