Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Cycling for Libraries...

Part 1. An Overview

Cycling & travel (in the more general sense) are two of the things I enjoy most of all in the world.. along with libraries, obviously.. so when I heard about Cycling for Libraries a few months ago, I immediately decided I'd definitely be signing up for this year's ride!

Some 100 librarians and library lovers from 24 countries set off from Amsterdam on 18 June, arriving at the European Parliament in Brussels to be welcomed by MEPs on 26 June. 

In all, we visited 19 libraries along the route. Here's the full list*:

1. Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (OBA)
Website: http://www.oba.nl/

2. KIT (Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen) Tropics Library, Amsterdam
Website: http://www.kit.nl/kit/Royal-Tropical-Institute-

3. Haarlem Stationbibliotheek (Haarlem Railway Station Library)

4. Zandvoort Bibliotheek 

5. Bibliotheek Bollenstreek, Noordwijk 

6. DOK Delft
Website/Catalogue: http://www.dok.info/

7. Techinische Universiteit [TU] Delft (Deflt University Library) 

8. Hoofdbibliotheek Biekorf, Brugge (Bruges Central Library)

9. Openbare Bibliotheek, Oostkamp
Website/Catalogue http://www.oostkamp.be/product/966/bibliotheek-catalogus

10. Zwevegem Bibus (West Flanders Mobile Library)
Website: http://www.zwevegem.be/bibus

(The bus travels around the West Flanders region)
View Larger Map

11. Openbare Bibliotheek Gent (Ghent Central Library)
Website: http://www.gent.be/bibliotheek

12. Universiteitsbibliotheek Boekentoren Gent (Ghent Uni Library/Book Tower)
Website: http://www.boekentoren.be/ 

13. Openbare Bibliotheek, Dendermonde 
Website: http://www.dendermonde.be/bibliotheken/3451/default.aspx?id=1768&rf=1

14. Affligem Monastery Library
Info: http://www.abdijaffligem.be/

15. Affligem Bibliotheek
Website: http://www.affligem.be/Affligem/Nederlands/vrije-tijd/bibliotheek/page.aspx/23

16. Hoofdbilbliotheek Asse

17. Openbare Bibliotheek Sans Souci van Elsene (The Library of Elsene, Ixelles)
Website: http://www.elsene.bibliotheek.be/

18. Muntpunt Library (opening 7 September 2013)
Website: http://www.muntpunt.be/en

19. Library of the European Parliament 
Website: http://www.eurolibnet.eu/3/72/&for=show&tid=7917

*A quick mention too for the 
Bibliothèque Publique Francophone d'Ixelles - our first stop-off point when we got to Brussels. Although we sadly didn't get a chance to pop in, staff very kindly welcomed us outside with some much-needed orange juice! There was also the 
excellent Amsterdam International Community School Library, pictured below, where some of us went for pre-tour drinks the evening before the ride (see www.facebook.com/aicslibrary). 

The International Community School Library, Amsterdam
Apart from these library visits, we also managed to cram in a highly engaging trip to the Hague to discuss the future of libraries with Dutch MPs.. more of which to follow in a future blog post. Among other highlights, we also enjoyed a trip to the seaside, a brisk walking tour of the Dutch model village at Madurodam and a Finnish-style Mid-Summer Party (complete with portable sauna!).

I plan to jot down a few reflections on the tour here on the blog when I can (it's been back to work for me this week, more's the pity..) but the video of the whole journey can be found below in the meantime. There's a plethora of press reports, blogs and articles available here on the Cycling for Libraries site too and I also recommend the detailed write ups of each day which are posted on the Bizologie website. Enjoy! :-)