Jef van Gool – the initiator of Literatuurplein and literary guru behind our Boekwijzer app – has been awarded The Order of Orange-Nassau for his dedication to promoting reading and literacy. One of the highest honors in the Netherlands! We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jef. It’s well and truly deserved!

Jef van Gool

When Jef van Gool retired from the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) just over a year ago, he was responsible for Literatuurplein. He’s been involved in all aspects of the Dutch world of literature for more than 40 years. In particular, playing a key role in promoting reading and literacy in the Netherlands.

First and foremost by helping to establish Stichting Lezen. But he also wrote the daily literature column on NOS Teletekst for 20 years – LiTTerair. What’s more, Jef played a vital role in creating the popular Literatuurplein website – writing more than 3,000 articles himself. Literatuurplein brought new life to literary culture in the Netherlands. It provides up-to-date information on literary nieuws and events, as well as reviews and interviews. Most importantly – easy access to a whole range of topics on anything to do with books and authors. As a result, the website now attracts more than 4 million visitors each year.

Well-deserved award

The BSL team congratulates Jef van Gool | Bright Side of Life | Koninklijke onderscheidingDuring his long career in the library world, Jef van Gool worked tirelessly with a single goal: to introduce everyone to books and reading. And now, his hard work and passion in promoting literacy has been rewarded. During the kickoff of the ‘Holland is Reading‘ campaign in Amersfoort, he became the proud recipient of The Order of Orange-Nassau. Following the unveiling of the Dutch Reading Experiment (for which Ronald Giphart collaborated with a literary robot to write a short story), Jef found himself in the spotlight. The many words of praise spoken about him can be epitomized in the following comment: “Jef knew – and knows – everyone in the literary world. And they all know him. He has the ability to bring people together, and the unique ability of maintaining a firm vision of what he wants to achieve – he is a real bridge builder.”


Jef gave the BSL team a great deal of helpful advice during the development of our successful BoekWijzer app. And for this we are extremely grateful! A real literary guru and book lover, Jef’s input was invaluable.

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