Spread across 1,100 square metres in spaces previously used to sell clothes and cut hair, a library has been created that easily brings to mind the Harry Potter universe and other fantasy worlds.

The idea behind the development of ‘the social library’ is to offer a place where people of all ages can come together to read, create, learn, discuss and experience. The library has been specially designed for easy adaptation to user preferences.

In connection with the opening of the library at Stovner Senter, Library Director Knut Skansen explains that the design of the Stovner library reflects the future of all Deichman libraries, and hopefully the rest of the country’s public libraries as well. He also emphasises the importance of the library’s location in the heart of the Stovner district.

The old Stovner library was situated on the outside of the centre for close to 40 years and attracted 120,000 visitors yearly. Now that the new library has moved inside the centre, this number is expected to double in the first year alone.

More than just a library

Stovner library has a packed events calendar. It includes community services that range from free homework help for primary and secondary school students to various courses like Language Cafés for those who already have a basic understanding of Norwegian and want to improve their skills.

Other more leisurely activities include game nights, lectures and a Family Day every Saturday.

The library’s own workshop, ‘StovnerLAB’, is an initiative in collaboration with the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology. It arranges a series of workshops that has included, amongst others, a speaker workshop in which children ages 10 to 15 can solder circuit boards and draw blueprints for their own custom speakers!

The Stovner Library is always open

Users who have upgraded their library cards to admission cards can access the library from 7am to 11pm daily, including weekends and public holidays. A survey among users of the old library showed that 90% used the library primarily for social reasons: they came as a group or to meet others. Accessibility based on visitors preferences is therefore important and is reflected in the opening hours and philosophy behind the library as a social meeting place and not only a place with books.

Dutch architect Aat Vos designed the library at the Stovner Senter, carried out in collaboration with the design agency Artisan Tech, which has worked on the scenery for Star Wars, Euro Disney and the Olympics. In developing the design for the Stovner library, the architect and design agency wanted to create a place that was inviting to children, young people and adults alike. The design was to result in a neutral look and feel that appeals to all ages.

This resulted in the idea to create an indoor park, where you can play with the kids, meet friends, read or simply relax. Please join us on a tour inside the library.