The entrance of the new Lecce library, Source: Lecce Municipality

Lecce to unveil a library that goes beyond the classic concept

Lecce to unveil a library that goes beyond the classic concept

It will consist of ‘environments’ rather than ‘sections’

The Municipality of Lecce (in the south of Italy) announced that on Sunday, 20 March, it will unveil a new library in the city called “OgniBene – The creative library of the Augustinians”. It will be housed in a former Augustinian monastic order complex. It aims to push the idea of what a library is by making it a more inclusive, accessible and entertaining space for the residents.

Ogni bene means ‘all well’ in Italian and it is meant, on one hand, as a reference to the Church of Santa Maria di Ogni Bene, but also as an emphasis to its mission to provide well-being to all local residents no matter how they would like to spend their time there. It has been designed for all generations and physical capabilities, who can read, study, play, research, do digital experiments or just relax and chill.

Reinventing the mission of libraries

The library has been conceived as a place for people and not only for books. Its space is divided into “environments”, some intended for study and concentration, others for being together and playing - a strategic role in socializing. 

Inside, there are two fixed video game stations where parents and children can challenge each other and an area for physical play with mats, tables and coffee tables, while outside there is a human-sized chessboard. There is also a digital workshop and two interactive multimedia stations. 

After the inauguration, treasure hunts, workshops, itineraries and initiatives will be organized in collaboration with a network of associations. The heart of the activities, though, will be the workshops, which will facilitate the interaction between different generations.

Such workshops include the one to create a multicultural orchestra of children, another to produce video games, a time bank to exchange knowledge with adults and the elderly, sessions of Coderdojo, shows, snacks with the artists, cooking classes with grandparents and much more. 

It will therefore be much more than a classic library. It will be a public service aimed at improving the quality of life of the community,” in the words of Carlo Salvemini, the mayor of Lecce.

The mayor will attend the opening ceremony on 20 March at 10:00 am.



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