The journey to explore “triggers for learning and communications” starts from the kids area at Swedish library.
It was a coincidence how I found it: I was looking for a place where my son can enjoy himself while I am working; Once I entered into the kids area, I got shocked; On the contrary to my prediction that “the library is where you sit and read books quietly”, it was where kids play, learn and communicate with each other around the books.
I felt it was a symbolic place how Nordic society works with “learning and communications”, and for that I decided to start the first article from this place.
Visiting a city library in Uppsala, a student city with the oldest university in Scandinavia
Uppsala is the fourth biggest city in Sweden with about 150,000 population, which lies forty minutes north to Stockholm.
Uppsala is “a student city” with Uppsala University, the oldest university in Scandinavia founded in 1477. The symbol of the city is Uppsala Cathedral and it is known for its church architecture being one of the biggest in Scandinavia. Fyris river which runs along the main street reflects the cathedral beautifully on a sunny day.
As you walk down the main street for five minutes from Stora Torget (Big Square), you can find the Uppsala city library on your right. I used to visit there when I was a student and knew how rich it was, but I have never been to kids area (nor knew it was there.)
Kids-friendly from the entrance
As you walk towards the entrance, you recognize a mini elevator next to the staircases which is just several steps. (I found small elevators and slopes everywhere in the towns, shops etc and did not feel that I was with a buggy.)
It seems that the area for kids and youths are in the basement.
It says on the wall next to staircases, “Mys (Cuddle)”, “Läs (Read)” and “Lek (Play)”.
Down the staircases, there is an entrance for “Barnkammaren (Children chamber)”.
I wondered why they use the word “Kammaren (chamber)”, which is also used in “Enkammarsystem (one chamber system)” in politics. Will check later if there is any intentions.
I entered the gate to find myself being stopped by the personnel.
“Take off your shoes here. Small ones are crawling here.”
I never imagined the babies crawling in the library…! I took off the shoes and went into the gate, there was a fabulous space.
Comfortable sofas and chairs everywhere! You could even read under the “little twinkle stars”
In the room you could see comfortable sofas, chairs and cuchions everywhere.
There are a father and child reading books on a sofa, a toddler crawling on the ground as his mother lying on a sofa, everyone seems so relaxed.
There is even a chair that looks like a driving seat. Some kids are “driving” the car with a handle, some are sitting together, and some are reading books on the handle.
Furthermore, I found such a romantic sofa!
The wall is hollowed circle, and stars are drawn on the wall in the back. (The lighting is also like a star light. How romantic!) You could just lie with a kid and read books under the “starry sky”.
My kid apparently loved this sofa and came to me saying again and again, “Let’s go see little twinkle stars!!”.
Reading books under the “starry sky” makes you sleep… Not only the kids but also parents can also get relaxed and feel at home.
Then I saw the corner of the room and found something. Something that appears on that famous story…!
Continue to From toys to hidden rooms! Swedish library where kids enjoy books at their own pace (2)
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