Romantic backstory to Auckland Libraries milestone

Last Updated : 18 Jul 2018
Romantic backstory to Auckland Libraries milestone
Corinne and Ian
Chance romantic meeting.jpg
Ian receiving the Kobo eReader from Kala Bhana, Mt Albert Community Library Manager

Essential things to organise for travelling: plane tickets, passport, travel guide.

That’s what Ian Hammond was sorting for his trip to Spain – he and his partner Corinne were off to visit her family in the Alicante province.

What he didn’t know was the eBook travel guide he’d just borrowed had carried Auckland Libraries into the world’s top eReading club.

Ian’s innocent Spain and Portugal Best Road Trips Lonely Planet Guide was Auckland Libraries’ five-millionth checkout from the eBook collection OverDrive.

OverDrive is used in over 40,000 libraries and schools across 70 countries worldwide – Auckland Libraries hitting 5 million checkouts places us in the exclusive ranks of New York Public Library, Boston, Toronto and the National Library Board of Singapore.

(Plus Ian gets a Kobo eReader!)

“It was a total surprise,” Ian says. “I had no idea Auckland Libraries was heading towards this milestone. Let alone that I was involved!

"I was just relaxing one morning, reading the paper – online! – and the email came through telling me I was the five-millionth checkout.”

“It was the loveliest news and I was totally elated – really carried me through the day I certainly didn’t expect this for organising a visit to see Corinne’s family.”

In a strike of fate for two people on opposite sides of the world, Ian and Corinne met in the Bay of Islands. She was doing her OE, he was having a weekend up North and they happened to bump into each other. And that was that.

The two of them try to visit Corinne’s family in Spain every year or so, and Ian loves exploring different parts of her home country. This year he’s got a hankering to visit Portugal as well – hence the Lonely Planet Guide check out and Auckland Libraries’ 5 million book mark!

So let’s all be glad they met!

Chance romantic meeting Spain and Portugal Best Road Trips.jpg
The fated book

eBook or print? (Why not both!)

Ian is a frequent visitor at his local Mt Albert Library, borrowing both print and eBooks from Auckland libraries.

“I love the resources available with eBooks,” he says. “How quick and easy it is, especially when you’re travelling – which is why I got an eTravel Guide for this trip! But I also like the tactile experience of reading a proper book though, the feel of the pages.”

Like many people, Ian says his love of reading goes back to childhood. Now he’s stoked to have Kobo eReader where he can download Auckland Libraries eBooks.

“I wish more people knew about Auckland Libraries eCollection – it opens up a whole world of content.” 

Catherine Leonard, Auckland Libraries Head of Content and Access, says that the popularity of eBooks has continued to grow at Auckland Libraries.

“We see the sharpest ongoing rise in popularity with the eAudio format,” she says.  “Which probably reflects the different ways we want to incorporate 'reading' into busy lives.”

"Auckland Libraries has seen increases of over 40 per cent in the use of its eAudio books when compared to 12 months ago. But it’s not a competition between print and e. We try to provide a good balance and range of formats to readers.”

About OverDrive and eReading:

  • A selection of the most recent Lonely Planet travel guides is guaranteed available from OverDrive for your travel needs.
  • OverDrive has over 200,000 eBook and eAudiobook titles for all reading tastes.
  • The easiest way to access OverDrive is through the Libby app – free to download.
  • Auckland Libraries customers check out approximately 4500 eBooks and eAudiobooks every day.
  • eBooks return themselves automatically at the end of their loan period! No fines or or making time in your busy day to return books.
  • All Aucklanders, not just library members, can now sample eBooks using one of Auckland Libraries’ OverDrive Media stations, which are rotating around Auckland Libraries.
  • In 2016, Auckland Libraries was one of 17 libraries worldwide and the only library system in the Southern Hemisphere that circulated one million digital books for the first time.
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