Surry Hills Library, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Surry Hills Library and Community Centre Photo  John Gollings
Surry Hills Library and Community Centre
Photo John Gollings

Name of the Library: Surry Hills Library
Parent Organisation: City of Sydney Council

Street Address: 405 Crown Street Surry Hills 2010
Postal Address: Same as above
Telephone : 61 02 83746230
Web :
Type of Library : Multipurpose  building
Population served: City of Sydney (local government area) population 191,918, Surry Hills (village catchment) population 15,348
Project Type: Refurbishment
Size (square metres): 898m2
Date of Completion:  Opened 2009
Architect:  Richard Francis Jones from FJMT

Surry Hills Library John Gollings
Surry Hills Library
John Gollings

Key building features:
The new Surry Hills Library and Community Centre has been designed to achieve measurable standards of excellence in sustainable design and, ultimately, set new benchmarks in environmental performance for hybrid public buildings. Some examples are:
• Rainwater will be collected, treated and re-used for the flushing of toilets and watering the environmental atrium plants and Collins Street Reserve lawn.
• Achieving a high quality Indoor Environment is a key goal for the project and the building’s geo thermal cooling provides access to clean air with a low energy cost
• A photovoltaic array consisting of some 40 roof mounted solar panels
• High levels of natural day-lighting throughout the building and daylight controlled light fixtures
• Solar tracking louver façade to minimise direct light penetration to control glare and thermal gains
• Effective insulation of the building envelope including the Green Roof and ventilated facades, where natural grasses reduce energy loss through the roof and the façade cladding zone is ventilated to minimize thermal gains
• Movement controlled lighting which ensures lights turn off automatically when empty of people

Building materials have been specially selected for their durability so as to reduce maintenance and material replacement through the building’s life cycle. Waste management strategies and recycling have been adopted throughout construction and when the building is occupied there will be a centralised collection and sorting facility.
Sustainable material use includes:
– a post-tensioning structural system that reduces the quantity of concrete required for structural framing
– use of alternative materials to PVC for plumbing and electrical services
– Finishes that contain low levels of products which harm the environment such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
– Timber products sourced from sustainable forests

Surry Hills Library is part of the City of Sydney Library Network and regularly hosts a range of innovate and engaging events, such as the Late Night Library series this event offers Sydneysiders a range of exciting events on Thursday nights, from storytelling sessions and current affairs debates to live music performances and film screenings.

Awards, case studies, further information

  • 2014 Local Government Arts & Culture Awards
  • 2011 Best New Global Design award International Architecture Awards  Chicago
  • National Award for Sustainable Architecture and National Award for Public Architecture at the National Architecture Awards
  • Public Architecture Award, Milo Dunphy Award for Sustainable Architecture and John Verge Award for Interior Architecture at the NSW Architecture Awards
  • Environmental Excellence Award at the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s NSW Awards
  • The Green Globe Award for Local Government Sustainability at the NSW Department of Environment’s Awards
  • Excellence in Construction – Public Building Award at the Master Builders Association Awards
  • Award for Excellence in Sustainability at the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating Awards
  • Sustainability Award at the Building Product News Awards
  • Second place in the Emilio Ambasz Award for Green Architecture
  • Finalist in the National Interior Design Awards
  • Finalist in the United Nations World Environment Day Awards
  • Finalist in the Banksia Environment Awards
  • Highly Commended in the Asia Pacific Property Awards
  • Highly Commended in the Interior Design of Excellence Awards
  • Highly Commended in the Australian Timber Design Awards for a NSW Public/Commercial Building and Best Use of Timber Panels.



Tromsø City Library and Archive, Norway

Tromsø bibliotek 1

Name of the Library:Tromsø City Library and Archive
Parent Organisation: Tromsø City

Street Address: Grønnegt. 94, 9008 Tromsø NORWAY
Postal Address: Postboks 6900, 9299 Tromsø NORAY
Telephone : +47 777 90 900
Web Address:
Library Email:

Type of Library: Central Library
Population served: 75 000
Project Type : Refurbishment
Size (square metres): 3500 m2
Date of Completion: 2005
Architect: Kjell Beite

Tromsø 2

Tromsø City Library and Archive was opened in 2005. It is 3500 m2 and was drawn by the Norwegian architect Kjell Beite . However the roof was the remains of a cinema built in the 1960.

