Linköping City Library – a community oasis of light and empowerment

Written by Library Planet editor Christian Lauersen, director of Libraries and Citizen Services in Roskilde Municipality, Denmark.

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I visited Linköping City Library on a cold and dark evening in December. Crossing a corner and suddenly the huge library with massive windows arises like a lighthouse in the dark. The library is in a fairly new building and is located in the center of the city. The architecture is interesting because it’s basically a one-room library with a basement – thing is that the one room is gigantic.

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Light in the dark

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The entrance of the one room library

The one-room design works because it creates and open, bright, welcoming and transparent space with different zones that gives focus and meet different needs and user situations. The zones are the children’s library, history and knowledge, information, fiction etc.

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Testing the childrens library by reading to local library buddy, Anneli Friberg

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Just strolling around the library creates a great sense of walking through a world that constantly expands before your eyes. I guess that is the very idea of a library and the design really embraces that. There are plenty of places to hide with a good book but you always feel that you are connected with the rest of the library and community in the big room.

In the basement there is a huge book collection and a local historical exhibition with old globes, armors etc.

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On a plateau over the library room you can enjoy a coffee while you read the days newspaper. The view over the library landscape is awesome.

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Linköping City Library is a fantastic library and very much worth a visit. I’ll recommend just to walk around the huge library letting serendipity by your guide.

What else to do in Linköping? Linköping is a cozy city with a very nice city center. I only been in Linköping during winter but I imagine that the city is blossoming and lively in the summer time. During winter I’ll recommend warm cloths and short evening works with one of the many nice bars and cafes as the final destination. Also a visit at “Gamla Linköping” (meaning Old Linköping) is very much worth a visit. It is much like a trip back in time and a very neat place with a great athmosphere and awesome cinnamon buns.

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