bmtv73 Amsterdam Public Library 2.0

In an era where most people get their books from a superstore or a .com, it might seem like libraries are behind the times and forgotten.

But here in Amsterdam, the largest public library in Europe was opened last summer… and is quite something to behold. From books to media of all kids to art to live performances to food to every magazine I can think of… it is perhaps the greatest example of the library for this era


  1. February 4, 2008

    Now I feel like going to that library! It looks amazing! Thanks for the video.

    And I’ve sent you an email! 🙂

  2. Anno Nymize
    February 4, 2008

    Why o why are you teasing me Mark? I read your last Twitter messages about these cute girls mailing you, all your trips around the world and now this post about this nice library. Thats it! You are doing this on purpose, arent you?

    Let me tell you a little story of my own. I study in a small village with approxmiately 10k students and we have 3 libraries with enough space for 50-200 people. In other words, you come at 8am sharp or you can stay at home (during the semester). If you are lucky you will get a place to sitt, but there is no reason to cheer, because most places are without power supply and without a proper wlan connection and the space you have is literaly limited to 1m, if you eke out a place with a table. Have you ever seen the movie Ghostbusters 1, where they are going down into the basement of the libary with these small corridors? That’s more or less the situation we are dealing with over here (including ghosts masked as old women) and at the end of these corridors you often find a chair. I’m not going to complain about the book supply, because I think in most libraries this is pretty much limited especially for topics with well attended courses, nor will i complain about the up-to-dateness (I found 10 books in a row about Windows 95(B) and 4 books about Win3.11 and even Dos, but none about MacOS or Vista, wtf?).
    I have seen a few libraries over the time and even managed to get in a “National Library”. The good thing is, they are very well protected with security (I’m certain that the books feel safe) and if you pay the price to get in (8 usdollar/per day), and leave ALL your personal data at the desk, there is SPACE. Interestingly enough over here nothing comes without paying the opportunity costs: You can sit and have enough space, but you have more or less no books standing around. Only 1 rack with around 100 books about computer, thats it. Huh, what about the 8Million books they promised? If you are the guy interested in one of the other 7.990.000 units, you can look them up on one of the terminals standing around and order them. Why is that? For the lack of space most of the books are stored in the basement and only a few special clerks are allowed down there and they are searching them for you. Fascinating, isn’t it? No, it isnt. Your “order” takes approximatly 30min/1h, in that time you can wait and chill or walk along the huge unused space. Finally your order is done and you get your books (or not, if there were unavailable.. they are not telling you this when taking the order… damn it), but most of the time you will find out that you grabbed the wrong book and go home very frustrated. If you are lucky and get a book 100% suited for you, then comes the next surprise at the checkout. You are not allowed to borrow things from the “National Library”, and the only choice you have is to read them there, copy pages for an unreasonable amount of money or stock them for up to 6 weeks (most people do that, so the interesting books are mostly “in use”).
    I’m still pretty much unsure why I’m the ebook and ebay guy, but it might have something to do with my experience with local libraries.

    Honestly: Thanks for the video 🙂

    • bicyclemark
      February 5, 2008

      you’re welcome.

  3. lemarie17
    February 5, 2008

    I am jealous of this library. Being a Brick City librarian makes me hope for innovations like this. Though our main library is amazing; it’s the rest of the branches that are lacking.

    Go get a library card folks!

    Leanne the Librarian =)

    • bicyclemark
      February 5, 2008

      I was thinking of you as a prepared this video.

  4. Mom the Queen
    February 5, 2008

    It reminds me of the zillion copies I had to make, in my time because it was a reference book and it couldn’t be taken out…
    I used to say that college educated me in the art of photocopying.

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