The library is a part of a complex containing the Town Hall and a cinema. The library collection is housed on four floors and a top gallery and shares the building with the City Archives.


Because of its convenient situation and spectacular architecture, the library has become a natural meeting place for the local citizens, and a “must see” experience for tourists. The vision of the library is to be a model library in the region of northern Norway. In 2006 the library was declared the Best Service Enterprise in Tromsø, an award given on behalf of the citizens of Tromsø. In 2008 the library was nominated as one of three for the award of “Library of the Year” in Norway, while in 2009 a general poll voted the Tromsø Library the best public library of the year.








Williamstown Library, Victoria, Australia

The external of the Williamstown Library. Photo: Alan Baxter
The external of the Williamstown Library. Photo: Alan Baxter

Name of the Library:  Williamstown Library
Parent Organisation:  Hobsons Bay Libraries

Street Address: 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown, Victoria 3016
Postal Address: as above
Telephone : +61 1300 462 542
Web Address Email

Type of Library: District Library
Population served: Primary catchment of 13,000 , secondary catchment of approximately 22,000
Project Type: New Building in a heritage precinct
Size (square metres): 1399m2
Date of Completion: September 2012
Architect: Sally Draper with Mitsouri Architects


Williamstown Library Children’s Area
Williamstown Library Children’s Area Photo: Trevor Mein

Williamstown, situated on a peninsula eight kilometres south-west of Melbourne, is the oldest continuous settlement on the shores of Port Phillip.

The design of the Williamstown Library is based on an understanding of Williamstown as a unique place within Melbourne, characterised by a strong sense of identity and community.
It is contemplated not as a standalone building but as an integral part of its urban context. The site spans two distinct precincts: the historic Town Hall precinct to the west, and the retail precinct to the east. The design approach allows the library to act as a “bridge” between these two different urban environments.

Williamstown’s maritime heritage is reflected in the building’s architectural features with the use of ply in the timber bridge as well as the curved form with wooden beams alluding to Williamstown’s history in boat building. The extensive use of wood and the translucent polycarbonate create a calm and airy feel to the library space. Fifty or so browsers, readers, researchers, students or PC users seem to have little impact on the overall sense of calm.

The architects saw the library as two interlinked components. A softly curved translucent structure houses a double height reading room, whilst the ancillary spaces are within a rectilinear, bluestone wall. The bluestone is punctured by a series of deeply set openings acting as a threshold or filter between the cultural realm of the Town Hall precinct and the commercial areas to the east. A series of flexible community gathering spaces are created  between the Town Hall and the library . A sheltered sun lit courtyard to the north opens off the UCAN library café and to the south generous timber step seats spill out onto the Town Hall forecourt providing an engaging and comfortable meeting place.

The Williamstown Library incorporates strong environmentally sustainable design (ESD) goals with solutions integrated into the building fabric. This was achieved through innovative design of the building envelope, thoughtful configuration and zoning of spaces, and the integration of a multi-stage hybrid HVAC system designed to balance occupant comfort with energy efficiency.

The HVAC system incorporated into this building is designed to work seamlessly with the spaces and architecture of the building to minimise energy consumption throughout the year. A sub-floor labyrinth covers the entire footprint of the building.  This labyrinth takes in outdoor air below deck level and allows it to filter into the occupied spaces providing passive cooling for much of the year. High level extract vents in the main reading room combined with automated windows in the building spine serve to draw air from the plenum through the occupied spaces thereby providing natural cooling and ventilation to all areas within the building.  As the temperature rises, dampers in the sub-floor plenum close and a VRV system utilises the sub-floor space for distribution of conditioned air into the building. During cooler months when natural ventilation is not possible, heating is achieved through the use of hydronic in slab heating in the main reading room and supplementary air based heating in the ancillary spaces. The energy efficient hydronic system warms the indoor air for the most part and is boosted when required by the VRV system.

