The 3rd Place

I love the concept of the library as a 3rd place, and even more than that I love the idea of the library as a center for lifelong learning and culture. As I research, I’ve found several progressive European libraries that make me incredibly jealous.

Delft Public Library-The Netherlands
Since I’ve never been here, I’m relying on the description provided by Jenny Levine. I love, love, love the video gaming kiosks. The signs using images from popular culture are pretty great as well.

Kulturhuset-Stockholm, Sweden The kulturhuset is more than a library it is a destination that happens to include a library. I love that so many cultural activities can be found in this one location. And it houses The only library in Sweden specializing in comic books and graphic novels

The Idea Stores-London, United Kingdom
The Idea Store has three things:
1. Library – a wide range of stock including best-selling books, CDs and DVDs
2. Learning – day, evening and weekend courses for a range of interests and abilities
3. Information – access to extensive reference and information sources including online resources and a local studies and archives collection.

In my mind these three things make up what a library should offer the community.

I’m a big fan of giving myself big goals. Maybe someday I’ll be able to work in one of these amazing libraries. Guess I should start learning dutch.


3 responses to “The 3rd Place

  1. i came to know the most famous libraries in Europe by reading this article. i read your blogs and through your blogs i could understand how important libraries in our life. i try to join in a library and get into a new world.

  2. An acquiantance of mine visited the world’s greatest museums by… working at a national museum association. Maybe you could get a job at the American Library Association and convince them to let you do some field research on best practices?

    Your post also reminded me about my trip to Madrid: my first stop was the book museum in the basement of the national library. I had heard they had some original editions of Don Quixote. Lo, they had several editions and manuscripts, displayed alongside copies of those novels that drive Quixote mad in the story… Pretty moving. They also had several illuminated Bibles, the likes of which I had never seen in North America, and those I had seen on this side of the pond were certainly not exhibited for public viewing. A rather traditional use of a library, but still…

  3. I like the idea of field research…I’m going to have to look into that. If that doesn’t work out, Maybe I’ll just plan a working vacation to go library hopping in Europe. (With a stop in Madrid to see the book museum of course)

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