Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Students envision the future of new mega library

27 Feb 2019 11:25 | Communication

In 2025, the Amsterdam Public Library (OBA) will open a new mega library (OBA XL) in Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West district. How can this become a place that brings cultures together, where young and old are challenged to continue to develop and which is fully geared up for digital media? Some 60 Logistics students from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences recently spent a day working on ten future scenarios for the OBA XL.

On the spot

“There is no better place to get inspired than where it’s all happening, in practice”, says lecturer Kees-Willem Rademakers. “We want students to feel more involved in the project they are working on and in contact with the organisation and the environment. This is the reason why we spent a whole day with our logistics students working in the Amsterdam library building at Oosterdok.” The students worked all day on the spot in groups on different themes. This resulted in ten detailed future scenarios – inspiration the OBA can put to good use in the development of its new mega library.

Talent development and digital literacy

The possibilities for a new library in Amsterdam are endless. The students focused on three issues in relation to the area where the new library will be situated. These issues are: “How can the OBA help vulnerable groups to develop, so they can take up their place in society?” “How can the OBA respond to the development of digital media, from smartphones to virtual reality, Spotify and Blendle, in such a way that all residents of Amsterdam have access to these media and are able to use them?” and “How can we allow more than 60 cultures to communicate with one another and live together better?”

Platform in all languages

Together with her group, Anniek Denneman (19) explored the possibilities offered by digital media and connectedness within the multicultural Amsterdam Nieuw-West district. In their future scenario, the OBA will develop a digital platform on which information will be offered and translated into many different languages. This will allow people to communicate with one another quicker and more easily, and allow discussions to take place at every level.

Meetings on the basis of search history

Pelle Beerse (18): “In our future scenario, the OBA conducts its visitor registration in a tailored way, for example by analysing the search behaviour and interests of its visitors in relation to all kinds of social topics. Using this data, together with businesses and other local parties, OBA will be able to organise themed evenings where people can meet, inspire one another, share knowledge and forge new partnerships.”

Common room for the city

The OBA has a mission to remain close to all residents of Amsterdam as the city rapidly expands. It aims to be a ‘common room’ for Amsterdam-based organisations, schools and initiatives looking for ways to learn and live together in the city. OBA therefore sees its increasingly intensive cooperation with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and other social and cultural organisations as providing significant added value.

For questions, please contact Kees-Willem Rademakers, lecturer/researcher Food and Urban Logistics,