Oslo’s New Library Will Redefine Public Libraries in Europe
By Quinn He
Throughout history, libraries have always been erected as grand buildings in a city, full of knowledge and books. In smaller towns, libraries are symbols of community and learning.
As society further migrates to moving books and learning tools online, we cannot forget the beauty and togetherness that the world’s libraries foster. The library is one of few projects that are in the works on Oslo’s Bjøvika waterfront.
Currently, a brand new library in Oslo, Norway is preparing for an unveiling that will have not just book lovers reeling.
The new Deichmann main library is planned to open on June 18th in Bjørvika, a neighborhood in Oslo.
When most people think of libraries, the image of a quiet, dull, and drab brick building may cross your mind.
Many libraries pride themselves in the number of books they contain or how tall their building is, but the Deichmann Bjøvika library isn’t concerned about that.
The location of the library plays a substantial factor in its ability to foster a sense of community in Oslo. Media Specialist for Visit Norway, Harald Hansen told GoNOMAD, “It will be a major contribution for Oslo as a city of culture, plus for all its citizens and visitors alike.”
This center will be a huge attraction for Oslo as this area of culture and community can be shared with people from around the world.
Fjord City in Oslo
This whole renovation of the area is part of the Fjord City, which is an urban renewal project that is currently transforming Oslo’s waterfront into a blossoming cultural hub.
The location sets up a day for tourists that is filled with beautiful art, books, music, and conversation with others, all with the backdrop of the spacious cultural center.
What Makes The Library Unique?
The Deichmann Bjøvika Public Library aims to redefine what a public library is and should be.
Aside from being home to thousands of books, the library prides itself on housing a cinema, open workshops, cafés, and plenty of space to read and have discussions with other library attendees.
Welcoming from All Sides
The architecture of the building is something to marvel at. The library’s intentionally built to welcome people from all sides of the city with north, south, east, and west entrances.
The library will be a venue for lectures, discussions, readings, and courses for the community and those who have traveled from around the world to be awestruck by the Deichmann Bjøvika library.
The fact it’s a multi-functional library sets it apart from other libraries. Name three other libraries that have a cinema, bar, restaurant, and workshop!
What Do Library Attendees Experience?
Harald Hansen described what the layout of this magnificent library is like from the basement all the way up to the sixth floor.
“The library has six floors. On the first floor, you will find reception, cafes, and restaurants. Below the first floor, there will be a cinema, bar, auditorium, and access to 450,000 books that previously was stored in a vault in the old museum.
“On the second floor, you will find books for children and adults and also activities for children.
On the third floor, you will find music, films, cartoons, games and also a workshop where you can borrow everything from 3D discs, sewing machines, tools such as drills, saws, etc, plus also music stations, sound stations, gaming room, and a small stage.”
“On the fourth floor, there will be classrooms, group rooms, recording room, plus books on art, architecture, health, technology, natural science. On the fifth floor, there are reading rooms, study rooms, plus books on social sciences, history, philosophy, religion.”
“In addition, you will also find the Future Library, an art project stretching over one century, that collects one manuscript a year from 100 authors. The manuscripts are stored, unread, and inaccessible in the library. Only in 2114, the books will be printed and published.”
Access 7 Days a Week
When attendees arrive at the library, they are able to get a library card for free and rent anything they want for no charge. Included with the card, you also get a key card that gives you access to the library every day from 7 AM to 11 PM.
The user experience is one to behold, as a large portion of the library’s services is digitized, such as ordering books from your smartphone. Other aspects of the library are interactive via a screen at the gaming and music rooms, bringing a modern touch to ordering books at a library.
What Makes the Library Different From Similar Libraries?
Harald Hansen said “the fact that is a super modern high tech library that more or less is 100% digital, plus a multi-functional library makes it different from other libraries.”
Many libraries try to incorporate things like podcasting booths, video rentals, auditoriums, and other events that bring people together. What’s making Dreichmann Bjøvika different from other libraries is the scale in which they introduce these aspects.
It’s a place where everyone is invited to read, discuss, rent tools, work on projects, create music, along with dozens of other activities.
The museum to be a hub of creation, learning, and culture, not just for residents of the surrounding area.
The museum is open to everyone that walks through its doors and “since the library is located at the heart of Oslo’s harbor,” Hansen says, “you do not need to plan a visit.”