On 13 September, the Online Library will launch the 'LEES' app especially for VMBO and MBO secondary school students. They can use the app to get free access for a year to 120 e-books and audiobooks specially selected for them. The aim of the app is to stimulate reading enjoyment among young people and to better acquaint them with the possibility of reading and listening digitally via the Online Library.

The Online Library is one of the services managed by the KB (National Library of the Netherlands). The KB tries to encourage as many people as possible to read. We want to encourage reading among 12 to 18-year-olds in particular, because the Dutch youth scores lowest in terms of reading skills of all their peers monitored in 15 EU countries. A quarter of them are even at risk of remaining at a low literacy level. 

“Encouraging young people to read is not easy”, says Lieke Hoefs, coordinator of the Online Library. “For that reason, we have taken a close look at the composition of the 120 free titles in the LEES app. From sports biographies to suspenseful thrillers and from books by comedians to young adult novels, to get young people reading, you have to offer an accessible selection of books that are very well suited to their interests.”

New stories

Two writers, Joost Oomen and Khalid Boudou, have written new stories especially for the app. Oomen wrote Hoog Catharijne and Boudou Snel geld. Boudou: “Reading is a way to journey outside your own bubble and expand your world, but not all young people know how to find their way to the world of books. That's why this app is a great initiative. You have access to a large world of reading anytime, anywhere, and you get to choose what to read. This promotes a love of reading.”

Young Adult Book Week & Readification

The launch of the LEES app takes place on the eve of the Young Adult Book Week, which runs from 15 to 24 September. As is tradition, the physical book week 3PAK gift will be published, this time with stories by Nydia van Voorthuizen and Marie Lotte Hagen, Rima Orie and Philip Huff. These stories also appear as e-books and audiobooks in the LEES app. The Readification project is also launching six new stories set in the world of the game Assassin's Creed: Mirage. These so-called Hidden Stories are enriched with extra visuals, video images and sound effects and can be viewed using the Ubisoft Special app.


Young people do not need to be library members to use the LEES app. This was a deliberate choice according to Lieke Hoefs, coordinator of the Online Library: “We wanted to remove all possible barriers because we think it's really important that more young people discover the pleasure of reading and listening, which they can do immediately after downloading the app. Of course, we hope that the fact that this is digital material will also appeal more to these digital natives.” 

The LEES app will remain active for one year but enthusiastic young people with a youth membership can continue to have free access to e-books and audiobooks from the Online Library. 

More information?

Helen Johnson
Press Officer & Content Strategist