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Onleihe: Portal, E-Ink Reader and App Development

Onleihe is the digital lending service of over 3,200 libraries across Europe. In a challenging project, Almato developed new user interfaces, apps and backends for the Tolino e-ink reader media portal and the native apps (iOS and Android).

The Key Facts at a Glance

  • 27.5 million borrowings in more than 3,200 libraries across Europe
  • Improved user experience through cross-platform use

The Challenge

ekz.bibliotheksservice GmbH is both the leading library supplier and full-service provider in the German-speaking world as well as an innovator and co-shaper of the industry. From media and training to equipment and advice - ekz offers all products and services related to the library sector. In cooperation with its customers, the company develops exciting, practice-oriented products and services so that libraries are ideally prepared for current challenges.

This also includes the increasing consumption of digital media by the customers of individual libraries. The aim of ekz is to design the seamless interaction between libraries and their virtual services in such a way that an outstanding user experience is offered to users of the eLibrary.

The Almato Solution

As part of the project, the development of the new online lending backend and the front end for the Tolino e-ink reader was realized. Another focus was on the development of the apps for iOS and Android as well as the portal itself.

»The cross-platform integration of the digital rights management function was an exciting challenge for the team and was successfully implemented.«

– Benjamin Weidenbacher, Project Manager, Almato AG


  • Library selection 
  • Simple, thematic browsing in the library collection
  • Text search with auto-complete, search suggestions and comprehensive filter functions
  • Extensive detailed view with reading sample
  • Borrow, download and stream available eBooks, eMagazines, eAudio and eMusic titles
  • Notepad function
  • Integrated eBook reader
  • Optimized for all smartphone and tablet sizes
  • Offline reading and player function
  • Support for over 3,200 libraries

The Success

27.5 million loans in 3,200 libraries across Europe - ekz offers the leading digital lending platform for libraries in German-speaking countries with its Onleihe service and around 820,000 active users. Customers can borrow eBooks, eAudios, eVideos, ePapers, eMagazines and eMusic via their library's Internet portal - on the move and around the clock.



Customer Statement

»The proven expertise in the areas of user interface design and the development of mobile solutions were particularly decisive factors in our decision.«

René Hirsch
Head of IT, ekz.bibliotheksservice GmbH


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