Fears the e-book revolution would mean the end of libraries were far from being realised, says Tauranga City Council's libraries' manager.
Jill Best said foot traffic and online use was up this year - despite a library section being closed for six weeks, and the mobile library and learning centre being temporarily out of operation.
"We were really pleasantly surprised that the number of people coming to the libraries kept growing," she said.
The council operates the Tauranga City, Greerton, Mount Maunganui and Papamoa libraries.
The number of people who owned library cards has been dropping for a few years but the variety of programmes and resources has grown, she said.
"The libraries have become something of community hubs. We run a really successful learning centre, there's lots of programmes operating, and we also go to our customers a lot. For example, we're partnering with various resource centres to get out the message about what our business resources can do for small businesses.
"Libraries are about a lot more than just getting books."
E-book popularity was growing rapidly but it was still only 0.2 per cent of the libraries' total borrowing, she said.
"For a few years, people were predicting the end of libraries when e-books came out but it just sits alongside other devices. People use more than one medium."
E-books had big advantages. "The biggest one, I think, is that you can change the font easily, which is good for people with poor eyesight.
"People, of course, also like to take them with them when they're travelling, rather than lugging a suitcase of books."
Nationwide, there are more than 300 public libraries and 110 community libraries.
In the last financial year, more than 2 million members borrowed 48,000 items across the country. The number of members and borrowings were down slightly on the previous year.
The number of new members - 206,734 - was also slightly less than the previous year, though the number of visits, total library expenditure and number of items added to collections was up on 2012/2013.
Meanwhile, more than twice as many e-books were available last financial year than the year previous, and almost 500,000 more e-books were downloaded by library users.
Public Libraries of New Zealand executive director Tim Antric said the country still had a love affair with printed books.
"There's been a huge increase in e-book usage but it's still less than 4 per cent of total borrowing," he said.
"European markets have peaked at about 20 to 25 per cent e-book borrowing.
"I think we'll continue to see a steady increase in e-book usage but the need for printed books won't go."
People were increasingly using libraries for more than just borrowing and reading books, he said.
"There's been a 77 per cent increase in WiFi usage. That tells us New Zealanders need access to the internet when they're away from home or if they haven't got it home.
"One in five families with children don't have access to the internet at home and a lot of schools still don't have enough computers for students so we're filling a big gap.
"Libraries are for everyone. Books are a key part of a child's learning process and on top of books, there's a range of programmes available at libraries for free.
Tauranga Ciity Libraries
- Books on issue: 659,925
- Books overdue: 1798
- Largest outstanding fine by a single person: $320
- Most popular adult fiction: Never Go Back, Worth Dying For and Personal by Lee Child, Private Vegas by James Patterson, Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer.
- Most popular children and teens fiction: Diary of a Wimpy Kid - The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney, Slinky Malinki, Open The Door by Lynley Dodd, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, The Twits by Roald Dahl, The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney.
- Adult books with longest waiting lists: Girl On A Train by Paula Hawkins, Mightier Than The Sword by Jeffery Archer, The Dandelion Years by Erica James, Family Food by Pete Evans, The Chimes by Anna Smaill.