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Fresh ideas from the Library of my dreams campaign


At the beginning of January, Deputy Mayor Tuula Haatainen invited all city residents to dream up a library of the future. The campaign sought new kinds of insight and customer perspective on designing a library – what kind of a library environment would be good for working, studying, innovating, seeking information and spending time in the future?

Hundreds of dreamers took part in planning the library of the future – thank you for your fresh ideas! We aim to open the doors of the Central Library together in 2017. You can still write your dream on a tree leaf and send it towards Töölönlahti and the future library. Have you already taken a look at the ideas of others and hung your own dream on the tree top to rustle in the wind? Let’s give this story of the future library a happy ending!



Open spaces and natural encounters 

A common factor of many dreams was the wish to have a lively, colourful library with natural meeting places and room for doing things together. People want the spaces to be open, clear and modifiable. On the other hand, there should still be quiet spaces that encourage concentration. People would like to have peaceful places and opportunities to unwind in the midst of hectic everyday life.

The dreamers welcome different eras to the library. For example, the building might include Ye Olde Library, which would be like a history book, while the library lobby could be taken over by a hip-hop workshop. Long-standing library traditions could converge with digital studio and editing facilities, where customers could make their own mark on media.


Opportunities to get involved and have an influence 

There should also be more services available. Customers would like the future library to offer opportunities for communality, influence and dynamic activities. The library could support the realisation of civil democracy by offering a more extensive selection of channels and tools for encounters, activities and influence, such as the opportunity to process audio and video in a versatile manner, produce and edit videos, convert old recordings to digital format, receive guidance and advice, borrow a camcorder and laptop for video production and image processing, organise your own event or exhibition, etc.

The dreamers are clearly proud of their own hobbies and achievements, and would like their efforts to be seen in the library environment. Various galleries, exhibition spaces, theatres and crafts facilities were called for. And there is no denying that the world sometimes does need to be put into perspective by viewing it thoughtfully at arm’s length.



Exciting times at the library

Although the dreamers would not make the library a show-stopper, their dreams approached the library environment from not only a functional but also a visual point of view. There were wishes for “nest-like corners and chairs”, since the need to cuddle up is constant. People wanted colours and liveliness to make dark and rainy days more bearable. And large windows letting in lots of natural light to help you keep awake.

The dreamers would like to spend time in the library, not just pop in – the Central Library should provide slow nutrition for the soul, not fast food. According to one model, the library could be for working and studying in the daytime and for hobbies, crafts and events in the evenings.

Many dreamers would like elements belonging to the library’s set of values, such as communality, sustainable development, well-being, creativity and visible learning, to be concretely displayed in the future building. Several suggestions also highlighted the connection to nature, expressing a wish to see a new, increasingly ecological library.


Text: Virve Miettinen
Main photo: Meiju Niskali
Other photos: Martti Vattulainen 


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