The story-telling library. This was the inspirational concept for the new library on Amsterdam’s Linnaeusstraat. This library in Amsterdam-East replaces the Watergraafsmeer and Oosterpark libraries. Bieb Systems was responsible for the interior design. We talk with Marij Janssen, the then Regional Manager for East and Diemen at the OBA (Amsterdam Public Library) and responsible for the renovation and interior design of OBA Linnaeusstraat.
People meeting people
“The new library is located in a former supermarket building. It’s much more central and more visible than the old branches. The interior was designed by a firm of architects. We wanted a café-like ambience. The basic idea was that OBA Linnaeus should be a place where people could meet and take part in various activities. In other words, a library with a real community function.”
Less information, more stories
“Information supply is an important task for libraries, but in a city like Amsterdam you don’t need to do that in every branch. So we’re aiming for more specialisation in the various neighbourhood libraries.
“OBA Linnaeus specialises in literature and culture, so it’s a story-telling library. That applies not just to the collection, but also to the organised activities. For example, writers are regularly invited to take part in the Linnaeus Live literary programme. The concept has been very successful: OBA Linnaeus has received more visitors and loaned out more books than the two old branches ever did.”
Bieb Systems: fast, flexible and professional
In the Netherlands, there are very few suppliers in the field of library design. But I always come back to Bieb Systems. They’re a pleasure to work with and are very professional. They really are passionate about libraries. They actively think along with us and always have creative ideas. For example, I love the dark blue bookcases that they came up with. Beautiful! They also work super-fast, even under difficult conditions. We had just nine weeks to get everything done, but they made it with time to spare.”