Skip to content
Deichman Bjørvika - the Public Library of the Year (world wide). Credit: Erik Thallaug.
Deichman Bjørvika - the Public Library of the Year (world wide). Credit: Erik Thallaug.

Press release -

Welcome to Deichman Bjørvika

The library of the future - the IFLA Public Library of the Year 2021 - has received standing ovations since the opening (June 2020). Located between Oslo Central Station and the Oslo Opera House, Deichman Bjørvika is an extension of the 237 year history of the public library of Oslo. It also offer an exploration of what a library can be.

Stretching over six floors and 13,500 square meters (approx. 1,4 millon square feet) you will find books – 450,000 of them – but also other offers and activities. You can visit the children’s section with all its playful hiding places, watch movies with your friends, make podcasts, learn to play the piano, sew a dress, use the 3D printers, enjoy the view of the Oslo Fjord or just admire the architecture by Lundhagem and Atelier Oslo Architects.

Deichman Bjørvika's grand opening was June 18th, 20202, some weeks behind schedule only due to Covid19 lockdown in March.

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) named the main library of Oslo as "Public Library of the Year" in Auguat, 2021. Jakob Lærkes from IFLA said: "The Public Library of the Year award is all about paying tribute to role models, and the winning library – Deichman Bjørvika – is a shining example. A beautiful and impressive building which serves as a beacon for future library buildings. Deichman Bjørvika more than lives up to the criteria for the award, and the international jury was particularly impressed by how the building combines environmental awareness with architectural flair. The library is a new paradise for books and reading, while incorporating advanced technological solutions. Deichman Bjørvika shows how libraries can function as institutions that bring people together in towns, cities and local communities."

Deichman Bjørvika’s ambition was to host two million visitors each year. Mission completed as most days the library hosts 7 to 11 thousand visitors. 

Deichman's director, Knut Skansen: "From day one the citizens feedback has been overwhelming positive. Visitors highlights the atmosphere, the core idea of a safe, people-friendly space, and the well planned design of a modern library".

Increased loans and number of visits

Whoever finds libraries old-fashioned will have to think again. People enjoy libraries. From 2015 to 2019 Deichman experienced a 43 percent increase of the number of visitors. The reasons for these percentages are extended opening hours, upgraded and modernized facilities and a wide range of activities. 

“The City Government have worked hard to establish this library, and I am proud of how Deichman Bjørvika makes literature, the love of reading and knowledge available to even more people in Oslo. It is a beatiful building, always seething with people and activities, open every day and available to absolutely everybody, free of charge. We know that libraries strengthen democracy and cultural heritage, and it is one of the most cost effective methods to level out social differences in our society. The new main library is an addition to the other new and upgraded libraries in the city”, says Governing Mayor, Raymond Johansen.

Download: Fact sheet (see page section 'Related media').

Related links



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

Welcome to Culture Oslo!

This is the mutual press room for the three cultural agencies in the City of Oslo: The Agency for Cultural Affairs (Kulturetaten), Oslo Public Library Deichman and Munchmuseet.

Culture Oslo

Visit our other newsrooms