Yesterday I ‘killed two birds with one stone,’ or ‘Hit two flies with one slap,’ as they say in Sweden. I decided to A) get my act together and hunker down to study some Swedish B) finally visit the library that has intrigued me ever since I’ve laid eyes on it three years ago. Using my Rosetta Stone, dictionary and grammar books is something I could easily do at home but I have always needed a serene atmosphere to focus. It’s been over 2 two years since I’ve stepped foot inside a library, which is where I spent most of my free time when I was in college and miss it terribly. Being surrounded by books feels like home to me. I’ve always thought that this library was beautiful, a glass huge structure built hovering over the river. While all three of my colleges had spectacular libraries, this one put all the public Queens libraries (that I ever frequented) to shame.
Venturing into the library seems like a small feat but its uncharted territory to me which is always a bit scary. But it’s a library and that’s something I am familiar with- that’s something I can’t imagine can change too drastically from country to country. I am accustomed to poking into stores, browsing Swedish merchandise, hearing the cashiers speak in Swedish – but the library is different. It’s like walking into a bubble, a place to be quiet and respectful. I immediately wanted to whip out my camera and start taking photos of everything but it didn’t seem too appropriate and I decided to be sneaky instead of obnoxious.
The “Stadbiblioteket,” meaning “The City Library,” is modern, roomy and organized with a cheerful bright lime green theme throughout the three floors. The chairs are comfy and the view is just perfect. There is a full sized tree growing in the center of the building that reminds me a lot of my high school because we had the same thing, which is not very common. (I wasn’t able to get a good photo of it, sadly) It doesn’t feel stuffy and stale like the local libraries I’m used to. There is a beautiful wooden spiral staircase and glassed exhibits scattered around. The shelves remind me more of cozy home book shelves because they are not as packed and daunting. Above is a photo of the self check out, not something I’m used to seeing in libraries in the states, but maybe I just haven’t seen it.
I absolutely adore these circular bookshelves, so much more inviting and fun- really breaks up the boring space that libraries often have. High ceilings, all glass, couches and even a bean bag area for the kids to lay around in as they read. While I didn’t spend much time trying to understand where one section started and the other began you can tell its a place for everyone. The kids area is extensive, there are also study rooms, available PC’s, a cafe and loads of magazine racks.
All and all the trip was a good one, although I looked around and took photos most of the time and only studied for about 30 minutes- but it is a start and now I have a new place to go!