Seminar: Central Services for Public Libraries

The online German-Dutch dialogue on the future of libraries continues!

Please join us on Monday, April 12, 2021; 11:00 – 12:00 (CET).

The national library (KB) in the Netherlands offers central digital services to public libraries and to patrons as well. How these services were initiated in the past and how the situation is currently will be presented and compared with the situation in Germany.  Because of the political system and the cultural sovereignty of the federal states, the support of smaller public libraries in Germany is not centralized, but so called ‘Fachstellen’ in various federal states offer services to their libraries. This system, its tasks and services are presented – decentralised or centralised support for public libraries – what are the advantages and disadvantages? And what effects will the pandemic have to these services in the future? How will the idea of the third place be connected with the need to offer mobile services for the library users during and after corona?


  • Oke Simons, Fachstelle Schleswig-Holstein
  • Sander van Kempen, National Library (KB), Den Haag


  • Erna Winters, Bibliotheek Kennermerwaard

The online seminar is free of charge and in English; registration is required. The seminar will not be recorded.  Presentations will be send to the participants afterwards.
Registration is required:

The series will continue!  More information about topics and dates here: 

Seminar: Library staff: identifying, qualifying, employing and training

Please join us on Monday, March 15, 2021; 11:00 – 12:00 (CET)

The role of libraries is changing rapidly. This raises the question what kind of staff libraries need to make these changes successfully. Competent staff is crucial for positive user experiences, but which competencies do we require? We see a tendency to move away from ‘classic’ library skills like towards more generic skills like tech-savvy and entrepreneurial. How do we recruit our future colleagues? It can be a challenge to attract the people we need if the first association with libraries all over the world is ‘books’ rather than ‘databases’. What can library schools like in Germany contribute to training our future staff? Or should we focus more on training on the job like in the Netherlands?


  • Ute Engelkenmeier, Head of Service and Information, Technical University Dortmund
  • Matthijs van Otegem, Library director, Erasmus University Rotterdam


  • Harm Derks, Head Library Services, Free University Amsterdam

The online seminar is free of charge and in English. The seminar will not be recorded. Registration is required: .

Seminar: Artificial intelligence and libraries

Please join us on Monday, February 15, 2021; 11:00 – 12:00 (CET)

Is Artificial Intelligence good or bad news for libraries?

AI and other new evolving technologies will definitely have a strong impact on our future. In this seminar we will explain how AI is changing the way Libraries work and how it is changing the services of Libraries for their patrons. The current most common utilisation of AI in Libraries is the enrichment and linking of metadata, e.g. discovery systems, curation of data, data visualisation. But there is a broader perspective as well: How can Libraries have an impact on the development of trusted and ethical AI? How can libraries play an important role creating ‘AI for the public good’ and make their clients AI-aware? Moreover, how can libraries position themselves into national AI-Initiatives?


  • Erik Boekesteijn, Senior Advisor at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), the National Library of the Netherlands, Global Library Motivator
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Degkwitz, Director of the Library of the Humboldt-University Berlin
  • Jan Willem van Wessel, Member of the Board of Directors of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), the National Library of the Netherlands


  • Barbara Lison, Director of Bremen Public Library

The online seminar is free of charge and in English. The seminar will not be recorded. Registration is required:

Seminar: Sustainability and libraries – the agenda 2030

Please join us on Monday, January 18, 2021; 11:00 – 12:00 (CET)

Libraries are not only sustainable institutions per se, but they also make an intensive contribution to raising awareness of the need for a sustainable society. Why libraries in the Netherlands and in Germany play an important social role here, how they can contribute and what examples are available will be presented and discussed. The support of international library associations like IFLA and EBLIDA in this global challenge will also be a topic in this online-seminar.


  • Ton van Vlimmeren, EBLIDA President, Utrecht and Den Haag
  • Jacqueline Breidlid, German Library Association, Berlin


  • Hella Klauser, Network of Excellence for libraries (dbv/knb)

The online seminar is free of charge and in English. The seminar will not be recorded. Registration is required:

Seminar: UX-design – user experienced design and organization of research support at university libraries

On Monday, December 14, the German-Dutch dialogue on the future of libraries continues with a seminar on UX design.

