Literatuurplein from Stichting Bibliotheek.nl

Literatuurplein - Dutch libraries website

Photo: Literatuurplein

The former ‘Vereniging van Openbare Bibliotheken‘ (VOB) was the branch organization of – and for – public libraries in the Netherlands. In 2010, VOB’s activities were taken over by Stichting Bibliotheek.nl (BNL). The close cooperation between BSL and the former VOB dates back to 2004 when BSL took over support of its Content Management System (CMS) and associated databases, as well as responsibility for managing its flagship websites Literatuurplein.nl and Boekbalie.nl.

Complete rewrite

After taking over the technical support and design of Literatuurplein, BSL was asked to modernize the CMS and the site itself. This required a complete rewrite, replacing the entire database, creating new parsers to import and update content each day, and developing both a new CMS interface for the editors, and a brand new website. The development required several months, mainly using Java and Oracle PL/SQL. Throughout the development BSL was asked to analyze the impact of the ongoing development work, and to create functional, interaction, and technical designs in order to guarantee stability, performance, and user friendliness. Since the initial development the Literatuurplein has constantly been expanded, adding support for many more content types, and making web services available to libraries throughout the Netherlands.

Literatuurplein – a popular website

The result is a successful website that is visited by thousands of visitors daily. The CMS links titles from the most complete catalog of Dutch literature with a wide range of literary information, including agendas, training, interviews, columns, tv programs and price information – over 30 different content types are now supported. The Literatuurplein web site is able to handle a vast quantity of changes each day via information imported from external sources, and provides the very latest literary information to hundreds of websites in the Netherlands. BSL has continued to develop and extend the web site over the intervening years, keeping abreast of changing technology and requirements. This has led to further improvements in its design, ease-of-use, and functionality. Users can, for example, search through the entire web site using a single search term, or via a timeline or a map of the world.

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