Amsterdam Central Library: like a bookstore, but better - it's a library!!!
The Amsterdam Central Public Library is a shining example of how to successfully borrow the best from bookstores but still maintain that special library feel. It has glossy white shelves that create a bright atmosphere and also provide a contrast for the book covers and spines so that they "pop"; the book as object is converted to tantalizing eye-candy. Periodicals are arranged on a high wall, with their covers out, to increase their exposure and browsability. There are display cases at the end of many of the rows of stacks containing special titles on a theme, or 3D objects related to Amsterdam. Reference Librarians, like bookstore staff, walk around the stacks, making themselves available to assist, and they are easily identifiable by their grey jacket with red name badge uniform. There is even a cafe on the roof that provides a generous menu and affords a spectacular view of Amsterdam. Beyond its borrowing from the retail sector, the library also has self check-out and returns for library materials. Click on my Photos to see for yourself!