The buildings of the KB, National Library of the Netherlands and al public libraries nationwide are closed until the 28th of April and all public activities have been cancelled. Nevertheless, online content remains available to the public and our customer services are still up and running. Libraries in the Netherlands are trying to make the most out it and are expanding their remote services with several initiatives.

The KB keep its members and the public in general posted by means of its website, the websites of other libraries and via social media. Below you will find an overview of the remote services we have on offer and some of the extra services which have been initiated.

 Lily Knibbeler, CEO of the KB, National Library of the Netherlands

“It is unimaginable what we have been through together in the Netherlands and throughout the world, the last month. During these difficult times we are learning to depend on and help one another. Together with the CPNB, we have started the campaign #ikleesthuis (#Ireadathome). This campaign was born out of necessity but came straight from the heart, as we all know that a book can provide comfort,  it can inspire and it can become a welcome distraction. As a national library, we feel obliged to facilitate this need as much as possible now. We do everything we can to make available as much as possible as soon as possible. I hope that as libraries, booksellers and publishers we can be of significance to many people in this period as well.”

New initiatives nationwide

The KB and other libraries in the Netherlands are trying to make the most out of the situation and try to spread the joy of reading. They do so by expanding their remote services with several initiatives.

Home Library app live with 100 free titles

On the 6th of April 2020, the ThuisBieb-app (Home Library app) was launched for iOS users and contains over a hundred free ebooks. This app is available to everybody with an Apple device and was trending amongst free apps in the Appstore after one day. The application for Android will hopefully follow soon. The publicity campaign about the introduction of this free app is well received on social media, has been mentioned on national television in a news programme for our youth (Jeugdjournaal) and almost all Dutch public libraries embrace the campaign and refer their members to it.

#ikleesthuis campaign

The KB and CPNB have launched a joint national campaign #ikleesthuis (#Ireadathome) with advertising on radio and TV. It strongly contributes to brand awareness and makes the Dutch people aware of the pleasure of reading, which can  be easily done from home now we have a semi lock down. Libraries can participate in the campaign free of charge and download the toolkit or order posters on the CPNB site.

Explosive growth in online Library visits

The campaign has had an immense effect on the number of visits to the online Library. On March 17, we saw a peak of 43,000 visits a day to the online Library, and in the days that followed, the number stabilized at an average of 32,000 to 35,000 visits per day. We also see a tripling of the page views for e-books. And the page views on the audio bookpage have gone through the roof after adding 100 free audiobooks. Normally we have on average 900 page views a day and on the day after the launch we counted nearly 25,000 page views. Since then the page views stabilized at around 10,000 a day.


‘Digi-taalhuis’, online help for vulnerable people

This version of the Digi-taalhuis (‘Digital language home’ for vulnerable people) has instantly been developed after the closing of the libraries. It offers an overview of informative websites that are easily accessible from home. You also find here infographics on how to deal with the Coronavirus and prevent it from spreading. The websites we refer to provide us, and especially the vulnerable people, with answers to health related questions, finances, digital possibilities of contacting relatives, dealing with computer technology, the digital government and learning Dutch. This information is also available on All libraries can use the blueprint page which we have provided on our website and add it their own page personalising it with their own remote services and contact information.

Kids Storytime series on ‘being grounded’

On the 30th of March, the first episode of Huisarrest (Being grounded), a ten-part series of Storytime sessions for children who weren’t allowed to leave their homes because of a virus. This series is an initiative of KB, the national library of the Netherlands and De Schoolschrijver (The School writer), that enables primary schools to offer (at a distance) children the pleasure of reading and stories.
Join online or/and watch again on: en

Book a Writer on your screen for home schooling

De Schrijverscentrale (The Writers ‘Center) starts with a pilot of online writers’ visits. The KB supports this initiative with an incentive contribution. Teachers who now teach online enrich their program with an online visit by a writer or illustrator. This initiative is an alternative for the visits of writers to primary schools often organized by public libraries. Organizers can opt for a personal video of the writer that is specially tailored to them or a live online visit during which students can interact with the writer on their screen. To support libraries that want to organize an online visit for their members or schools in the area, the KB offers an introductory discount for online visits during the pilot period from 9 April to 9 May 2020.

