One of my highlights of last year was to be given a tour around
the Reykjavík City Library, which is housed in a converted
warehouse in the city centre.
The same building also houses the Reykjavík Photo Museum,
and Reykjavik Municipal Archives.
Just how the library was founded and grew is an interesting history in itself.
Opened in 1919 it was in part funded by the sale of fishing vessels
owned by the City to France in 1917.
Right from the start the library lent out cases of books to ships.
A Cultural Centre.
What I really like about the library is that it is used both cultural
and information centre.
During the summer the library hosts literary walking tours
around the centre of Reykjavík.
While the ‘Let’s read the papers!’ provides guidance for those who
want to read the Icelandic news papers and understand what’s
going on in Iceland.
There is also a small cinema area within the library. At the time
of my visit it was screening early German films.
The library works with Artóteki,
which rents and sells arts works of art by Icelandic artists.
Here is a summary of just how the library operates.
– In all there are 85 library staff in city, with 35 of them based in
the main library.
– All accessioning and book preparation work is done in house.
– The library uses a Danish version of the Dewey Classification
– The library works in co-operation with other libraries within Iceland.
– It is member of Nordic Camps – The Network of Nordic Public Libraries.
– There is a very good stock of both Manga and none Icelandic
books which are available for loan.
Interestingly enough the highest number of immigrants in
Iceland come from Poland.
If your ever in Reykjavík, then you should make sure to pop in to
I should also like to thank Einar Ólafsson for showing me around