Energy efficient lighting, daylight and motion sensors have been incorporated into spaces and an automated night purge system allows for high level extract. A 40,000 litre water tank is located below the main deck and harvests water from the library and part of the town hall roof for re-use in the building. The building features recycled timber and steel composite structural columns, natural Victorian bluestone and low VOC materials and finishes throughout.
The Williamstown Library combines innovative, elegant design with smart sustainable design solutions to create a library that will serve the community now and into the future.

View from the first floor.  Photo: Trevor Mein
View from the first floor. Photo: Trevor Mein

This modern, two storey library has brought new life to Williamstown’s historic arts and civic precinct with the library collection interspersed with attractive reading spaces and  state of the art technology incorporated throughout. There are self serve RFID issue and return  terminals, automated book returns, iPads for casual browsing, PCs and wireless internet and a gaming zone.  The bookshop inspired layout invites the reader to browse the collections, then to sit to read and linger in the nearby chairs.

Williamstown Library is a vibrant meeting place for the local community where visits regularly outstrip loans. The space is flexible to meet the needs of an array of different types of programming. The library runs the usual programs for children such as Rhymetime and Storytime in the colourful children’s area. However, the flexibility of the layout is showcased when larger author events are achieved by wheeling the collection into storage to allow half of the floor space to be set with 150-200 seats. Recent author events included Matthew Reilly and local favourite Andy Griffiths.  While relaxing on the outdoor deck you can plug into recharge your favourite device or enjoy acoustic sets from local musicians as part of the Music on the Deck program. Local community group, Transitions, are supported to meet monthly on the deck to exchange garden produce at ‘fruit and vegetable swaps’ and regular book sales run by the Friends of the Library group provide funds for the library’s programs and services. The deck creates a vibrant and active urban space and the “bridge” between the two buildings. Regular cultural events on the Town Hall calendar such as the Williamstown Literary Festival, the Rotary Art Show, Mobil Night at the Opera and the Antique and Vintage Fashion show spill out from the ballroom to enjoy coffee and drinks at interval.

The first floor Gallery hosts art exhibits from local art clubs, schools and kindergartens, and has hosted several national touring exhibitions, bringing high calibre exhibits to the community’s backyard.  When not in use for exhibitions, the gallery is well used by students at the shared study tables. Views of Melbourne’s city skyline can also be enjoyed from the Gallery.

For those wishing a quieter library experience, the library offers an acoustically treated study room, with peaceful views to the Town Hall and golden elm.

The library experience is enhanced by the aroma of freshly baked muffins and espresso. Library members can enjoy a coffee or bite to eat at the UCAN Cafe.  UCAN Cafe is a social enterprise supported as part of an award winning partnership with Hobsons Bay City council, paying award wage employment and training for young people with disability. This innovative enterprise has provided local youth with over 20,000 hours of employment.

The history of Hobsons Bay is showcased in the dedicated Heritage Room. The room is a haven for family history buffs, curious visitors, and serious researchers and boasts an impressive collection of local history primary and secondary source materials.

Best practice accessibility features include three fully accessible bathrooms, including accessible shower facilities and a hydraulic change table.  The integrated ramp entrances and the lift provided in the linkway provides accessible entry to the Town Hall for the first time in almost 100 years.
Awards, case studies, further information
New Williamstown Library for people as well as books. The Age, April 30th 2014 :

Williamstown: New Library, Old Spirit:

Australian Institute of Architects: 2014 Victorian Architecture Awards – Urban Design (Commendation)


Exeter Library, Exeter, United Kingdom

Name of the Library: Exeter Library, UK
Parent Organisation: Devon County Council, UK

Street Address: Castle Street, Exeter, Devon EX4 3PQ
Postal Address: Castle Street, Exeter, Devon EX4 3PQ
Telephone : +44 (0) 1392 384218
Web Address:

