Umeå, in central Sweden, was nominated the European Capital of Culture for 2014. The inauguration of the new City Library was held on November 21.

The building, writes Inger Edebro Sikström, is made of several elements, which together form an organic structural body. Each storey has its own unique shape, overhanging the ground and providing the building with terracing. The ground and first floors are divided into two buildings intersected by a street, but are connected on the second floor. The southern part of the building opens out towards the quay and the river, with large glazed sections and doorways.

The birch tree’s white trunk, with its characteristic black graphic details, has been an inspiration for the design of the exterior white glass façade with black billowing windows. The building has six public entrances, allowing easy access and enabling flexible opening hours.

Inger's article provides an extensive illustrated profile of the new library, and of the 'co-creation and co-operation' that went into its development as an integral part of the city's cultural regeneration.

France, Latvia and the Mediterranean

The newsletter also features a profile of France's only depository library and examines the management of its storage capacity. There is an extensive article on the National Library of Latvia, and some interesting reports on visits to library buildings in the Mediterranean region as well as to the Bibliotheque Nationale de France.