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/
You know that feeling as a kid when you got a present for your birthday or for Christmas and you just didn’t have any high expectations? Small soft present from auntie Anna in plain brown paper. And then it turned out to be the best gift ever. Something better than you ever expected. I got it that way when I visited Billund Public Library.
Billund Public Library, a library for kids in all ages
Looking at the building from the outside it is really hard to get your kicks on. Squared brown-ish anonymous building in no man’s land just on the outskirts of world famous LEGO Land. The building itself is not the whole library. It’s like a community center with a small church, an art school, a café, day care for kids, tourist information and the library. Doing some research on the building it was actual a gift to the city of Billund by LEGO founder Kirk Christensen (on that note you might wonna read this connection between LEGO and libraries from a talk I did a while back: https://christianlauersen.net/2018/09/28/build-or-die/)
The Billund Center from the outside – a contrast to the library on the inside
Entering the library is like a smack in the face. A smack of colors, a smack of playfulness, a smack of library. They have really really been putting some work into the décor of the library. Talking to the very nice librarian on duty I was told that the library has been undergoing a major refurbishment about two years ago. She showed me some pictures of the library before the refurbishment and the smack in the face seemed even more real (see pictures of how the library looked before the refurbishment in the bottom of the post). The refurbishment was done in colab with Rosan Bosch Studio
Entering Billund Public Library
The library is a one-room library divided by the colors of orange, yellow, green, blue and red. The colors frames different zones in the library, all of them kinda appealing to playing, leaning, moving and making. It’s not a ‘book heavy’ library – the shelves are low, neat and they don’t dominate the room. A lot of the zones are used in the combination of activity area, reading/study zones and book displays which works really great.
The library got a nice panorama view to a huge green outside area and they have used it to install reading spots to face the world outside. Seemed to be very popular. In the middle of the library you find a yellow and white climbing and playing area with a little climbing wall, a slide, small cozy corners for reading or playing hide and seek and Ipads installed on the walls with different kid-friendly games. A great place to let the kids go nuts and burn off some energy or just hang out and read a book.
Stacks and a view
Yours truely in a Library Planet tee
A maker space is installed in the library offering workshops twice a week where citizens can make together. The library offers different kinds of crafts and tools and tech to support the making community. In the back of the maker space I found two old arcade gaming machines the one of them with the old classic ‘1942’ flight game installed which really took me back to a time where the arcade machines where the place to get lost if not in a book.
A huge green scene and a mini amphitheatre is installed in the back of the library used for different kinds of programs and talks and on a daily basis just as a nice hangout.
Billund Public Library is a library for kids in all ages and I literally had to drag my kids away from the library. The compositions of the room is well used, the décor and colors inspiring and calls for you to just walk around and explore, the signage is simple and clear, the staff friendly, the collection is small but well displayed. All in all Billund Public Library was a gift that just kept giving.
Really neat shelving
What else to see around Billund? Well, the library is located less than two miles away from world famous Legoland; a land, theme park and resort more or less made of LEGO. If you like me really dig LEGO it is well worth a visit.
Bonus: Billund Public Library before the refurbishment: