Tag Archives: certification

Certification of Public Libraries







Guest Blogger: Willem Camphuis, director Stichting Certificering Openbare Bibliotheken (Netherlands Institute for Public Library Certification).

The quality of public library services in the Netherlands is an important element in the innovation process of public libraries. Based on an agreement by the Netherlands Public Library Association (VOB) and the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG), certification of public libraries has been introduced. A separate, independent foundation, Netherlands Institute for Public Library Certification, has been set up in 2006 to organise and coordinate the audits and certification process to improve quality care within public libraries. The public libraries have also agreed to use the INK Management model  as the umbrella instrument for quality care. This means that libraries are supposed to implement quality care according to this model. In the same way, libraries have committed themselves to execute a position check and a customer satisfaction survey. The position check reveals strong aspects as well as points of improvement. The aim is to work on these points of improvement according to an improvement plan. These improvements will help public libraries to ‘future-proof’ themselves in a fast-changing world. (Public libraries have to adapt to the 21st century technology changes.)

Although quality care and certification are regarded as separate subjects, they are closely related. Quality care could be considered a means to achieve the aim of certification. The 156 public libraries in the Netherlands are committed to a certification scheme and will be visited every four years for an audit. The first round of certification took place during the period 2006-2009. At the moment, the third round of the audits and certification is taking place.

Certification is performed by independent auditors, working under the responsibility of the institute. The Netherlands Institute for Public Library Certification is located in The Hague.

More information (in Dutch) can be found on the website, where you will also find a short introduction film about the third round of certification.