Type of Library : Central/ Main Library
Population served:
Project Type: New Building  Refurbishment
Size (square metres): not known
Date of Completion: 2014
Architect: HMY Radford

Tapiola Library, Espoo, Finland

Learning to Code at Tapiola Library
Learning to Code at Tapiola Library

Name of the Library Tapiola Library
Parent Organisation: Espoo City Library

Street Address:Kaupinkalliontie 10
Postal Address: Tapiola Library, P.O. Box 3615, 02070 City of Espoo, Finland
Telephone : +35850 4289392
(incl Country code)
Web Address
Library Email

Type of Library : District Library
Population served: 40 000
Project Type: Conversion
Size (square metres):2000
Date of Completion: 1989
Architect: Arto Sipinen

High School students interview Minister of Transport and Local Government at Tapiola Library
High School students interview Minister of Transport and Local Government at Tapiola Library

 1. We set out to change our library culture to a more lively ‘makers’-library with a hacker mentality. We are involved in promoting sustainable development by inspiring people to do things yourself, recycle and to learn new things. This is achieved by deconstructing the traditional library space into a ‘creative disorder’-space for customers and employees. We are in the process of releasing the library space for the use of the community. The library staff holds their meetings in customer premises. Some of the staff and the director of the library work without a service desk. This way we are more easily encountered by customers. By reducing our traditional collection we free up space for customers to act and be. Cultural events are being held for both adults and children (literature, politics, movies, singing performances, ballet, bobbing lace.) Customers are served porridge on Thursday mornings.

2. The lending of music records has been declining for several years. We moved the music related material to the middle of the library thus freeing up roughly 300 square meters of space for our 3D-printers, electronic drums, embroidery, vinyl-cutter, shirt press, book repair station, AV-digitalization equipment, a music workshop, a drone camera copter etc. In this makerspace customers manufacture, learn and work. Anyone who enters the space is welcome to join in any aforementioned activity. A staff member is always present to assist and uphold a pleasant atmosphere. The library offers a continuous stream of programming courses for all ages and workshops for shirt-making, crocheting and music.

Learning by doing at Tapiola Library
Learning by doing at Tapiola Library

3. The children’s section is being transformed into one of a more open and secure nature. All children’s non-fiction literature has been merged with adult literature of the same type. Space is being freed to accommodate more active ways of interaction. READs (Reading education assistance dogs) are available for reservation once a week per customer. Short films are made and tabletop/internet games played.











The Culture Yard Library, Elsinore, Denmark

Exterior View of the Culture Yard
Exterior View of the Culture Yard

Name of the Library The Culture Yard Library
Parent Organisation: Elsinore  Municipal Libraries

Street Address: Allegade 2
Postal Address:  DK-3000 Helsingør, Denmark
Telephone :  +45 49 28 36 20
Web Address http://www.helsbib.dkLibrary Email

Type of Library:  Central/ Main Library
Population served: 61,500
Project Type New Building
Size (square metres): 6000 (the library), 13000 (the Culture Yard total)
Date of Completion 10.10.2010
Architect Aart, Aarhus, Denmark

Reading Area
Reading Area

The culture yard – Centre for knowledge, creativity and new experiences, is part of a large cultural area in North Zealand. With The Sound as a backdrop, Kronborg Castle in plain sight, beside M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark and the old city of Elsinore, The Culture Yard is a cultural centre brimming with life and activities. It’s a place packed with history – both in its status as a modern culture house built on a traditional shipyard, and also quite literally, inside its large, extensive library. Besides The Library The Culture Yard holds two auditoriums, conference and exhibition facilities, The Shipyard Museum and a restaurant.

In the architecture the past meets the present. From the outside, the sail-inspired façade made of glass, steel and climate screens creates an impression both modern and sculptural.

Inside, a historical core has been preserved in the old shipyard buildings. Old and new melt together into an architectural composite of raw concrete walls and oak floors, open ceiling beans and striking window setting. The balconies facing the harbor, the terrace with a view of Kronborg Castle, and the reading nooks set out towards the sea, all inspire nature reflection and calm, making any visit here an experience. The building was designed by Aart architects, and is in itself worthy of a visit.

