If you still believe that libraries are like dusty, old book warehouses, think again. Libraries also follow trends and the needs of their visitors, modernizing themselves as time goes by.
This is statement is especially true for the Central Library of Hamburg. Located a few steps away from central station, the impressive building watches over the city in what seems like a benevolent aura of knowledge. The three-story high construction has all the various sections one might expect from a library: travels, languages, children, novels, business, etc. There also have a large collection of DVDs in tens of languages, from Arabic to Vietnamese.
The basement is always where the interesting things are
Yet the real spell of marketing that caught my attention was the recent launch last autumn of the Hoeb4U in the basement. It may be a little bit hidden but it only adds charm to it. In this haven of culture primarily designed for children and teenagers, you can be loud, enjoy bright sunshine from the large window panes, play games, or flip through a magazine in a cozy armchair.
While the children library on the ground floor is set for the very young ones (and their parents) the Hoeb4U offers media and other cultural items that can keep you busy for a very long time. A real opportunity for those who may not be able to afford any of these items at retail price. On the book side, you can find a generous section dedicated to manga, but also comics and popular culture. You are spoiled for choice when it comes to DVDs, with movies, concerts, and, most importantly, many series such as The Simpsons, Two Broke Girls, or How I met your Mother. Are you a gaming junkie? There also is something for you there! Apart from the numerous video games available for rental, you can also sit and try them out with the fixtures on site.
A social and interactive venue
The role of the Hoeb4U goes beyond storing and filing media. Semi-partitioned rooms allow children to play board games together, also made available by the library. Saturday afternoon, more often than not, you will notice a workshop has been organized with entertaining and pedagogic purposes. Lately, you could learn how to master the art of origami, learn the basics of Japanese writing, or make DIY Christmas cards for the holidays. All of them free of charge.
In a nutshell, you should seize every opportunity to go to the Hoeb4U. It won’t cost you a cent to get in, there are plenty of things to learn and it’s so much more gratifying than spending your time off in front of the computer.
Monday to Friday: 2pm-7pm
Pictures: John Barré