Sorø Public Library – a charming and lopsided experience

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:


Sorø is a small town of around 8.000 citizens on the Danish island Zealand. And it has a library. And a very nice library that is indeed.

Walking around in the library for the first time you kinda get the impression that you are on a ship that rocks a bit from side to side. The building is old and a bit lopsided. I found it very charming – like feeling the weight of time. The library has two floors and it is mainly the upper floor that feels lopsided. The library is not build as a library. It was built in the 1800 century to the sons of King Christian the 4th who went to Sorø Academy and the building is therefore also known as “The young masters farm”.  The entrance of the library in a yard with a large cobbled square in front surrounded by timbered red buildings.

The entrance yard infront of Sorø Library

Just by the main entrance on the ground floor you find the information desk and continuing into the library you find a fairly large and very colorful children’s library. I was told it was the old stables but no horses to be seen, just lots of cool old kids furniture from my childhood, literature, creativity tables, clothes for dressing up and whatever a kid could desire.

The Childrens Library

Moving to the upper floor you find one of my fave things in the whole world: Exposed beams (I also really like spiral stairs). On what an example of exposed beams Sorø Public Library could master; Big, robust, well maintained wooden beams that surrounded by book stacks, displays, light from the windows and furniture just created a wonderful library room. I could sit in that room and read all day. At the end of the fairly long room you would find a pair of swings to get things moving if it got to quiet – maybe it is just me but whenever I’m in a swing I can’t stop smiling. Great and simple little thing to put a smile on peoples face.

Exposed beams are the best beams


Moving towards the library on the upper floor you find a more regular library room with collections and a fairly large and cool board game collection. The signage in the library is simple and effect full with large single words on the walls and the stacks saying “’Fiction” etc.


At the end of the upper floor you walk through a corridor which is used to display the work of local artists and in the end you find an extreme lopsided kinda living room with some cozy chairs and book shelves. Took me a little while to get used to the tilt of the room and I was a bit afraid my chair was going to overthrow but ones getting settled it was a wonderful reading or study spot.


Whenever around Sorø please do yourself a favor and pay the local library a visit – it’s charming, intelligent and wonderful lopsided. What else to see when in Sorø? The museum of art is just across the library and has collections of art from the Middle Ages and an extraordinary collection of Russian icons. The main pedestrian way, Storgade, offers a nice walk through town.




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