Last year 62.6 million visits were made to public libraries, an increase of 5 percent compared to the year before. However, the number of members fell by 69,000 and four million fewer paper books were lent.
The members borrowed more than 63 million paper books in 2018, according to the annual survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB). Less sheet music and audiovisual materials were also lent.
However, the lending of e-books and the number of downloaded audio books increased: 300,000 more e-books were loaned (3.5 million in total) and more than 400,000 more audio books (1.3 million) compared to 2017. That is seven times as much as in 2015, the first year after the start of the national digital public library.
The number of adults with a library membership decreased by 27,000 and the number of youth members by 42,000. There is, however, an increase in the number of youth members compared to 2005: the number of members increased from almost 2 million to 2.3 million. Last year, more than two thirds of all young people up to the age of eighteen were members of the library and 10 percent of adults.
The number of registered digital accounts rose by 20 percent to 1.8 million. The number of active digital accounts that were used to borrow e-books grew by just under 12,000 to 213,000.