Report From The Netherlands: “The Dutch Borrow Over Five Million E-Books Every Year” as Bibliotheek Turns 10
From NL Times:
Exactly ten years ago this Sunday, the then Minister of Culture Jet Bussemaker officially lent out the first e-book via the public libraries’ special online platform, the so-called online Bibliotheek (online library). It was Vaslav, the novel by Arthur Japin about the life of the legendary ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky (1890-1950).
In the first year (2014), around 80,000 people borrowed a total of almost 810,000 digital books in this way. There are now more than 600,000 people who borrow books through the online library every year: a total of more than five million e-books and around two million audiobooks. The increase is partly due to the COVID‑19 restrictions.
“We were the first online library in Europe where e-books could be borrowed by more than one user at a time,” recalls Ronald Huizer, member of the KB Board of Directors. The system is now well established. “In the years before the coronavirus, between three and four million e-books were borrowed every year. After that, it was consistently more than five million.” According to Huizer, the special ThuisBieb app from 2020, which allows non-members to receive 100 e-books and audiobooks free of charge, has contributed to the growth.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.