what is a Library?

Central Library, Copenhagen
Atrium Panorama

We have just started a 5 week course in service design, and its set around the Public Danish Libraries, and the various systems in place.

The topic is rather vast at the moment and not easy to pinpoint with design opportunities.
We do know for a fact that library use in Denmark has fallen to 65% of the population! While this may seem as extraordinary in most countries, in Denmark its a state of crisis.

Among other issues, the staff and board feel that the libraries are losing out to new media and the internet.

One thing is for sure, the exciting bit about the next 5 weeks is that we as designers get to investigate and question the role of a ‘library’ in today’s system.

Have things changed? Do we make way for the Internet? Can a Library adapt? and what does a Library mean?

Any thoughts?

The Royal Danish Library


2 responses to “what is a Library?

  1. I think is a library is a place for people to access information and written entertainment.
    It is a place to study, to relax and a where you do not have to spend money to occupy your time.

    ( I use my local Library in NSW Australia a lot, it has study areas, internet access and a wide book range as well as free activities for children in the holidays.)

    • defaultinteraction

      thank you,
      I find the bit about not spending money to occupy your time as interesting.
      The Danish Libraries have similar facilities, and are pretty high up in their standards.

      It will be interesting to see the root of the declining numbers here, we are led to understand its because of the internet, and access to information, but it could be something else as well.. They believe, and rightfully so, that the role of a library is changing, and they have to adapt to it.

      thanks again for your input.

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