I finished a book last night and wondered where the closest library was. Oh yes, the old main library on Rikhardinkatu. This beautiful building was originally built as a public library in 1881, the first one in the Nordic countries in a specifically designed building, and has always been a library. In the 1920’s an extra floor and a wing were added. It’s an absolutely delightful place with old shelves and furniture and nooks and hush quiet atmosphere. Wonderful for browsing and making discoveries. They say it has been haunted; the restless souls were asked to move on about three years ago.
This was my mother’s library when she was a child. She virtually lived in the children’s department. This department celebrated its 100th anniversary when mother visited it on her 90th birthday. The outside door is extremely heavy and inside there is another one, just as heavy. How did she as a small child open them? In those days, for you to get a library card you had to prove you, or the breadwinner in the family, had paid your taxes.
I compare this to my library back home. That library moved to its new premises last year and it’s located in the service area of a large mall, the area occupies a whole floor. The service area occupies the whole floor, not the library. This area also has a health care centre, social services, meeting rooms, info for all sorts of things in Espoo in general, a workshop for using a sewing machine, a 3-D printer etc. The actual library and the shelves where you can pick up your reserved books are in different ends of the area.
Those of you who have read my blog Notes and lists (July 2016) know I have a list of books I want to read. It gets longer by the week. Hence I already know what I want to read, I don’t really have the need to browse. I reserve these books online and just pick them up. Where the library previously was, these two areas were closer to each other and making discoveries was easier. The little shelves on casters where returned books are put before they are returned to their proper place on the shelves are best for making discoveries. There is always an eclectic selection of subjects from cookbooks to gardening to history to fiction to non-fiction and you may find yourself reading something you didn’t even know you were interested in.
I came out with The Fry Chronicles.
Good news: the scaffolding opposite is coming down. A beautiful pink, old building is being revealed, gradually.
There are seven hair dressers on Albertinkatu!
I'm Piisa and I will be sharing with you my thoughts on this and that, maybe even on whatever.