We visited several libraries along the way during Cycling for Libraries. At many of these stops, the library staff greeted us and graciously provided some refreshments and often a tour of their library (not to mention use of the bathrooms). There were a few interesting themes that emerged for me during these visits. Some of the libraries that left an impression on me.
At Greve Bibliotek in Greve, just outside of Copenhagen, this suburban public library branch had a gaming corner ( See photos) with game consoles and big screen for group gaming. It also had a quiet reading lounge in the back of the quiet stacks where they piped in classical music to dissuade the groups of teens who had been gathering there and disrupting the use of the library by others. It was a curious juxtaposition and the librarian acknowledged that they were struggling to balance between welcoming teens and curbing disruptive behaviour. The balancing act of welcoming all users is certainly something I can recognize in our libraries, too. In general it is a bright, welcoming space with modern furniture and colour coded stacks to help those for whom classification is a bit of a mystery.
Two days later, in the pleasant town of Præstø we stopped to see their "open" library. It's a very nice looking branch of the Vordingborg Municipal library system and the crazy thing is, patrons let themselves in. You use your barcode and pin to get in (see photo)! There are self serve check-in and check-out , lots of public inet computers, and open doors that lead to a very nice lawn out back. A separate desk for "citizen" services staffed for some hours each week. Oh, and, there are surveillance cameras.