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A small ‘third place’ for the community

The new library functions as a ‘third place’ within the municipality and successfully ties in with current social developments, giving the libraries in the municipalities an effective relevance. In order to correspond to a modern image in every respect and to think sustainably, the library decided on a comprehensive RFID overall solution for media security and booking, which could be completely built into individually manufactured furniture.

The aim in Lüdinghausen, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, was to create future-oriented technical equipment and flexible room design with tailor-made furniture. The furniture for the self-booking technology fits harmoniously into the overall picture; the technology fades into the background. Intelligent shelves, so-called smartshelves, are also installed as a built-in variant. An absolute novelty for the municipality is an external returns facility that can be used around the clock every day.

The library is not only much brighter and more spacious, the usable area has also been expanded from 390 to 570 square metres. A bright, fresh colour scheme, light materials, white shelves and enlarged window areas contribute significantly to this positive effect. Cozy reading islands and window niches that meander along the stream, and a café corner enhance and encourage the ‘stay’ time for visitors.

A reading garden creates additional pleasant seating. Stools in the form of large pebbles in the children's area play with the location by the stream: a guiding principle that can even be found in the material of the furniture, which was made from maritime pine. The rolling counter furniture in the entrance area can be moved to increase space for events.

Flexible RFID technology as the ideal complete solution

The integration of the self-checkers in a uniform furniture concept fits in perfectly with these functional design requirements. Two selfCheck components for borrowing and account management disappear completely behind a wooden panel, so that only the touchscreens are visible, which were also installed at different heights for large and small visitors. The booking antennas are invisibly integrated in front of it in the spacious wooden counter; the receipt printer is right next to it. 2,000 new ID cards and 10,000 visitors were issued or counted within the first two months.

Tanja Werner, the architect involved in the project, says: “We are pleased that our concept has been successful and that the quality of living in Lüdinghausen has improved positively with the new library. The interplay of functional interior aesthetics and progressive, flexibly integrated library technology from bibliotheca, as well as the great teamwork of all involved, ensured a successful project."

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Find out more

bibliotheca has hosted a webinar, Small, but nice! Small libraries as Third Places, a discussion with Peter Mählmann, Library Director at Lüdinghausen, and Nicola Schöpke, Library Director for Stadtbücherei Plön. You can access the webinar on demand on the bibliotheca website and sign up for news about future webinars. 

Photos © Lioba Schneider, Peter Mählmann