Hamilton City Libraries launches new free eBook service

Thursday 16 February 2012, 1:29PM
By Hamilton City Council


Hamilton City Libraries is entering a new chapter in its 128-year history – the eBook era.

From 27 February, Hamilton City Libraries, in conjunction with library and educational book supplier Wheelers, will provide a high quality eBook service called Wheelers ePlatform. The new service will be celebrated with an official launch at Garden Place Library, where a Kobo eReader will be presented to the winner of an online quiz currently running on the Hamilton City Libraries website (

The new eBook service will give libraries’ customers 24/7 access to a wide range of eBooks from home. Titles can be read on the customers’ own computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and dedicated eReader devices. Devices with an internet browser will be able to use the free Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa (APNK) wifi service available at all Hamilton City Libraries to download eBooks.

Library members will access Wheelers ePlatform through the Libraries’ website and browse or search for particular authors, titles and categories. There will also be links in the main Libraries’ catalogue indicating which titles are available as eBooks. Members will be authenticated by entering their library card number and pin, before downloading an eBook.

One of the benefits of the new service is there are no late fees, as eBooks automatically expire and are returned after the set loan period of two weeks.

Mayor Julie Hardaker will officially launch the eBook service during an event at Garden Place Library on Monday, 27 February at 1pm.

The launch will also include an educational Q&A session for members of the public, who are encouraged to bring along their devices on the day, and the presentation of the Kobo eReader donated by Wheelers to the winner of the online quiz running until 23 February. The prize will be presented by Wheelers Managing Director Paul Du Temple and the winner must be present at the launch to claim the prize.

Hamilton City Libraries Director Su Scott said by introducing the Wheelers ePlatform service, Hamilton City Libraries is keeping up to date with the ever-changing needs of its customers.

“There will always be a place for traditional hard copy books however today’s technology means there is a new expectation that people should be able to access the titles they want instantly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Wheelers ePlatform service will allow us to deliver this to our customers,” she said.

The cost to establish an eBook collection is being met from the book budget in the current year. This is expected to increase in line with demand. The amount allocated to eBook purchase is expected to increase in line with demand in future years. The average cost of an eBook is comparable to print books.

Information on the new service is available on the Wheelers ePlatform website (, including tips on which free app to download depending on your device.

EBooks available through Wheelers ePlatform are not currently compatible with Kindle eReaders.

Launch of Hamilton City Libraries’ new eBook service
Monday, 27 February, 1pm
Garden Place Library, Level 2