Dutch kids driving force behind libraries' slow revival

Entrance National Library
The entrance of the National Library (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) in The Hague. ()

For he first time since 2010 the number of books borrowed from libraries in the Netherlands showed an increase, albeit a small one. In 2015 the 770 public libraries across the country lent out a total of 75 million books, slightly more than in the previous year, NOS reports.

The increase is entirely attributable to kids. In 2015 a total of 37.7 million children's books were borrowed from Dutch libraries. A massive 2 million more than in 2014, according to a study Minister Jet Bussemaker of Education sent to parliament on Wednesday. The study shows that libraries are increasingly being used as a kind of community center. More and more debates and lectures and other events are held at libraries - 82 thousand in 2015 compared to 72 thousand the year before. 

Bussemaker is very pleased with this development. She praised the libraries for reinventing themselves. "The library has become an attractive meeting place, that kids and adults like to go. They an borrow books, but also follow a language course, use a 3D printer or participate in a debate. The library has reinvented itself.