Aarhus University Library – a garden with books and pingpong

Written by Library Planet editor Christian Lauersen, director of Libraries and Citizen Services in Roskilde Municipality, Denmark. For how to contribute to Library Planet look here: https://libraryplanet.net/contribute/

Aarhus University Library (a part of The Royal Danish Library) is located in the center of Aarhus closely integrated with Aarhus University. The buildings on campus are classy yellow stone from the 70’s (I think) and easy to distinguish from the surrounding city. This gives a good campus feel and the impression of a small university city in the city. The library have been undergoing a major refurbishment this year and the result is stunning.

When you enter the library the first thing you meet is The Library Garden; A huge green and blooming room with a major round garden in the middle and rows of books from floor to ceiling. It’s an extremely pleasant room to be in and the light is just perfect. The garden in the middle is combined with lots of opportunities to be seated and have a talk or a read. The books are, as I understand it, mainly décor and not for check out but they work their magic and gives the room a great touch of knowledge and wisdom. The Library Garden is surrounded by a ground floor and a first floor and from the first floor small booths of glass are installed as workspaces – really great place to work and gives a great connection between The Library Garden and the first floor.

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If The Library Garden is impressive the basement is outstanding. No windows, no daylight and a low ceiling gives hard conditions for creating a room where it is nice to be, but Aarhus has mastered this task. Again books are used to work with both feelings and acoustics and the walls are covered with books except for small open solo study booths that in some magical way exclude almost every sound when you are seated in them. In the middle of the huge room you are offered an opputunity to get a break from the studies and play table tennis in a huge glass cage. The glass is sound proof and it is funny to sit and watch the happy playing students move and shout around the table tennis table without being able to hear them. The room has plenty of work spaces for both group and solo studies and also have different zones for relaxation. Three huge tents offers a very comfort setting with pillows, soft colors, mellow light and relaxing music.

All in all a great work with converting a dark basement into a buzzing and welcoming area for knowledge, learning and collaboration.

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Connect with the Library Garden and the basement the old traditional reading hall is located. It got some great light intake and holds a great atmosphere and on this day it is packed with students.

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What else? Oh yes the library takes the award for Best Library Toilets on the planet. Never thought I would actually think of toilet facilities as cool but these are! And they have a throne of books!

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When in Aarhus I would also recommend you checked out the new public main library Dokk1 at the harper – really cool library

Library Planet greetings

Christian

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