ALIA Dreaming 08 – PM Plenary – Inga Lunden

The New City Library: more than a house, for knowledge and dreams – Inga Lunden Stockholm Public Library

Whats the librarys challenge and mission? The EU believe it is creating public paradise in the connected age.

Dreaming the future is risky – the only certainty is that it will change. However, only dreamers can influence the future. We are living in a dream time, where stories enrich our lives and where libraries are places where stories are living and where they truly come to life between title and user, between staff and user, between author and reader and between readers.

Serendipity is brought to life in libraries. You find things there that you didnt know you were looking for and meeting people you wouldnt otherwise meet. We also have library stories to tell – a million stories happen every day, about the past, present and future.

The new Stockholm is not certain, it is still in committee. It gives us a chance though to define ourselves and our place in the future. The library can be anything we want it to be – it should not be about the fences, but about the core.

What do people need? What are their dreams? To experience and learn – best learning done while experiencing and vice versa. To communicate and participate – to be inclusive and be visible to yourself and others. So we need to reimagine ourselves.

We need to share knowledge and imagination with knowledge and imagination. Focus on peoples needs adn dreams, developing products and services that people want. Always need to try new ideas – if it works, great, if it doesnt, let it go.

Libraries are a million stories to be shared, love and become new stories. They give children the right to be told stories and to tell their own. Stories come from everywhere. Does anything exist that doesnt have a story.

Libraries are peoples universities, where they have the joy of discovery. Libraries are everywhere, prevasive, boundless and a part of Google. We want people to share discoveries with us, share with each other and libraries want to share with users and to share with other libraries.

Libraries are like dream weavers who are champions of the long tail, as not only users connect to obscure books, but as other books connect users to those books.

Stockholm is growing in numbers (800,000, with 1/3 immigrant background), but also growing in knowlege, background and diversity. Stockholm 2030 Vision is to be a world class city, which is diversified and rich in experience, innovative and inspiring for growth, and of course, a world class city needs a world class library.

The Nordic countries are all planning for new central libraries. 170 architects dreamed about the library and the jury dreamed of light, openness and communication. Heike Hanada dream is the one that came true – the final decision will be made later this year.
The library cant build its own library – it has to be the library, the council and the people who build it together.

Their dreams are taking shape in the plan. The House of Narration, made for all languages for all ages. Agora will be open all hours for meeting, working and coffee from 6am to 1pm. The Discovery Centre will also be for young and old.

The House of Narration will be in the old building and where stories and their readers will be celebrate and where readers and authors will meet and share. It will be where readers become authors and meet their readers and where young people can listen to and tell their own stories.

The Discovery Library are for kids and grownups side by side, where curiousity is celebrated, no matter your age or the format your findings come from. Books will come in different shapes and forms, but it is the content that is the focus. It is where discoveries might become part of the future.

Agora and Secret Garden will be open when the trains are running. A third place between work and home where you can be by yourself amongst others. It will be close to a new railway station.

The Stockholm Structure Plan – when people in motion meet a library in motion everything is possible. We then aim for their 39 branch libraries to follow the lead of the new Stockholm Library. They will be more accessible and urgent, will be at your service and on your way, a place to stay between trains.

Kista Idea City – a new library which is a partnership for the people between many partners.

A library can be a place where dreams come true.


    • Jeanell on December 11, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    The amazing buildings Inga showed us in her presentation were indeed places to dream. But what a contrast to the small local initiatives acknowledged at Dreaming08, especially the remote and indigenous services. talk about worlds apart.

    • Inga on September 13, 2010 at 2:34 am

    The library is about the meeting, between people and between people and media. The story told in the blog above goes for any local inititive and especially the suburb libraries or remote and indigenous services I saw and was very much impressed by.

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