Playtime The role of play for the public children’s library

Families at Play in the Library is a project partnership between three public libraries and two research centres in Denmark. The aim of the project is to create new, social experiences and spaces for play in the public library and to gain knowledge on children’s play in the public domain.

The participating libraries are the Aalborg Public Libraries, the Main Library in Aarhus and Randers Public Library. The libraries are supported by the Centre for Playware and by Interactive Spaces at the Aarhus University.

The assumption the project has been working from is that play is a way for children to develop social skills, imagination and a sense of competition. These skills are necessary for all children in order to engage into play. Furthermore they are building bricks for skills like creativity, social intelligence and a competitive mindset which later on are important skills in our work life.

The public children’s library could support this point of view by being a space where children relate to each other across age. School, institutions and sports are all activities where children are separated by age and therefore do not get the benefits from being with older children – the library represents a different kind of space because it is available to all ages. For that reason a pirate’s concept has been constructed in Aalborg Public Libraries where children of different ages can play and lounge together – it has been such a success that daycares, kindergartens and parents now plan for longer visits to the library.

Jane Kunze
Project Manager
Aarhus Public Libraries

Project Manager Aarhus Public Libraries