Libraries launch eBook lending in the Netherlands

(The Hague, 21 January 2014)  – A large scale eBook lending service for library members will be launched today in the Netherlands through  http://www.bibliotheek.nl/. This new service from the libraries will allow members to read eBooks without restriction so that more than one person can read the same eBook at the same time. In most countries, lending is based on the principle of ‘one copy, one use’, which means that an eBook can be unavailable because it has already been ‘lent’. Libraries in the Netherlands feel this is unacceptable, and so they have teamed up with publishers to develop a new lending model under which a fee is paid for each eBook they lend. This is an international first for the Netherlands.

This morning, Jet Bussemaker, the Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science, is to download the first eBook at The Hague Central Station. “This development really puts us at the forefront, as in many countries the principle of ‘one copy, one use’ still applies. It will enable libraries to attract many new members and offer a new service to their existing members. Library eBooks are easy to access, can be read at any time and anywhere, and they are affordable, so this new library service represents a significant boost in terms of access to knowledge, information and culture.”

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