Publicerat 5 november, 2014

Dress rehearsal for the new city library

During the week of 12-18 November, Umeå’s new city library will open for a test run to ensure everything is ready, in preparation for the grand opening of the library and the Väven cultural centre on 21 November. New technology, equipment, user flows and routines need to be tested on real library visitors in the new premises.

The books will once again become available to check out for the first time since the old library closed in early August. During dress rehearsal week, visitors can check out and return books as they normally would, but only during limited operating hours. After the rehearsal, the library will close to prepare for the opening ceremony on 21 November. The days between the dress rehearsal and the opening ceremony will be used to fine-tune operations based on feedback from both visitors and staff.

“We haven’t finished everything and we apologize for that, but we still want to let everyone experience the new city library as soon as possible. It’s a short test run and it allows us to uncover problems. For example, we want to see how well our advanced automated book return machine runs. It operates across three floors and we need to find out what adjustments are still needed. Some signs are still not in place, but staff will do their very best to guide library visitors,” says Ingegerd Frankki, Head Librarian at Umeå Municipality.

Väven weaves the new city library together with an art gallery, the Women’s History Museum and cinemas, providing new opportunities for collaborations and interactions. Stages and workshops for many types of creative endeavours offer a broader range of experiences for everyone. Personnel from Umeå’s Cultural Administration have developed new ways of grouping shelves, better highlighting the books in a way that improves accessibility and sparks curiosity. The books are now positioned near rooms and areas that can be used for activities within the same subject area. The new city library has 5000 square metres and, in addition to books, magazines, movies and music, there are also reading rooms overlooking the river, study rooms and plenty of space for children and young people. All library books are now easily accessible thanks to the open stacks.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be involved in opening this building, a place for everyone in Umeå. The intensive work by staff and others, who have devoted several years to creating a new library and a meeting place for the coming decades, is now finally complete.”

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