Children's Library
Children’s Library

In the heart of The Culture Yard is the library, a modern multimedia centre, designed around the concept of urban spaces. Books and other media are located in different districts. The intersections between districts serve as meeting, assembling and exhibition spaces, and provide a setting for everything from author appearances and poetry evenings to film and book club events.
The Children’s Library is an open landscape of worlds where you can set out on adventures of creative expression. In The Bay a lighthouse is showing the way where one might meet The Panzer Cod with its portholes and periscopes…, and in The Cave there’s the opportunity to play and perform. On the rock one can overview it all.
Activities and activity spaces can be found on the different floors – with computer rooms, study facilities and game rooms, as well as corners for reading and relaxing.

A yardful of knowledge – adventures all the way, is what the library gives. Whether one likes to discover historical archives or create stories by oneself, the library makes it all possible. From creative workshops to genealogy experts and local historians enhancing experiences all around. On the first floor there are play-spaces, workshops and game rooms for the young ones.
The second floor is fiction, music, film and games for all ages and a large area for self-performance; and the top floor houses non-fiction, newspapers and periodicals with the best view for Kronborg Castle and the harbor.

At the harbor the sculpture HAN, from internationally recognizes art duo Elmgreen & Dragset, makes references to both Elsinore’s past and to HAN’s famous big sister at Langelinie in Copenhagen.

Awards, case studies, further information
Aarts Architects / The Culture Yard have received a number of awards:
• 2011 Tyndpladeprisen
• 2011 Structural Award
• 2013 The International Hotel & Property Award
In 2013 The Culture Yard was used as a motif for two stamps


John Paul II Municipal Public Library, Opole, Poland

Photograph by Andrzej Zatwarnicki
Photograph by Andrzej Zatwarnicki

Name of the Library: John Paul II Municipal Public Library in Opole

Street Address: Minorytów 4
Postal Address: 45-017 Opole,Poland
Telephone : 00 48 77 454 80 30
Web Address
Library Email

Type of Library :Central/ Main
Population served:
Project Type Refurbishment
Size (square metres): 2366 m2
Date of Completion October 2010
Architect Małgorzata and Andrzej Zatwarniccy

Poland 2

The library building consists of two externally and stylistically different modules: the older module covers the nineteenth-century tenement with its neoclassical façade, whereas the simple form of the new one is made of glass with pylons symbolizing sheets of paper covered with Edward Stachura’s poems.
The architectural solutions enable people with disabilities to visit the library. The ramp, elevator, adequate door width and lack of doorsteps allow people in wheelchairs to enter the library.

The building consists of four floors. The ground floor holds the conference room (a space for literary meetings, discussions, concerts, conferences, and other cultural events), gallery (a space for art and literary exhibitions attracting attention with its unique atmosphere), photo gallery (a space for unique photographs and inspiring exhibitions), and café. On the first and second floors, there are lending departments, reading rooms, the Fairy Tale Room, and the media room. The third floor holds the Instructional Department, library stacks, and Library Administration.

Children’s Lending Department is the most colorful place in the library. You may find there books, toys, picture books, fables, fairy-tales, short stories, popular science books, comics, but also… the tree of wishes, the scientist’s room, board games, and computer stands. There is also place for family events such as Saturdays with Mum and Dad in Library, Night with Andersen, talks for preschoolers, reader accolades, literary and art competitions, meetings with favorite book authors.

The media room is a modern and fully computerized department of the Municipal Public Library, located on the second floor and having about 4 thousand items in its collection. It is equipped with audiovisual stands connected to the Internet and fitted with DVD/Blu-Ray players and the Office software, a great variety of multimedia: Polish and World Cinema, Blu-Ray films, book novelties, music and concerts, audiobooks in Polish and foreign languages, comic book collection, CZYTAK-s for the blind and visually impaired people, e-book devices designed for the purpose of reading digital books. The media room is a space for meetings with culture, film, art, and entertainment.

