Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 13:09
Library of the Future
Starting in 2015 the libraries in the Netherlands will change drastically. From that time on, every Dutch citizen must have the possibility to borrow ebooks via the Internet. Although the Council for Culture supports the law proposal about this change, they also warn for the consequences for small and local libraries. In the new organization all libraries are included under the National Library (KB). The KB will also play a key role in the national digital library. The Council for Culture will inform the Minister of Education, Culture and Science today by letter. On request of the minister, Jet Bussemaker, advises the council about the intended library law. The council thinks that the emphasis is too much directed towards the digital library while there is no renewing perspective for the function of the local libraries. The current laws on libraries is more than 25 years old. The idea behind these laws is that a library is a building with books and magazines. In the new law the digital library is the driving force for the developments of the public library. The council supports the reorganization and thinks it is important that there is a good digital library. On the other hand it fears that it will cause further cuts in the budgets for physical libraries. Already 88% of the libraries have to deal with decreasing budgets. When there is a good digital national library the municipalities might further cut in the budgets. However the local libraries have also other important and social roles. They play an important role for education, archives, local broadcasters and even sometimes as a meeting place. The council now wants to warn that these secondary functions of local libraries must not get lost.