In 2021, the KB, National Library of the Netherlands, reached six million users with its digital services. In other words, 42% of Dutch people paid at least one visit to the online Library, the Digital Library of Dutch Literature, Delpher and/or other KB platforms. The biggest rise was in the use of the digital youth library, Jeugdbibliotheek.nl. This site attracted 20% more visitors than in 2020. These are just a few of the facts reported in the KB annual report, which was published on the website at the end of May 2022.
The online Library, the platform on which public library members can borrow e-books and audio books, grew on several fronts in 2021. The collection of e-books grew from 32,500 to 35,500 titles. The number of audio books rose from over 3,000 to 7,800 titles. A total of 5.6 million e-books and over 2 million audio books were borrowed. The number of members that borrow one or more titles from the online Library annually also rose, from around 293,000 in 2020 to 366,000 members last year. In July, in partnership with Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the annual study providing data in relation to the Wsob will be published, in which the most recent and detailed library statistics are shared.
Jeugdbibliotheek.nl grows in popularity
Although children and young people are reading less, the popularity of e-books is steadily increasing. Jeugdbibliotheek.nl responded to this trend in spring 2021 by renewing its site to raise the profile of its range of e-books and audio books. The website attracted 20% more visitors in 2021 than in the previous year.
Delpher and Library of Dutch Literature expand
The digitised newspapers, books and magazines of Delpher and the literary collection of the Library of Dutch Literature continued to be popular. Both sites were visited more than 4 million times in 2021. New digitised material was added to both platforms in 2021. For example, the Library of Dutch Literature published the popular book supplements from Vrij Nederland (1981-1990) online, and Delpher added almost 350,000 new newspapers and over 3,500 magazines from the period 1960-1970.
Digital and printed KB collection continues to grow
In 2021, the KB added 400,000 digitised publications and 520,000 born digital publications to its digital repository. This repository has been used since 2003 to sustainably store both digitised publications and written heritage that has only ever been published in digital form (such as websites). By the end of 2021, the volume of this digital KB collection had reached over 1.8 petabytes (1 petabyte is 1,000 terabytes).
In 2021, another 517 metres of publications was added to the printed collection of the KB , bringing the total length to 120.5 kilometres of bookshelves. This growth comprised around 25,000 books, 34,000 magazine editions and 16,000 newspaper editions.
Want to know more?
The English summary of the KB annual report for 2021 can be found on our website, as well as the infographic.