The central library in Rotterdam (Centrale Bibliotheek Rotterdam) is located in the vibrant city centre and open every day of the week. The building is known for its striking yellow tubes and has six floors. Each floor is dedicated to specific purposes that vary from children’s areas, silent areas, language cafés, historical tours, makerspaces and information hubs. There are many cultural events and exhibitions hosted throughout the library. The building also houses the offices for much of the city’s library staff. The library will be renovated from 2025 onwards, hoping to be completed in 2028. Photo © R. van Melik, 2022

The library branch in Delfshaven (Bibliotheek Delfshaven) is located in the west part of Rotterdam. This part of the city is known for its cultural and ethnic diversity, vibrancy and is considered relatively marginalized. The building houses a community center and governmental organizations as well, and is surrounded by a market square, close to a park and a long and busy shopping street. The library is largely dedicated to children’s books and reading areas, languages lessons for migrants and study areas. The library has a flexible lay out, where bookcases can be moved easily to accommodate different uses of the space available. Photo © Bibliotheek Rotterdam, 2019

The central library – Malmö City Library is situated next to the park Slottsparken. With one million visitors each year, the library is well-known for its beautiful architecture and for new ways to offer knowledge and entertainment in a multicultural Malmö. Here you will find some 500.000 media, with books in over 50 different languages, magazines and newspapers from all over the world, films, video games, talking books and cd’s. Photo © L. Engström, 2022

The library branch Rosengårdsbiblioteket is situated in Rosengård, in the eastern part of Malmö. This district is characterized by an ethnic diverse population and the library therefore includes material and holds activities targeting different language groups. A new library is under construction and will be inaugurated in March 2023. Until then the library is residing in a temporary location. Photo © L. Engström, 2022

The central library in Vienna (Hauptbücherei am Gürtel) is the main library of Büchereien Wien – the Vienna Libraries Network – and accommodates many of its administrative processes. It opened in 2003 as an architectural flagship with oversized outdoor stairs inviting people to hang out. Set amidst the lanes of the main traffic artery “Gürtel” between Vienna’s affluent center and the periphery and built across a train station, it was designed as an urban mobility hub. An accessible “learning library”, it offers working spaces, classes and multi-lingual activities in interaction with local institutions. The stock of books and digital media is flexibly organized to function as a physical place in the digital age. Photo © M. Hamm, 2022

The library branch at Schöpfwerk (Bücherei am Schöpfwerk) is situated at the 1980s municipal estate Schöpfwerk, home to nearly 6.000 Viennese with diverse backgrounds. The small library with its inviting interior is surrounded by terrassed high highrises and green spaces. Integrated in a dense social infrastructure comprising neighbourhood- and youth centres, churches and a prayer room, a local print magazine, schools, a creche and a Kindergarten, the library excels in serving children and their adults by choice of acquisitions and a welcoming setting. Photo © M. Hamm, 2022

  • Academic Partner
    Radboud University, The Netherlands

    Radboud University (RU) acts as ILIT project coordinator. It hosts academic research in the fields of public adminaistration, business economics, geography, environment, spatial planning, and political science.


    • Researcher at RU
      Dr. Rianne van Melik

      is Associate Professor in Human Geography at RU since 2012. Her research focuses on geographies of encounter, studying a wide range of public spaces including city squares, open-air markets and public libraries.

    • Researcher at RU
      Dr. Friederike Landau-Donnelly

      is Assistant Professor of Cultural Geography at RU since 2020. She is an urban sociologist and political theorist interested in the politics of public space, and has expertise in critical policy analysis and governance theory.

    • Researcher at RU
      Jamea Kofi, MSc, PhD Candidate

      is a PhD candidate in human geography at Radboud University and has a background in cultural anthropology. She is interested in mobility, infrastructure, migration, identity formation, in/exclusion, decolonization, place-making, and intersectionality, while combining more traditional ethnographic methods with creative ones.

  • Academic Partner
    Lund University, Sweden

    Lund University (LU), founded in 1666, is the largest institution of research and higher education in Scandinavia. It has nine faculties; engineering; science; law; social sciences; economics; medicine; humanities; theology; performing arts; and research centres and world class research infrastructures. The University is ranked as one of the top 100 in the world. With 4780 academic staff, Lund University is a research-intensive university, with a large portfolio of research projects. The university holds the HR Excellence in Research Award and its Gender Equality Plan together with HR policies contributes to equality and transparency in recruitment and employment.

    • Researcher at LU
      Dr. Johanna Rivano Eckerdal

      is an Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer and Reader in Information Studies at the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences (LU), and head of the Centre for Oresund Region Studies, CORS. Her research concerns how various local information practices take on a social function and significance.

    • Researcher at LU
      Dr. Lisa Engström

      is senior lecturer in Library and information science, Lund University, Sweden, she is interested in how public libraries materially and discursively are constructed as accessible places promoting democracy. She aims to investigate how libraries can be pluralistic public spheres where agonistic conflicts may be enacted.

  • Academic Partner
    University of Vienna, Austria

    The Department of European Ethnology of the University of Vienna (UV) is part of one of the largest and oldest Universities in Europe where it is situated in the Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies. It promotes empirical cultural studies of the everyday, its research is historically grounded while focusing on the present. Urban cultural studies and regional cultural analysis are amongst its primary research topics. In its research and teaching, the department is committed to microanalytical observation of past and current cultural processes and phenomena. With numerous co-operations within and beyond the University, the Department of European Ethnology emphasizes interdisciplinary and international collaboration. It also cooperates closely with several museums in Vienna.

    • Researcher at UV
      Prof. Alexa Färber

      is Professor at the Department of European Ethnology at University of Vienna. She analyses everyday cultures in urban contexts, focussing on low-budget urbanity, the infrastructural dimensions of cultural institutions, and now the place of libraries within the city as a promissory assemblage.

    • Researcher at UV
      Dr. Marion Hamm

      is an ethnographer who works at the intersection of anthropology, media & cultural studies, currently as a senior researcher at the Institute of European Ethnology. Building and analysing urban social movements brought her to the occupation of a London local library. Now she studies how libraries are performed as public places for inclusion and civic agency.

  • Designer
    Alessia Scuderi, MA

    is a Vienna-based designer working in the fields of visual communication and social design. She works at the intersection of art, design and research-related projects using multidisciplinary approaches to ease external communication between different cultural and academic institutions and the broader public.

  • Professional Partner

    is the European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Association. EBLIDA works and advocates for the interest of libraries throughout Europe, striving for an equitable, inclusive democratic society. As member of the Advisory Board, EBLIDA gives advice on the case selection and research methods, gives feedback on research findings and help to disseminate these through its channels for the duration of the project.

  • Professional Partner
    Region Skåne

    stimulates healthy lives and support and promote municipal public libraries in southern Sweden. Our role in the project is to facilitate contacts between ILIT’s team and included libraries and to disseminate project results and conclusions during and after the end of the research project.

  • Professional Partner
    Büchereien Wien

    is ILIT’s partner in Vienna, a network of 38 municipal public libraries. It grew out of civic efforts in public education since the late 19th century, especially local worker’s libraries. While Büchereien Wien remains committed to education, its branches are opening up to additional social functions with areas for seating and working, online access and tea kitchens. The network advises researchers, facilitates contact with librarians and supports the research process throughout.