Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam

Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam
(Amsterdam Public Library)

The central library
Country Netherlands
Type Public library
Established 1919[1]
Location Amsterdam
Size 1.7M books[2]
Access and use
Circulation 5M books (2005); 3.5M books (2013)[3]
Members 175,000 (2007)[3]
Other information
Director J.H.M. van Velzen[1]
Staff 326 employees[3]
The topmost floor has a balcony overlooking the city with description of the city and its history on the rail

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. As of 2007, there are 28 public libraries and 43 lending points, such as in hospitals. In 2005, OBA had 1.7 million books and 165,000 members and lent out 5 million books.

Central Library

The interior of the central library

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.

Building Design

The cost of the project was 80 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.[4]

Amsterdam Public Library

Services and other points of interest

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.

Best Library of the Netherlands

OBA in 2012 was selected as the best library of the Netherlands.

See also


  1. 1 2 "Historie". (in Dutch). Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam. Retrieved 2008-08-22. External link in |work= (help)
  2. "Collectie". (in Dutch). Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam. Retrieved 2008-08-22. External link in |work= (help)
  3. 1 2 3 "Facts & figures". (in Dutch). Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam. Retrieved 2008-08-22. External link in |work= (help)
  4. ARUP. "Amsterdam Public Library". Retrieved 20 March 2013.

External links

Coordinates: 52°22′33″N 4°54′26″E / 52.37583°N 4.90722°E / 52.37583; 4.90722

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