Archive for the 'libraries' Category

STOMP the library

Isn’t Seattle Public Library awesome?

National Library of the Netherlands

After lecture today we took the Metro to The Hague to tour the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands. It has more than 3.5 million items in its collection and adds more every day because it is required to keep a copy of every print item published in the Netherlands. It was very cool seeing the seemingly endless rows of books in the archive (there are more than 50 kilometers of books). Anyone can browse the library’s catalog, but it costs €15 annually for a library card that allows you to check out items.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about that €15 fee for a library card. Yes, libraries — especially archival libraries such as the National Library — are expensive to operate and maintain. And €15 a year is really cheap. However, the idea of limiting access with even so modest a fee kind of sticks. I’d really like for the National Library to be free. At least it’s free to look at the super-cool old books in the exhibition hall of the library.

Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam

I went to my first library of the trip, and I have to say that I’m deeply impressed. Judging from the Openbare Bibliotheek, it’s evident that the Netherlands values libraries. Such care was given to the design of the building and its contents, from the bookshelf arrangement to the labels on the books. I could see myself spending a lot of time there.

I was especially impressed by the setup of the children’s section. Continue reading ‘Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam’