I felt honored when I got the invitation to come to visit the library of Lappeenranta. They asked me about my opinions and if I could see differences compared to a library in Holland. When I was younger I went to the library once a week with my mom and sister to borrow some books. I really like reading and sometimes I wish that I had more discipline to put my laptop and phone away and start reading a book. The only times when I am reading a book is on holidays and to be honest nowadays I’m only going to the library to study.
The library in Lappeenranta looks very good. The building is big and looks pretty modern to me even it was opened on June 7th 1974. At the ground floor there is a place where you can read newspapers, books or do homework. There is also a music room with sofas where you can listen to the music and relax. The flow in this music room is relaxed and all the cds looked really organized.
After a tour through the library I got to know more about the activities they organize. School groups get information about how they can borrow books, and how they can find the books they are searching for. The library also organizes book club evenings, where the people who participate read the same book and at the book club evening they discuss about it. Off course they organize much more for example movie nights, puppet shows for kids, poem evenings etc.
I was really curious about the internationality in the library and I was really surprised to find out that they are pretty international. The book search program is available in English and in the study corner are different langue packages what makes it possible to study a new langue. Also there is a big assortment of books in English, German, Italian, Russian and more. The thing that impressed me the most was the evening they organize for foreign people who are learning the Finnish langue. Foreign people get the possibility to speak with each other in Finnish while library staff members are helping or correcting when something goes wrong. I think it’s a great way to get to know new people and develop the Finnish language skills.
It was great to see the library and I think they have a lot in common with libraries in Holland. We also have study corners and activities for every age. The only big difference is that you have to pay for a library membership after your 18th birthday in Holland and in Finland it’s free. It’s nice to see that libraries are more than only books. It brings people together and gives them possibilities to develop themselves.