undefinedOodi: Helsinki Central Library
Image: ALA Architects

Anna-Maria Soininvaara speaks about the new library, its role in the city, and its new management and staffing structure.

"At Oodi, we will have 54 library staff members but others as well. We have already made partnership agreements with different organizations and local authorities; for example, the city planning department’s showroom, the city’s other department services for small children (playground) and teenagers just to name a few."

She describes how the library will be organised:

Oodi is like three different buildings in one building, as it contains three distinct environments.

The first floor is more for partners. There is a film theatre, a restaurant, Europa Experience, the city’s information desk (side by side with librarians) and the city planning showroom.

On the second floor; we have all the maker spaces, studios, gaming rooms, customer kitchen, group-working rooms, and a big reading room. We also have a new kind of event room with intelligent digital walls. Also located on the second floor are the small offices for our staff and for our partners.

The third floor we call the ‘Book Heaven’; with a roughly 100,000 item book collection. We also have the family spaces, with children’s books and some digital learning materials. For example, there is a virtual reading fox doing the same job as a traditional reading dog.

The third floor also has the most beautiful view over Helsinki, with a balcony to sit and look at the parliament’s building located directly opposite Oodi. We are going to have some joint events with the parliament library to take advantage of having two democratic institutions looking at each other across the main street. We’ll talk more about culture, reading and learning issues.

Extracted from the Princh interview: follow the news link on the right for the full text >