The Main Lending Department is fully computerized and offers its readers the collection covering about 52 thousand books on open shelves protected by the RFID system. The lending department offers Polish and foreign literature, popular science literature, help in literature choice, electronic book holds after opening hours, information  (via e-mail or telephone) about the library collection and book renewals. It is fitted with electronic lending system SOWA, self-service machines for borrowing and returning books, computer stands with the online catalogue access and online SOWA catalogue.
The press reading room offers all-Polish and local journals, sociopolitical weekly magazines, popular science, literary, and women’s magazines, weekly magazines in English, German, and French.

Poland 3

The Main Reading Room and the Information Department offer over 4,5 thousand titles in the general reference collection, 2,7 thousand items in Book Cabinet, and about 1,1 thousand items in Rare Books and Manuscripts Section. In that department you may take advantage of the online reading room, regional and special collections, the European information point, interlibrary loan services, a keyword catalogue. You may also use computer stands connected to the Internet and fitted with text editors, juridical database LEX, services covering library, factographic, and bibliographic information, xerox copying, printing, scanning services.

The Municipal Public Library organizes library lessons for teenagers, courses for seniors in basic computer skills and online catalogue use, and a variety of regular cultural events such as: All-Polish Essay Competition, Opole Literary Autumn, A Literary Competition: A Legend About Opole, All of Poland Reads to Kids, Out of a Suitcase with a Book, Children’s Literature Days, Movie Café Festival, Opole Art Encounters, Book Clubs, English Language Zone, The Days of Opole, and The Night of Culture. It is also engaged in the project America@yourlibrary.

Awards, case studies, further information
The modern looks and original architecture of the library were appreciated in all-Polish competitions. The library came off second best in the plebiscite for the best architectural realization, The Form of the Year 2010, organized by web portal.
The library building won also recognition in the competition Poland Is Growing Beautiful – 7 Wonders of the European Funds, in which the most interesting projects subsidized by the European funds were awarded prizes. In one of the seven competition categories, namely Revitalization, the city of Opole was awarded the main prize by the Ministry of Regional Development for the project “Alteration, outward and upward extension of the Municipal Public Library building in Opole.”
The Library was also awarded the title of The Master of Reading Promotion in the year 2012.










Lielahti District Library, Finland

The gaming room in Lielahti library is great fun for children and adults alike. Photographer Susanna Lyly
The gaming room in Lielahti library is great fun for children and adults alike. Photographer Susanna Lyly

Name of the Library: Lielahti District Library
Parent Organisation:Tampere City Library

Street Address: Teivaankatu 1
Postal Address:  33400 TAMPERE, FINLAND
Telephone :+358408007842
Web Address:

Type of Library:  (mark applicable)
District Library
Population served: 11000 people in the immediate surrounding area, though the library serves people even in the neighbouring municipalities.
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres): 1033m2
Date of Completion
Main designer: Arkkitehdit A3 Oy
Interior designer: Marjo Kreku

Lielahti 2

Lielahti district library is a new vibrant and airy library, the first one in Tampere to be situated in a shopping center. In addition to shopping opportunities, other public services, such as a health-care center and a service center for the elderly, are situated in the same building. As such, the library is ideally situated in the center of people’s daily activities.

Special services in the library include a gaming room in which console and board games can be played, urban offices for working space, and a music room with surround sound capabilities for listening to music or playing the piano.

The children’s department looks fun and whimsical with its bright colors and furry furniture
The children’s department looks fun and whimsical with its bright colors and furry furniture

The library also includes a Tietotori, a computing area in which the library’s media secretaries hold computer courses and help customer’s in coping with the necessities of the information society, all free of charge. The library also cooperates with the local adult education centre in order to offer an even wider range of courses.

In general, Lielahti library collaborates widely, particularly with the other public services in the building. Ownership of some of the rooms is shared, and various events are already being collaborated on. Dancing, gaming and reading events for the elderly, health advice in conjunction with the health-care center and children’s events for the whole shopping center are only some of the possible opportunities.


