Following on from our previous blog, Looking at Libraries: Biblo Toyen, we are going to delve deeper into the concept of age specific libraries and explore exactly how libraries like Biblo Toyen are such a valuable resource to children.
Reading has not only been proven to help with child education and development, but it also develops a child’s imagination and creativity.
Keen to encourage children to embrace the library, learning and reading, Aat Vos, the mastermind behind the Biblo Toyen Library in Oslo, created the space to specifically target children and young teens. Rather than stacking the shelves with books, Aat Vos used themes, colours, textures, props and technology to inspire children to use their imagination and think unconventionally.
“This project was a truly unique endeavour that allowed us to cater to an extremely important target audience. The result is probably the most fascinating library you will find. Anywhere.” – Aat Vos
How exactly does Biblo Toyen benefit children?
- With a no adults allowed policy, the Biblo Toyen library creates a space where children are free to express themselves.
- At such an influential learning age, Biblo Toyen provides children with the opportunity to socialise and make new friends in a safe environment.
- The library encourages children to be children whilst introducing them to new experiences in a fun and educational way to allow them to develop as individuals.
- They use technology in a positive light, distracting children from the more dubious uses of technology such as social media and video gaming to show children how technology can be used in useful and educational ways. For instance, library staff hold regular coding classes and 3D printing workshops.
- Teaching children to be hands on and resourceful, Biblo Toyen have previously collaborated with City Workshops to show children how to use tools and materials. The result of the last workshop was the creation of a stunning tree house, which is displayed in the library.
To ensure staff at Biblo Toyen library have time to engage with children and organise important library initiatives, they use technology to help with the overall management of the library. From flying drone bookkeepers to help children locate items easily, to self-service checkout machines to allow children to stay focused and check-out items quickly, without having to stand in-line.
UK libraries can take inspiration from Scandinavian libraries such as Biblo Toyen to make better school libraries and create unique spaces targeted to children to support their education.
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