D. WITTENBOLS
OBA - Centrale Bibliotheek - Amsterdam Public Library

April 20, 2008
13.00 - 16:00 hrs
The Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (Public Library Amsterdam) is a collective name for all public libraries in Amsterdam, the 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.
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 Central Station. It is now the largest public library in Europe. It has a floor surface of 28,500 m2, spread over 10 floors, 1200 seats, of which 600 with Internet-connected computers and a staff of 200. Also included are an auditorium, an exposition 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. It cost 80 million euro to build. The building was designed by Jo Coenen, the former state architect of the Netherlands, who also designed the nearby KNSM island and the Central Library of Maastricht and renovated the distinctive Glaspaleis in Heerlen, which houses that city's Central Library.
The Central Library is open 7 days per week from 10.00 to 22.00 and the lending and returning of books is fully automated.
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