Monday 20 June 2011
If you’re Dutch, you can not imagine how excited we were. We were asked to position and give identity to the newly built public library of Lelystad. Lelystad built a whole new library, but how do they ensure that they are getting a wider audience than the traditional library member who’s soon to be extinct?
Already 10,000 Lelystad residents are library members. Yet where is the youth? Objective is to achieve 25% more members. This could only be reached by dusting the rusty character of a repository like a public library.
Residents of Lelystad who aren’t members, preferably a younger audience.
Residents who once were members of Library Lelystad.
In collaboration with interior architect Aat Vos, a concept is developed whereby the library has fewer barriers in both its interior and communications. Core is that people are averse to libraries but they love shopping. Why is that? Simply because in shopping, marketing techniques are used to please the shopper and have him / her stay longer while buying things. We bought the guide to shopping, ‘Why We Buy’, and distilled a few basic rules as a blueprint to the new library.
Lelystad Library is transformed into a department store like HEMA, Walmart and Carrefour, but where only knowledge can be consumed in the form of books, magazine, CDs, DVDs and such. New to libraries are:
- the shopping lane (speed track for finding popular books)
- the conveyor belt (drop-off and pick-up rotating belt for lent books)
- the shop-in-shop system (themed blocks for easy traceable personal preferences)
- the ‘ballenbak’ (complete kids’ area in age sections).
- Shopping baskets
The number of new members has increased by more than 35%; the target is therefore amply met.
The Library has really become a center where members not only get their books, but also direct on-site consumption of different media. This makes it become a vibrant library.
The new library of Lelystad was chosen number 4 of the most-inspiring public libraries of the Netherlands within a month of its opening.