Magazine App Royal Library

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague is committed to digitization. An app on which readers can borrow sixteen magazines – from Vrij Nederland and Psychologie Magazine to Margriet – is part of this. Qonqord set up this pilot together with partner SPRYLAB. It concerns a digital environment in which publishers place the magazines and the TijdschriftenBieb app, on which they can be read.

The challenge

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek had the idea to make individual journal articles available to its members. Petra Rijkelijkhuizen, strategic account manager at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, explains that the purchasing committee of the online library, however, wanted to make the entire magazines available digitally to subscribers.

Qonqord and SPRYLAB have the necessary experience in making magazines available on apps. That’s close, because magazine articles often contain heavy images that need to be loaded”, says Petra Rijkelijkhuizen.

On top of this, she says, there are additional things that Qonqord and Sprylab had to take into account in the development; a digital environment in which publishers make their magazines available, the fixed loan term is managed, the subscription management system is linked and the privacy of the subscribers is guaranteed. The publishers also wanted to know how often magazines and articles are read.

Add structure

Joris de Jong, consultant at Qonqord, led the process in the right direction by means of workshops, testing and reviewing the app and monitoring the planning. He also ensured good coordination with SPRYLAB. In the workshops, the requirements just mentioned were translated into the app. Joris and Ronald Leusink, partners at Qonqord, explain: “It was a journey of discovery: how do you unlock the content via an app – keeping the expectations of the reader, library and publisher in mind? How do the publishers want to present their content? What does the lending process of library members look like?”

The result

“We didn’t make it easy for Qonqord and SPRYLAB, but the process went well and we are happy with the result. Readers can borrow the magazines for three weeks, on a tablet or smartphone. Always the penultimate issue, but also earlier editions. The app, a pilot that will run until the end of 2021, already seems to meet a need. Active readers have put their teeth into it and come up with missing editions or suggestions for new magazines.” said Petra. There may also be titles for the youth. These are now missing due to the demands placed on apps for readers under the age of 16. Ronald and Joris emphasize that the app has more potential than the current representation of the content in PDF form. “There are richer content experiences possible. Think of videos in the text or improving readability.”

We have structured by

  • Efficient process for digital publishing
  • Integration of data and files
  • Stable work processes
  • Full back office integration
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