How can User Experience design (UX design) be helpful to all the different needs and expectations of library users? UX design often involves designing websites and apps. But the experience of library users can also be mapped with UX Design to achieve improvements.

In this webinar the two enthusiastic specialists from Hamburg and Amsterdam will tell us more about UX Design in general and the possibilities for libraries. After their presentations time is set aside for questions and sharing experience.


  • Nicole Clasen, ZBW Hamburg
  • Larissa Tijsterman, University Library Amsterdam 


  • Tecla ten Berge, Haagse Hogeschool

The online seminar is free of charge and in English. The seminar will not be recorded. Registration is required:

Dutch-German on the future of libraries

As part of the German-Dutch country initiative, the sector organizations FOBID and BID (Library and Information in Germany) jointly offer a series of online seminars. Each month, topics are discussed that are currently important to the development of the libraries in both countries. From both countries a specialist will discuss topics from all areas of the library landscape such as artificial intelligence, sustainability in libraries, international conferences in times of crisis, UX design and library staff.

The series starts on Monday, November 16, 2020 from 11-12 am with the theme library buildings. “Why do libraries need buildings?”, asks moderator Barbara Lison (Stadtbibliothek Bremen, IFLA president-elect) to the two experts Theo Kemperman, director of the Library Rotterdam, and Olaf Eigenbrodt, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg, member of the building committee dbv / VdB.

Be live at the bilateral exchange of experts – a recording of the event is not scheduled.

Dates and discussion topics:

  • Monday, November 16, 2020, 11 am: Why do libraries need buildings?
  • Monday, December 14, 2020, 11 am: UX design
  • Monday, January 18, 2021, 11 am: Libraries and Sustainability
  • Monday, February 15, 2021, 11 am: Artificial intelligence and libraries
  • Monday, March 15, 2021, 11 am: Library staff
  • Monday, April 12, 2021, 11 a.m. Central service facilities for public libraries

The series continues – do you have any suggestions for topics for a German-Dutch professional exchange? Mail to:

Reserve the dates in your calendar – monthly from November 2020 – every Monday, always at 11 a.m. (Central European time), always with a current topic and two experts from both countries!

Click here for free registration for the first seminar:

To register for the other seminars, go to:

Tiele fellowships 2021

The Dr. P.A. Tiele-Stichting is devoted to promoting the study of the book in past and present. Its activities include publishing scholarly books and articles and organising symposia and lectures. Recently, the Tiele-Stichting has developed a Fellowship Programme to stimulate research in the field of books and reading in the Netherlands and Flanders.

Each year, two Tiele Fellows will receive financial support and research assistance. One of the Fellows will study an aspect of book and reading culture in the past, the other will study an aspect in the present.

IFLA Library Map of the World & Netherlands

The Netherlands is now a part of the IFLA Library Map of the World. This is source of basic library statistics and is providing country-level data and a worldwide comparison of different library performance metrics by region.

The Library Map of the World is also providing access to SDG stories, demonstrating how libraries in different countries contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Dutch page:

More information on the IFLA website:

COVID-19 and the impact on national libraries

At the request of CDNL (Conference Of Directors Of National Libraries) and in collaboration with IFLA, the KB (the National Library of the Netherlands) has conducted a study into the impact of COVID-19 on national libraries. The report provides insight into the influence of COVID-19 on the organization and the changes in the services of 55 national libraries.

Annual report 2019 and work plan 2020 RDA Committee

In 2019, the RDA Committee continued to translate the so-called “RDA Reference” into Dutch. The translated sections will be published in the RDA Registry. A website has also been set up that went live in the autumn. The full annual report (Dutch only) can be found on the website of the RDA Commission.

A study day will be organized in 2020 with the theme “RDA from theory to practice”. The new RDA Toolkit is expected by the end of 2020. The full work plan (Dutch only) can be found on the website of the RDA Commission.