Hjoerring Public Library, Denmark

Hjoerring welcome_ifla

Name of the Library: Hjoerring Public Library
Parent Organisation: Hjoerring Libraries

Street Address: Oestergade 30
Postal Address:  9800 Hjoerring , Denmark
Telephone :+4572334800
Web Address:
Library email:

Type of Library:  Central/ Main Library   District Library  Headquarters  Joint use Medium size town library
Population served: The main library with branches: 68.000
Project Type New Building
Size (square metres): 5000 m2
Date of Completion: April 2008
Architect: Scmidt, Hammer & Lassen
Library fittings: BCI, now Lammhults Library Design.
Design and special equipment: Bosch & Fjord

Hjoerring chesterfield_ifla

Consider such things as  external and internal design and features, location, partnerships, environmental sustainability, innovation, accessibility, programs and services
Hjoerring Library has a vivid and organic design created by the Danish artist duo Bosch & Fjord. A read thread/band combines the different parts of the library and lead you to different experiences. Sometimes it is a shelf, a table, a seat or just decoration. The library is designed to encourage playfulness, learning, surprises and most of all a place to be.

The library is designed with inspiration from the ideas about libraries as The Third Places and The Great Good Places by Ray Oldenburg. Also the Danish architect Jan Gehl and his thoughts about city planning and making cities for people had a great impact.
Hjoerring Library is placed in a shopping mall and also have a cooperation with the mall in different ways. The library also includes a Tourist Service.

Please come and visit us – we love guests

Children's section
Children’s section

Awards, case studies, further information (In Danish, but see a lot of lovely photos and videos. Look for: Billedgalleri and Videogalleri.

Click to access Board-Report-Attachment4-Sept-16-2013.pdf


Alby bibliotek, Norsborg, Sweden

The entrance of Alby bibliotek
The entrance of Alby bibliotek

Name of the Library: Alby bibliotek
Parent Organisation: Bibliotek Botkyrka (The libraries of Botkyrka)

Street Address: Albyvägen 6C
Postal Address: SE-14559 Norsborg, Sweden
Telephone : +46(0) 8 – 530 629 80
(incl Country code)
Web Address
Library Email

Type of Library: Small Community Library
Population served: 12 000
Project Type : Conversion
Size (square metres): 450
Date of Completion: April 2008
Architect: SandellSandberg arkitekter (Erik Möller and Ida Wanler)

The interior seen from above with the characteristic green round shelves, the red ceiling and the place built study places to the right.
The interior seen from above with the characteristic green round shelves, the red ceiling and the place built study places to the right.

Consider such things as  external and internal design and features, location, partnerships, environmental sustainability, innovation, accessibility, programs and services

Alby bibliotek is a small community library in a multi-ethnical suburb to Stockholm. The entrance is spectacular with its round ceiling and big neon sign and the interior challenge the common view of a library with its roundly shaped green bookshelves and place built study and computer tables.

Alby bibliotek has a big range of activities, many of them in co-operation with other organizations of the local community, for example:
• Svenska med baby (Swedish with babies) – bring your baby to the library and practise Swedish together with other parents.
• Language cafés in English for youth.
• Film-making projects for youth.
• Help with homework in co-operation with the Red cross.
To ensure that the library is a safe place to be in Alby bibliotek co-operates with local organizations for ex-cons who make daily rounds in the library.

The entrance to the children’s department with windows towards the street
The entrance to the children’s department with windows towards the street

Alby bibliotek has 34 weekly opening hours between Monday and Saturday and is easy accessible by subway from the central parts of Stockholm.

Alby bibliotek is the world’s greatest library – for the residents of Alby!

Awards, case studies, further information
A case study that examines the new media presentation system in Alby public library (in Swedish):

Master thesis about the term elasticity and the relevance and function to apply it to public library organisations, with Alby bibliotek as one of the investigated libraries:

Master thesis about librarians and library managers in the three Stockholm suburbs of Alby, Fisksätra and Rinkeby and how they think and reason about the role of public libraries in the integration process:

Articles about Swedish with baby which 2014 got the annual Wendela award from the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet: