What does “Biblionef” mean?

BIBLIO means ‘book’: source of knowledge and self-development and NEF means ‘ship’: a link between continents, symbol of adventure, and how we transport our books.

What is the history of Biblionef?

In the 1980s, when Max Vegelin van Claerbergen was Ambassador of the Netherlands to Suriname, he was struck by the large number of children had no exposure to books and did not read at all. An avid reader himself, he decided to help children discover books and the joy of reading. He set up the Biblionef foundation in 1989. Today, more than ever, the driving force behind Biblionef is to help all children discover the joy of reading. Books open up their world!

What is the Biblionef’s philosophy?

With limited access to relevant reading materials and books, millions of children every year risk being trapped in a life of illiteracy. Their chances for self-development will be severely impaired as the pathway to written knowledge remains closed to them. Biblionef is committed to breaking this cycle. We supply children with new, appealing books that are age-appropriate and suitable for their reading levels. We source children’s books from all over the world to ensure that the books we send are interesting, culturally relevant and in languages that will help children to thrive.

What type of books do you send?

Fairy-tales; adventure books; beautifully illustrated picture books; books in European languages (English, Dutch, French), some African languages (Swahili, Dagbani – Ghana) and Papiemento; Encyclopaedias; books about nature, wildlife, cultural diversity, inclusion; early-reading books; books for young adolescents; and prize-winning children’s books.

Does Biblionef also send textbooks?

We do not send actual textbooks, but rather attractive reference works with an educational angle, and especially if specifically requested. Of course, these books are all at children’s level, and feature many illustrations.

Does Biblionef accept second-hand books?

No, never. Biblionef only sends brand new books to schools.

Why does Biblionef only send new books?

New books are stronger and last longer, especially in tropical climates; they are attractive to children and feel like a true gift; giving a child a new book is a mark of respect, especially if that child rarely receives anything new.

How does Biblionef keep its costs down?

Biblionef Netherlands keeps its running costs to an absolute minimum, so that incoming funds can be spent on books and reading activities. Biblionef has a certificate from the CBF confirming that a minimum of 75% of its income is spent on the organization’s objectives. Help provided by our team of volunteers and private companies willing to help us transport the books is indispensible. The Board of Biblionef also works on a purely voluntary basis.