In 1842 C. Elliott of Nelson set up a commercial circulating library in the town. Borrowers could join the library on a quarterly or yearly basis, and take out books by paying a lending fee. This commercial library did not differ much from the embryonic public libraries, which also charged membership and borrowing fees.
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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, 13 August 1842, p. 89
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