In 16 of the 355 municipalities in the Netherlands, the public library does not function properly. Five municipalities no longer have a library at all, according to the Council for Culture, which called this a very worrying development. The Council advised the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to oblige municipalities to make a fully equipped library available to its residents, NOS reports.
The government set aside 1 million euros per year for a "national facility" in Amsterdam dedicated to commemorating the Netherlands' slavery past, Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science announced with the government's culture plans for the period 2021-2024.
The success of a few large museums in the Netherlands created the image that all is well in the museum world, but that is not the case at all, according to the Council for Culture. Small museums in the country are struggling, the Council warns, RTL Nieuws reports.
Public attractions like the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with its collection of Rembrandts, or the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague with its Mondriaans, have nothing to complain about. But the smaller museums are having a very hard time attracting visitors, according to the Council.
Cutbacks in the Cultural sector wreaked havoc in the art world. Some 20 thousand permanent jobs disappeared and the sector is now dominated by low-paid freelancers. Half of people working in culture earn less than 30 thousand euros a year, according to a study done by the government's advisory group SER and the Council for Culture
The cabinet must spend an extra 29.5 million euros on culture annually. The emergency aid of the Tropenmuseum (Tropical Museum) must be added to the budget for museums and extra money must be made available for an orchestra for light music, such as the Metropole Orchestra.
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.