Flemish libraries join forces to form one of the world's largest library systems

Now that the libraries of Hoegaarden and Boutersem (Flemish Brabant province) have joined the 'Wise' library system, all 305 public libraries in Flanders are now part of the same network. This makes Wise one of the largest library systems in the world, according to Cultuurconnect, an organisation that promotes digital innovation in arts and culture.

Since the introduction of Wise, almost all Dutch-language public libraries in Flanders and Brussels have switched to the new library software. In February this year, Ghent's central library De Krook and Brakel Library (both in East Flanders province, ed.) switched over. Boutersem and Hoegaarden now bring the total to 305.

"It was quite a job, but this new library system paves the way for further improvement, renewal and change."

With the new software, all libraries use the same data: they work with the same catalogue of titles and a shared borrower database. In addition, the system allows borrowers to transfer materials online from any other Flanders library. In some regions, only one membership is needed to access different libraries.

"It was quite a job, but this new library system paves the way for further improvement, renewal and change. We are currently working with the libraries on an innovation agenda to keep pace with user expectations," said Johan Mijs of Cultureconnect.



#FlandersNewsService | Library De Krook in Ghent, East Flanders © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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