Library in Filderstadt: Library wants to be more than books – Esslingen

Claudia Vöhl, head of the Office for Education, Art and Culture (left), and the library manager Petra Rösner Photo: Caroline Holowiecki

More service, more offers for children and young people, more encounters: the Filderstadt City Library has launched a future concept. Some things are very specific.

A dark place, where one devotes oneself to dusty, thick tomes in silence – that is exactly what the Filderstadt City Library does not want to be. In order to position itself even more modern and customer-oriented in the coming years, a concept has now been created. The title is “Library of the Future”. The head of the library, Petra Rösner, had even applied for a consultation process with the specialist department for public librarianship, located at the regional council. Because Claudia Vöhl, Head of the Office for Education, Art and Culture, is convinced: “The library is much more than just the book.”

Corona has put a damper on the library

The facility in the center of Bernhausen is already popular, although the pandemic put a damper on it last year. As can be read in the current annual report, more than 2,700 active users visited the library in 2021 to choose from well over 40,000 media. For comparison: the year before, over 3500 users had visited the library. Around 60,000 visits were registered during opening hours. “40 percent of loans are for children, and the trend is rising,” says Petra Rösner.

She wants to build on that. One of the measures that the library is flirting with in the medium term is, for example, the expansion of class tours. “We hope that we can get the school classes to catch up again,” she says, referring to the corona-related dent. The list of what the library team has in mind is long. It ranges from the extension of the opening hours to more foreign-language offers to its own event room and its own website. There are also unusual ideas. Petra Rösner could imagine a kind of packing station where reading fans can pick up the media they have ordered at any time of the day or night.

The library wants to be seen as a social space

The focus of the considerations is basically more service, more offers for children and young people on the one hand and for seniors on the other hand, more encounters. The library wants to be seen as a social space with a quality of life. This also includes opening up more to events that at first glance have nothing to do with literature.

Of course, this does not mean that everything will be implemented exactly as it is. Rather, the catalog contains exemplary projects that one could well imagine. “These are benchmarks that we use as a guide,” says Vöhl, saying that all measures must always be viewed in the context of the respective budget and the political and social situation. “A library has to be extremely flexible,” she clarifies. What is non-negotiable for the two women: In the future, the city library wants to present itself even more as a non-discriminatory space for everyone. “It’s about people feeling comfortable and accepted here,” says Vöhl. Rösner adds: “We are a lively place.”

There is more potential for education

Some things are very specific. A new service point is to be set up in the children’s department on the upper floor, where employees are available on a daily basis. In addition, a new literature circle is to be formed. An information event will be held in October. In order to initiate such things, staff should be gradually redeployed. Claudia Vöhl explains: Since purely technical activities – such as the laminating of books – are increasingly being eliminated, there is more potential for pedagogy. A second self-checkout station is also to be set up. “Then you can use staff differently again.”

Events in August

Bulk store
In the series “With the library on a journey of discovery”, in which the participants in Filderstadt gain insights into institutions or job descriptions, on Thursday, August 18, from 4 p.m., they are going to the Unpacked shop Tante Filda in Bernhausen. Meeting point: Bernhäuser Hauptstrasse 32.

Picture book cinema
Another event of the city library will take place on August 11th. The picture book cinema starts at 4 p.m. in the library. Participation is free. Registration is required in each case.