To attract the attention of the audience, it is not enough to make a good interior. Some of them turn into thematic libraries in order to attract even more attention, and we will talk about them: 10 examples of the most unusual libraries in Russia
1. Library and Comics
One of the most striking examples of thematic libraries is the Library of Comics which opened in St. Petersburg in 2012. The library was founded by the comics publisher Dmitry Yakovlev, who is actively involved in promoting author's comics in Russia. Today it is the largest project in Russia, where comics and graphic novels from America, Europe, Asia and, of course, from all over Russia are collected.
In the library you can find serious graphic novels, for example, the work of the famous American writer Neil Gaiman or the graphic novel "Persepolis" by the Iranian author Marjan Satrapi about the Islamic revolution and the war with Iraq, shown through the eyes of a child. At the same time, the project works like a classical library: readers can take most of the copies home or stay in the reading room. The library is considered an adult library, and the main audience is students and young people.
The library also regularly hosts master classes and meetings with artists. For fans of certain genres, it has a manga club (a club for fans of Asian comics) and the Club for superheroes.
By 2020, similar comics centers will be opened in libraries in other cities of Russia, but the comics Library in St. Petersburg is the largest of all.
2. Library and Theater
In 2018, Library #18 (Moscow) was actually turned into a theater. Now it is not only a library, but also a platform for young theater groups and children's theaters. Here they have the opportunity to realize their creative ideas.
Theater stages are adjacent to a unique thematic book collection, where you can find rare publications about the performing arts. Many of them are necessary for novice actors, directors and playwrights to enter the universities of the capital. The entire thematic book collecion is open access in the theater and cinema hall.
The library has several theater groups, but the main one is the Bat-theater, and its artistic director is one of the librarians. Guys put on performances based on popular modern literary and film productions.
3. Library and Design
Moscow Library No. 95 transformed in collaboration with the club of industrial designers, also opened in 2018 as a Design Library. Members of the club, professional designers, have developed and implemented a new look of the library, corresponding to the latest trends in interior decoration. Everything here - from tables and racks to lamps and mannequins — is made by Moscow designers.
Due to the fact that the headquarters of the Club of industrial designers is located here, the library constantly hosts educational events about design, fashion and art, lectures by leading industry experts, presentations of books for designers, and so on.
Novice designers are visitors to library no. 95 can use the open workshop as a showroom and present their products to potential buyers.
4. Library and Science
Library No. 240 (also in Moscow) is a great place for those who are passionate about IT: the science and technology and science fiction collections contain publications about high technologies, and the library's guests — scientists and science popularizers — regularly hold lectures, master classes, workshops and science battles. The main topics of such meetings are the internet of things, additive technologies (3D printing), big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, as well as special effects in art, movies and games.
The volume of the library's book collection is more than 30 thousand units. On the shelves of the collection of science fiction literature "Reading the future!" books are arranged in a special order — according to the time of implementation of inventions predicted by domestic and foreign writers. The 100 books of Technoscience Foundation presents publications dedicated to leading scientific and technical discoveries and their integration into everyday life.
The walls of the reading room, where you can see books from the collections, are decorated with informational banners "Fiction that has become reality" and "the Future of technology".
5. Library and Star Wars
In 2019, one of Moscow libraries opened The Museum of the Galaxy far far away, dedicated mainly to The Star Wars film universe, but also to other cosmopers. Exhibits for the Museum were provided by fans of the film saga. Much of it was made by hand — for example, a three-meter model of the vamp monster from the planet Hot. The exhibition even has autographs of actors who played in the legendary films. The exhibition will be constantly updated. Librarians conduct tours of it, and in the near future they plan to launch an audio guide.
On Thursdays in the library trained saber fighters — people involved in the art of fencing with the use of lightsabers. Periodically, lectures and meetings of fans of the “Star wars " saga are held.
6. Library and Aviation
In another Moscow library, the central theme became aviation, and it was simply called "Sky". The thematic collection includes both technical and scientific literature, with which you can get acquainted with the specifics of the professions of pilots and aircraft designers, and fiction — books whose main characters conquer the sky.
There was even a place in the reading rooms for the space power unit and aviation simulators, one of which works in the real cabin of the Yak-40 aircraft. In addition, you can read while sitting in a real aircraft seat, and consider the layouts and models of various aircraft.
Temporary book exhibitions on aviation topics are regularly held in the library halls, and two permanent book and illustrative exhibitions of the Central Museum of the Russian aircraft Corporation "MiG" are held in the lobby. The club at the library offers classes for 10-16-year-olds on aircraft modeling.
7. Library and Cosplay
In 2019, the another Moscow library opened a real cosplay workshop. Since the main activity of the workshop participants is crafting, it was given the corresponding name — “Love Craft”. The workshop is absolutely free to visit, and the most active participants can store their belongings in the library.
The workshop is full of equipment that is available to all participants for free: 3D printers, sewing machines, engravers and airbrushes. All this was brought by the participants themselves and shared with the workshop. Now the workshop gathers from 5 to 10 people every day, master classes are regularly held, and soon the organizers promise to launch a full-fledged course on creating cosplay. You can read more about this project in my blog.
8. Library and Laboratory
Fab lab is a fairly progressive format, especially for libraries. Nevertheless, in the library of Norilsk (this is in the middle of Russia, far from Moscow), a high-tech laboratory was opened in 2014.
The library has 18 different machines at its disposal. These machines allow you to model and produce a wide variety of items from a variety of materials: wood, plywood, plastic, metal, leather, fabric, and others. In general, the laboratory can replace almost any production, however, not on an industrial scale, you can make just one or two copies, but almost anything.
Fablab has its own small library, where thematic books are placed. There is a lecture area where classes, seminars, master classes and courses are held. You can just come here, sit, work on the computer.
9. Library and Career
Literature dedicated to self-development and success is now an essential part of the book industry, and in general, nonfiction is more popular than ever. Our colleagues from St. Petersburg decided to open a library that would consist primarily of such literature: the collection is constantly updated and on the shelves — new nonfiction as soon as it is avaliable in bookstores.
The library organizes many activities around the topic of career and success: lectures, discussions, courses. The library staff reflects the target audience — all young, on average about 30-35 years old. In addition to the collection itself, young people are attracted by fashionable design and close to the center of the city.
10. Library and Planetarium
The most unusual case, in my opinion, is the library, which was opened right in the Planetarium, and it is dedicated, of course, to space. It is unusual because in this project, the commercial sector was able to find a common language with the state sector, and the mediator was the team of youth specialists.
This is a small but very cozy project. For the opening, the design team created uniforms for the library staff, corporate identity, and, of course, worked on the interior design. The result is a complete project that has no analogues in Russia.
Thematic libraries are definitely out of the ordinary. It is impossible to imagine that all libraries suddenly turned into unique ones. Regular libraries with a good universal collection and high-quality services are also needed. But these examples of unusual libraries, which are born from the friendship of different areas of culture, art and science, these examples have a very positive impact on the reputation of libraries amoung society, and therefore I think this trend in moderate quantities is quite justified.