The public library in Lelystad is part of the network of Flevomeer libraries in the youngest province of the Netherlands, Flevoland, created out of the Zuiderzee, or IJsselmeer.
Since 2005, many experts have been working on a new concept for the library: inviting, challenging, inspiring new thoughts and ideas, but also ready to provide answers.
The three zones: Past, Present and Future are a response to the new concept. The Past, or first part of the library, encompassing mostly books (the Book boulevard), gives answers to questions. The Present, the middle sphere, has many presentations and displays that present the current issues to visitors, who are surprised and inspired by finding the coffee bar, exhibitions, new titles, and staff selected information. The third part is the Future. Situated deeper in the library, it consists of work and study places, bringing new ideas through the environment but also to the readers themselves.
The library as a ‘storehouse of knowledge’ applies retail techniques: departments have their own look and feel. Window dummies wearing T-shirts with adjustable texts are frequently used. At strategic points, images and communications appropriate for the atmosphere are used as signage.
The newly developed aluminium shelving system, with built-in lighting and an airport-like book display trolley for new titles, is starkly innovative. Self-service is applied everywhere: there are hardly any desks present and the staff is moving and working amidst the visitors. Digital signage and shopping baskets at the entrance show that Lelystad explores new ways, which are there to be discovered!