search.noResults

search.searching

dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
06 / 07


LEFT AND BELOW THE OODI LIBRARY IN HELSINKI , DESIGNED BY ALA ARCHITECTS


HELSINKI’S OODI LIBRARY is a HitWitH REadERs


It would be difficult to find a better symbol of a democratic, happy nation which puts literature and reading as a key part of its wellbeing than Helsinki’s new Central Library Oodi. The space was 20 years in the


making from initial idea to its launch last year, and every step of its develop- ment has been driven by Finnish people power. Architecture bids were scrutinised and voted upon by the public; Helsinki residents participated in workshops, campaigns and working groups to give planners direction on the services they wanted; and even the name Oodi (pronounced “awe- dee”, it means “ode”) was suggested by a patron. Fittingly, Oodi opened its doors last


year on 5th December, the eve of the 101st anniversary of Finnish independ- ence. Now, Finns love their libraries— the most recent annual statistics show the average number of loans per capita in the nation was 15.6 books (in the


UK it is just three books annually) and libraries are Finland’s most-used public service. But the Oodi launch was nothing short of spectacular: 22,000 people came to the first night opening, a further 33,000 the next day, while some 12,000 items were borrowed in the first 24 hours. The visits, of course, have not


kept up that breakneck pace in the following nine months, “but we are still incredibly busy”, says Oodi’s information specialist Samu Eeve. Interestingly, Oodi’s roistering launch comes during a time of great changes for library services. Eeve explains: “Libraries, of course,


have long been seen as quiet places with just bookshelves. But while we still have those places of study, Oodi is less quiet. We have spaces for music, theatre, dance, business meetings, story-times, book clubs, classes and on and on. I think of Oodi as a lively family living room: you can have that


person in the corner reading, but you can also have people talking and kids playing at the same time. It is a space for all sorts of activities.” Arguably, the reason Oodi has


remained popular is that its customers are driving the agenda. Eeve says: “About 90% of activities that take place involve outside actors coming to us and asking if they can use the space; it is the people that are being proactive.” Eeve argues that a well-read


populace is key to a country’s happi- ness, adding that it is crucial for organ- isations like Oodi to do all they can to empower those whose reading skills are not as advanced, such as the library’s outreach Finnish-language learning programme with Helsinki’s Roma community. He says: “Reading is democratic, it opens your world and can help bring about equality. And the more equal society is, the more content people are.”


LIBRARIES


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8