When I first moved to Turku my friend told me that I would love the city library here and he was right. As student I find myself needing a quiet space to relax and study sometimes, and as nice as the TUAS library is at the Lemminkäisenkatu campus it is a little small. But the city library near the cathedral is the perfect place for me to study. It has such a wonderful place by the river, and is within walking distance of everything. But the best part is that it is such an interesting mix of old and new that I have not seen in a library before.
They have combined their old library which was built in 1903 and connected it with a new and very modern library they built in 2007. And although both wings structured so differently they both have a comfortable atmosphere. The old building has wonderful old doors and a statue of a woman harvesting in the entrance along two helical-like staircases leading to the second floor. The inside has a lot of comfortable seating areas to read and great dome ceiling and large windows that let in a lot of sun. The modern side of the library has a sleeker look with glass walls, but it also has tons of comfortable seating, either at desks to work, or at tables looking out the windows.
The actual selection of books at the library is also impressive, there is a vast array of books in Finnish (obviously) but they also have books in English. And throughout the library they have glass cases highlighting different themes, like books about pirates. My favorite part of the library though is the section in-between the two buildings that has all of the newspapers from around the globe. It was so great to be able to read a newspaper from Canada and catch up on what is going on back home, but it is also nice to look at other countries newspapers to see what’s going on there, and what they like to read about. It’s a nice peek into other cultures!
Text and photo: Hannah Rombough