Dutch Online Library; use, accounts and licenses

Table description


This table presents information about the registered users and their use of the digital collection of the Dutch online Library. The Royal Library (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) provides the service of the online Library to the registered members of Dutch public libraries and of the Dutch online public library.

First of all: the table describes the extent to which registered users make use of the different digital products that are being offered by the online library. Secondly, the tables provides insight into how the number of online Library users has evolved as of the year 2015, specifically in terms of age (youth/adult) and type (public library members/Digital Only users). The table also includes information on the number of active and non-active users of the digital library products, how many new accounts have been added and how many have expired. Finally, the table presents information about the number of licences the online Library has in its digital collection. Most of these concern e-books, but the table also contains the number of licences needed to access other digital products (e.g. courses and audio books). Where possible: these figures are specified by target group and genre.

As of the year 2016, the section ‘use’ includes information about courses for the first time. In the "accounts" section, in 2016 a distinction was made between different types of membership of the digital library. In addition, since 2016, both active and non-active accounts have been specified by the age of users. In 2017, for the first time figures have been included with regard to new and expired accounts. In the ‘licenses’ section, in 2016 figures were added with regard to audio books and courses. As from 2017, these figures have been specified into more detail: the licenses for the courses are specified by age, the licenses for audio books by age and genre. The latter also applies to the licenses for the VakantieBieb.

As of the year 2019, the online public library no longer offers online courses. Figures about downloads, accounts and licenses regarding online courses are no longer available. Neither are figures regarding new and terminated digital only memberships.

As from 2020, the KB started using a new registration system, in which the information on accounts is registered in a different way than before. Also, since 2020 a single digital account can be used for lending e-books as well as for downloading audio books (before 2020, two different accounts were needed for these actions). Besides that, new applications (like ThuisBieb) have been used in 2020 for offering digital products. Due to these changes, the figures regarding digital accounts in 2020 are not comparable to the figures presented in previous years. Therefore, the StatLine table has not been updated with the preliminary figures for 2020. Instead, a customized table with information on the Dutch online library has been placed on the CBS website (Dutch only). For the years 2015-2020, this customized table presents a selection of variables from the StatLine table (for the link: see below).

Data available from: 2015.

Status of the figures:
The figures for 2019 are preliminary. All other figures are final.

Changes as of 8 July 2021:
The table explanation has been updated.

When will new figures be published?
Figures for 2021 will be published in July 2022. At this moment, it is unknown whether the existing StatLine table will be updated with the latest figures, or whether the figures will again be presented in a customized table.

Description topics

Use of digital products
The use of an e-book is called a ‘loan’. Since the other digital products offered by the online Library are downloaded instead of being loaned, the term ‘use’ applies to these products. When referring to all three of these products, the term 'use' is used.
Total use online Library
The use of an e-book is called a ‘loan’. Since the other digital products offered by the online Library are downloaded instead of being loaned, the term ‘use’ applies to these products. When referring to all three of these products, the term 'use' is used.
Regular loans e-books
The online platform 'online Library' is the regular channel for borrowing e-books. The loans of e-books via the application ‘Holiday Selection’, are excluded.
Total
Target group: youth
People under 18 years of age.
Total
Fiction
Stories mainly derived from the imagination of the writer. For example: fairy tales, novels, plays, poetry and comic books are often classified as fiction.
Non-fiction
Texts mainly used to convey information. For example: informative books in general, dictionaries, essays, scientific works, study books and travel guides. Newspaper and magazine articles are classified as non-fiction as well.
Target group: adults
People aged 18 and over.
Total
Fiction
Stories mainly derived from the imagination of the writer. For example: fairy tales, novels, plays, poetry and comic books are often classified as fiction.
Non-fiction
Texts mainly used to convey information. For example: informative books in general, dictionaries, essays, scientific works, study books and travel guides. Newspaper and magazine articles are classified as non-fiction as well.
Target group: unknown
Downloads e-books 'VakantieBieb'
Through the application 'VakantieBieb', free e-books are offered on smartphones and tablets (with iOS or Android operating system) during the summer holidays (from June until September). A library membership is not required for this service. This service is independent from the 'online Library' platform, which is the regular channel for borrowing e-books.