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Oslos new public library officially opened by H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon, Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen and Mayor Marianne Borgen.
Oslos new public library officially opened by H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon, Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen and Mayor Marianne Borgen.

Press release -

The new public library of Oslo - a place for everyone

Thursday June 18th the first patrons were let into the new main public library in Oslo, Deichman Bjørvika. H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon was present and declared the library open along with Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen and Mayor Marianne Borgen.

"Today we celebrate the opening of this building. And then the people - the inhabitants of the city, and visitors - will breathe life into the library and give it a soul. The rooms will fill with readers, workers, old and young. The building will be filled with events that attract attendees from all over Oslo. It will gather the city in a way almost only a library can, said H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon. 

"The library is a very special meeting place. It’s an open door to the world of literature.  An open door to a meeting place across history, across the world. Across class, gender, and age. The new Deichman library has been built on one of the best plots in Oslo and that shows that we as a society and as a city prioritize culture. That we prioritize people and that we prioritize meeting places that are open for everyone", said Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen.

During the atmospheric ceremony writers Camara Lundestad Joof and Lars Saabye Christensen read a prologue to the library:

"The library is a sky in which every book is a star, the library is an ocean, every book is a wave. The library is a forest, every reader a tree borrowing light, borrowing rain. The library is a circus. The library is a castle, the library is a place to wait, the library is a city, the library is a sky in which every book is a cloud. The library is high, the library is low. The library is a door in which you do not meet yourself, but another - one who shows us who we can become. The library is a road. The library is you - the library is you".

The Norwegian National Opera Children’s Chorus performed and Lars Lillo-Stenberg and Maria Lotus sang “Suser av gårde” (“Whizzing away”), an original song slightly rewritten for the occasion. Architectural firm Lundhagem and Atelier Oslo have designed the building. Vice Mayor for Culture and Sport Omar Samy Gamal also attended the ceremony.

"This library is a building that offers an abundance of light, air and spectacular views. It is open, in every sense of the word. The library is the bedrock of democracy and culture. The library is the opposite of echo chambers and social exclusion. The library is a vaccine against one of the city’s biggest challenges: loneliness. This will be a library for children, for adults, for east, for west – a library for Oslo", said library director Knut Skansen.

Deichman Bjørvika was supposed to open March 28th but the Covid 19 virus put a stop to the plans when a national lockdown was put into action March 12th. In a corona free situation, the ambition of Deichman Bjørvika is to house two million visitors every year. This number is a fivefold increase compared to the last year of business at the old main library at Hammersborg. For now the maximum number of visitors at once is set to 1000, compared to the planned number of 3000.

The official ceremony was streamed live on Facebook. Due to infection control measures only 200 people could attend the official opening in person. Download the video from the opening ceremony here:


Deichman is the agency for the public libraries in the city of Oslo. Founded in 1785, it consists of 22 branches all over Oslo and is Norway's largest and oldest public library. A Deichman library is a haven for you, no matter who you are; where you can read, work, relax, meet friends, or just be alone. You can borrow from our collection of over a million books, movies, CDs and other material. There is free wireless internet, and free access to computers and workshop tools. All you pay for is the paper and materials used when you print or copy. Our libraries are meeting places where you can experience or arrange everything from concerts and cartoon festivals to language courses and political debates. Deichman wants to contribute to a society where everyone has a sense of belonging, ownership and commitment – towards both the community and their own lives. No matter why you come here, you will leave with something.


Jørn Johansen

Jørn Johansen

Press contact Director of Communications at Deichman Deichman Public Library, Oslo +47 900 97 250

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