Urban Knowledge Hubs - Transformative Societal Spaces for Hybrid Libraries in the Baltic Sea Region

Riga Pilot

14 June 2024
Technical details

The National Library of Latvia (NLL) needs a concept of the public area on the Mezzanine level of the building to achieve functional improvements for the Youth reading room. This will increase the availability of the library’s public services and encourage more active involvement of young people.

The concept will also achieve one of the strategic goals of the NLL – to be a support and ally for everyone in the process of learning, research, self-education and creativity, jointly building a strong democratic knowledge society.

Five proposals for functional and design improvements in the Youth reading room are developed taking in to account interests and needs of the target audience – young people, students and young professionals.

The spatial improvements implemented will contribute to youth work, socialization and relaxation and are developed in cooperation with the target audience and it’s wishes and needs for both individual work and group work.

The solutions will also embrace a contemporary view on the possibilities provided by technology for creativity and self-development, as well as for smart use of the library’s collection.


The concept includes five steps:

1.Transforming the Youth room

The transformation of the Youth room will help to meet the growing demand for different types of workplaces also extending the opportunities for individual work and group work for different group sizes. The room will have an environment where work, socialization and relaxation can be combined. A suitable place for playing board games, rehearsing presentations and reading will also be created.


2. Sound absorbing solutions

Sound absorbing solutions will make it possible for new forms of events to take place at the NLL. This is currently not possible due to acoustic restrictions. Sound absorbing will also help meeting the growing demands for group work premises.


3. Furniture

New furniture will provide different options for work and relaxation also respecting individual needs. Different heights, such as low tables with low chairs or higher work surfaces with high chairs, sofas, poufs, inflatable furniture, etc. In addition “nap spaces” are planned allowing young people to enjoy a peaceful rest.


4. 3D printers and modern technologies

Equipping the Youth room with 3D printers will significantly extend the development in several important directions:

First – 3D printing is an innovative skill that is increasingly demanded in both educational and professional settings

Second – 3D printing promotes creative thinking and problem-solving skills

Third – the availability of 3D printers promotes cooperation. Working together on project development and implementation, teamwork and communication skills are developed.


5. Contact point on the library’s Level 1

It is important to inform about the opportunities available in the Youth room already on the library’s Level 1 This special information point will be the first contact for visitors and serve as a central source of information about the Youth room and its offered activities and resources. It will also increase user awareness of the room and promote its wider use and attendance.