Remote services on offer

Reading for all ages

Online library (

Members of the public library can browse through over 28,000 Online Library e-books for children and adults. (membership required: free for children up to the age of 18)  

Audio Library application (LuisterBieb app)

Audio books (all ages) are available in the LuisterBieb app (audio library application). (membership required; free for children up to the age of 18). One hundred extra audio books, including some List books have been temporarily added to the audio book app and have been made available free of charge to the public also to those without a membership.

The Delpher website contains over a hundred million pages of digitalised Dutch books, newspapers and magazines is online accessible for the public. More than 95,000 digitalised newspapers were recently added and over 24,000 magazines and 5,000 books are now accessible from people’s homes.

Digital Library for Literature from the Netherlands

The Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren (digital Library for Literature from the Netherlands) includes thousands of literary texts, books, children’s books, secondary literature and additional information such as biographies and portraits is available without a membership.

Reading for kids

After closing the libraries and the schools,the Jeugdbibliotheek (youth library) adjusted the website and created an extensive overview of the remote services available while carrying out the slogan “ helps students”. From ebooks to audio books to every digital service you can think of, such as read-to-me clips, Yoleo and Junior Einstein. Every library can place the blueprint pages that have been made available on their own website.

Youth Library (

You can find more fun tips for kids with regard to presentations, papers, essays and inspiration for books they might enjoy to read on the website (free for children up to 18 with a youth library membership).

Lezen voor de Lijst’ – Reading for school

There are many titles available on the website ‘Lezen voor de Lijst’ (reading for school) It contains for example a special list of books which can be read for college exams. All of these books can be accessed online by using the library’s website or the Luisterbieb (Audio library). All children up to the age of eighteen have free access to this website by using a local digital library membership.

For kids that have a hard time reading, think of dyslexia or children who start to read, there is karaoke reading (e.g. listening with subtitles) via

Read-to-me clips

For the youngest we have enjoyable read-to-me clips in addition to audio books. The read-to-me clips are available through this link on

DataDetox Game

Now that your kids are home, they are likely to spend a lot of time online. This might be a good moment to introduce the DataDetox Game and the quiz ‘Online safety’ to you, also via

BookStart for babies and toddlers

BoekStart stimulates reading with babies and toddlers. There is also a BoekStart application that includes tips on books and recorded storytime sessions, available through .

Interesting information on

Theme pages

On, you can visit the Middle Ages or you can travel through our tumultuous modern history. Feast your eyes on fairy-tale books or decode an ancient writing. Discover the history and culture of The Netherlands by means of our collections. Dream for example away about your future travels with our online atlases.


You can find a selection of our greatest pieces, fully digitalised and equipped with introductions and tours in our Topstukkergalerij. From the Middle Ages up to Donald Duck: discover a treasure chest full of Dutch history and culture in the Royal Library.

Access to digital databases

Via our sources and browsers you can access hundreds of digital databases on our website. Many sources are easily accessible and with a KB-membership you get free access to over 150 digital sources.


Via Dataservices you can recycle digital images, metadata and texts from our collections. One can use the data – be it dependent on the applying license – for research, applications and other services. 

 Network activities

Network activities in the library system

The management consultation of SPN, VOB and KB, national Library of the Netherlands has intensified into a weekly event. A mutual crisis team has been brought to life in order to start up coordinated extra activities simultaneously.

CrisisBieb on Biebtobieb

We have seen beautiful, inspiring and unexpected initiatives to optimally cater to our users from colleagues from all over the country. In order for us to combine these initiatives and to simply provide access to each other’s ideas, we have created the page CrisisBieb, which can be found on Biebtobieb. This way, we still get to provide our local services, with each other, as a network.

Library campus

For over 6,000 employees of the Dutch public libraries, the Corona crisis entails working from home. In order for us to be able to aid everyone on a professional level during this period, the Library campus has expanded the online knowledge inventory substantially with, for example, the entire online teaching catalogue of Good Habits.