Rotorua students using the National Library curriculum service will increasingly be directed to online resources from this year.
The National Library of New Zealand has announced it is transforming its Services to Schools in response to library and education directions.
The National Library's current curriculum topic support service will be disestablished in Term 3 in favour of "implementing services with an increased emphasis on the priority areas of reading engagement, digital literacy and modern library learning environments".
New Zealand Principals Federation president Denise Torrey said the rural sector with poor connectivity would be particularly affected by the change.
"Not all schools and students have access to reliable technology to make use of digital resources.
"The National Library's shift to digital delivery penalises rural schools as many have inadequate broadband connections, if at all."
However, a local rural school principal says all schools need to accept and prepare for the move to digitally delivered resources.
Reporoa College principal Steve Lewis said tertiary institutes had been using digital resources for some years and it was "only a matter of time before that infiltrated into secondary schooling".
"Rural schools which may be adversely affected by the switch to digital delivery should be exploring ways of increasing their access to these resources sooner rather than later."
John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said switching to a digital format was ultimately a good idea.
"With more schools moving to Bring Your Own Device models, the availability of data is paramount.
"John Paul College does use the National Library curriculum service and, by switching to a digital-based delivery, more students will be able to access resources."