The central library
|Access and use|
|Circulation||5M books (2005); 3.5M books (2013)|
|Director||J.H.M. van Velzen|
The Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (Public Library Amsterdam) is a collective name for all public libraries in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The first library opened in 1919 at the Keizersgracht. In 2017 Amsterdam Public Library had 25 branch libraries. In 2005, OBA had 1.7 million books and 165,000 members and lent out 5 million books.
The largest of these libraries, the Centrale Bibliotheek, moved to the Prinsengracht in 1977 and 30 years later, on 7 July 2007 (070707), to the Oosterdokseiland, just east of Amsterdam Centraal station. The complex has a floor surface of 28,500 m2, spread out over 10 floors, 1200 seats, of which 600 with Internet-connected computers and a staff of 200. Also included are an auditorium, an exhibition room, the Library Museum, the Gerard Reve Museum and 2000 parking spaces for bicycles. On the seventh floor is a V&D La Place self-service restaurant with a south-facing terrace.
The cost of the project was EUR80 million. The building was designed by Jo Coenen, the former state architect (Rijksbouwmeester) of the Netherlands, who also designed the nearby KNSM Island, as well as the Central Library of Maastricht, and renovated the distinctive Glaspaleis in Heerlen, which houses its Central Library. Arup were selected to create the lighting design to create "a landscape with different zones" and a system for distributing fresh air which cools the building through drawing in the cold air outside.
The Central Library is open 7 days per week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the lending and returning of books is fully automated. Not only does the OBA provide a large range of printing and copying facilities, but some other unusual features can be found in the library, such as two radio stations. AmsterdamFM is located on the first floor and OBA Live is on the fourth floor. Both radio stations have live broadcasts where the public is welcome to watch.
The famous Muizenhuis made by Karina Schaapman is located in the youth department. It's a magnificent doll house for mice, made almost entirely by hand. This Muizenhouse, or Mouse Mansion, is the decor for the adventures of two curious mice called Sam and Julia.
The library has an exposition area which features rotating expositions related to design, art and/or books. All the expositions are open to the public for free.
OBA in 2012 was selected as the best library of the Netherlands.