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Cycling for Libraries: Reflections on Libraries in the Netherlands

Cycling for Libraries: Reflections on Libraries in the Netherlands

Fellow librarian and honorary bizologist, Barbara Fullerton joined our own April Kessler for this year’s Cycling for Libraries. Here are her thoughts and initial impressions of public libraries in the Netherlands:

  • Most are open from 10 am to 10 pm, 7 days a week!
  • Cafes, Cafes, Cafes. Very important in Netherlands libraries and I”m getting used to my lattes in the afternoon visits.
  • Libraries are in the center of town.
  • Libraries are membership based and charge a small annual fee.
  • Libraries are in train stations and airports. How about the unemployment office?
  • Public libraries have the same branding so they are visible to all.
  • Most libraries have a modern look.
  • OCLC is popular.
  • Biggest public library is in Amsterdam: www.oba.nl
The saddest item I heard this week: the closing of the Royal Tropic Institute. What will happen to this Special Library and its collection? There will be layoffs and, most shockingly, all materials will be shredded!! This is a huge impact that includes books, drawings, manuscripts, journals, valuable maps….anything in printed format, regardless of age. I hope the Dutch government will find the funding to keep this library open.
Below, you can checkout the video from Day 2: