After conversion: this is what the new living Bottrop library looks like

Bottrop.
Craftsmen are still working on one side and utilities are cleaned at the same time. What the library looks like and how it is sorted.

Unusual background noise for the library. Here in the Bottrop library at the Cultural Center, the saw continues to creak from time to time and cordless screwdrivers droning urgently. Meanwhile, workers are pushing carts loaded with piles of books. Because while the craftsmen are doing the final work, things are already sorted and cleaned at the same time, so that a large part of the inventory is already back on the shelves.

The Living Library is being rebuilt. In any case, the changes are clearly visible – for example, right after entering. There, visitors now walk directly up to the massive ledge. Soon you will find the library plan there. But what is really hidden behind this shelf, visitors can only see when walking. The shelf, on the other hand, becomes a voluminous seating set that invites you to browse and rest.

During the planning, great importance was attached to the quality of the stay

Overall, there are now many nooks and crannies to sit and just sit in the library. This was important in developing the new concept, says Rieke Paetsch-Saleh. The new carpet is immediately noticeable in many parts of the building. It is soft, absorbs noise and most of all: it is light.

It no longer dominates the previous shade of anthracite, which makes it seem more open and friendly in many places. Carpet tiles have been specially used so that, if necessary, individual tiles can be replaced in the event of damage or contamination, says Frank Offert, deputy director of the Culture Office.





Some of the shelves have already been cleared, in others the workers are still hard at work while at the same time the shelves are still being set up. “We didn’t want to wait until everything was ready, we wanted to start right away so we could open it in no time,” explains Rieke Paetsch-Saleh.

Steps were taken in advance to determine how many meters of racking each group needed

Putting things off is a science in itself – which actually started with purification. Because at that moment it was already clear what would find its place later. “We used the plans to calculate in advance which group would need how many rack meters,” explains Rieke Paetsch-Saleh. Then we thought about where to find the right place and how to connect the groups.

After all, the content should also fit. In the gallery, for example, history, followed by society and law. “I would never put food and drink in there just because it could fit from there,” says Rieke Paetsch-Saleh, explaining the reasoning behind it.

Before moving to alternative quarters, they were tidied up

To make sure everything was running smoothly, the media was sorted as soon as it was cleaned and boxed that had been labeled and numbered accordingly. These numbers can now also be found in the library’s overview plans, so that full carry boxes can be delivered to the appropriate areas in a targeted manner – so cleaning is fever-free and with a great overview. Employee commitment is enormous – praises Offert.

It is also clear that what has found its way back to Böckenhoffstrasse from the transition district to Passstrasse and the Saalbau temporary warehouse also has its place on the shelf. Things were dealt with in advance: “Again, before packing, we looked at the statistics and looked at the loan numbers for some media.” Based on these numbers, one or the other media dropped out at the beginning.

Employees expect increased inquiries, especially at the beginning

As a user, can i find everything at once? “We expect more inquiries, especially at the beginning,” says Frank Offert. Because the redesign of the foyer and the children’s library gave some groups new locations. Media for children aged 7 and over are now housed in a separate room in the children’s library. You just want to give this age group their own space, says Rieke Paetsch-Saleh.

Fiction and fiction have also moved to the upper floor, swapping places with non-fiction if you prefer. In this way, the department has a place for a seating area with comfortable armchairs, and whoever sits here can let the view out the window outside.

In case of doubt, the Bottrop library should be reopened in a short time

Height-adjustable work tables have been set up elsewhere. There is also space for groups to work together. Some places are also equipped with research computers, but now the rule applies: “Everyone who comes here to work usually has a laptop or tablet with him,” reports the librarian.

The question remains: when will the newly designed library start again? Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered yet, says Frank Offert. June 24 was actually planned, but then there were construction delays. It is impossible to say exactly when the remaining work will be completed. But that’s why they have already begun to admit, “so that we can also open in no time in case of doubt.”


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