Review: Architectural Record on Oslo’s New Central Library
The library, known as Deichman Bjørvika (Deichman is the name of Oslo’s library system, and Bjørvika is the location) opened in June 2020 and remained open through the pandemic, with the number of visitors capped and other infection control measures in place. Since the restrictions were lifted, attendance has averaged 6,500 a day, nearly ten times as many people as visited the previous central library, according to library spokesman Lars Schwed Nygård.
Right now, the library houses some 450,000 books, but it’s hard to see how that’s possible, given the plethora of spaces for reading, socializing, snacking, watching films, attending lectures or just staring out the windows. (The Oslo-based firm Scenario did the lively interiors.) During recent weekday and weekend visits, the library was full, with virtually every seat (there are some 1,200 overall—many with USB ports) taken by students, while groups of older Norwegians followed tour guides through the building, a successful symbol of their country’s wealth and civic-mindedness.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.