While patrons of the library can now lend and take along a printed book, ebooks can be consulted only in the library for the time being. However the Royal Dutch Library and the Dutch Publishers Association (NUV) are negotiating a mode of co-operation.
The Royal Dutch Library has been charged with the legal depot of printed books since 1974. Since that time publishers in The Netherlands are obliged to deposit every new book published. In 1994 the Royal Dutch Library started an experimental electronic depot for newspapers, magazines, books and electronic products such as CD-ROM productions. Presently the e-depot has grown fast as several publishers of scientific, technical and medical journals have assigned the Royal Dutch Library as their repository.
Earlier this year there was an initiative to set up a nationwide library network for lending ebooks. The government will provide 15 million euro and the Municipalities’ Fund another 15 million euro for the project. Presently a small selection of copyright free ebooks can be found. The Royal Dutch Library project of ebook deposits can speed up the enlargement of the portfolio.