From the librarian at our school. http://snurl.com/2d80e Library in Holland amazing!
Having spent time speaking at a conference of school architects and educators in Holland a few years back and touring some remarkable places designed for learning there, I can echo Jeff's growing realization that the Dutch approach to crafting spaces centered on the learning process (i.e. 'school') is something worth keeping an eye on.
The library -- or 'library concept center' (as described by the folks who work there -- Jeff mentions is called the DOK (or Delft Public Library). From the article linked above, a few culture-shift elements that one can't help but smile at:
DOK can best be described as a media center that combines three unique collections: Music and Film (“Discotake” in Dutch), Literature (“Openbare Bibliotheek”), and Art (“Kunstcentrum”). These three components make DOK much more than an ordinary library...
...The motto “Borrow the World in Delft” truly sums it up and makes DOK an easily accessible cultural information center.
(Image: From "The Shifted Librarian" Jenny Levine's flickrstream of her trip to DOK that you should definitely check out; more images below).
What makes a 'library concept center'? Here's a bit of an answer taken from the above article:
The first thing we had to let go of when the three collections merged into DOK in 1996 was the idea that the medium we lend out determines what we are. What does it matter whether we share our stories in the form of a book, a CD, a DVD, an MP3 player or MP3 file, or a work of art?
We can expect that the world of our children’s children will be completely different. Perhaps books will be treasured in museums or at home, but the library may only have digital information carriers. What we do know is that people will always want, love, and need stories. That is why we work on preserving stories by digitizing collections (Images for the Future), creating stories by sending our Shanachies out into the world to find best practices in libraries, and giving people a platform to tell their stories in the library (the DOK Agora project).
DOK always tries to be one step ahead. If there is a Library 2.0, then DOK will be 3.0.
What's this? A summer camp focused on multi-media wunderlust that is library-centric?
Together with Octopus, a children’s daycare center, DOK organizes a summer camp. The idea for this camp came when we first realized that the library of the future needs to think beyond walls and reach out to the people.
What better means to do this than through a summer camp for children? While playing in the country and having lots of fun, the children learn how to make a newspaper or a television show or how to become an “idol” (as in the American Idol TV show), with workshops in singing, acting, and dancing.
2.0 (or 3.0) and summer camp semantics aside, there is definitely something different and 'informative' going on here.
Again, here are a few images from Jenny Levine's Flickrstream of her visit. I think you'll find a few ah-ha moments when comparing what you see here vs. what you see in most US libraries (school or public):