Day-long Tour 9: Bolsward, Forum Groningen, Leeuwarden

Libraries: Bibliotheek Mar en Fean, Forum Groningen, and dbieb Library of Leeuwarden

Type of Library: public

Total Distance Return Trip: 400 km

Meeting Point: Ahoy Rotterdam

Price per Person: € 25

Bibliotheken Mar en Fean

Bibliotheken Mar en Fean has twelve libraries in three different municipalities. In the Frisian city of Bolsward, the library is situated in a beautiful, monumental town hall. This richly decorated building dates from 1614 and was designed by Jacob Gysbert (father of Gysbert Japicx) in the Frisian mannerism style (Late Renaissance). After the municipality Bolsward was consolidated into the municipality Súdwest-Fryslân in 2011, the building lost its status as a town house. Many a couple had been married there in the gorgeous wedding hall. After the restauration, renovation, construction, and redesignation of the complex, the Cultural-Historical Centre De Tiid was born. This has become a meeting place of the municipality, made possible by the efforts of its multiple partners. Apart from the library, the building also houses the museum De Tiid, the archives of the municipality Súdwest-Fryslân, the municipality office, and the catering establishment Blend.

Forum Groningen

“The Forum is located in the centre of Groningen. The Forum is an accessible place to meet for those who are curious about the world of today and the possibilities of tomorrow. With international exhibits, Storyworld, four cinemas, a multifunctional auditorium, the library, the Smartlab, catering facilities and a terrace with a panoramic view, we can explore the world around us with an open mind and be inspired.
Tomorrow’s possibilities in today’s world. This underpins everything we do at the Forum.
The Forumbuilding located in the heart of Groningen is a meeting place for everyone who is curious about tomorrow’s possibilities in today’s world. With international exhibitions, the Storyworld museum, a cinema, the public library, a Smartlab, a skylounge bar + restaurant and a roof terrace with a phenomenal panoramic view, you are bound to be surprised!
Inspire people to broaden their horizon.
Globalisation. Digitisation. Visual culture. Technology that affects all areas of our lives. Lifelong learning is a necessity. A world that’s changing faster than ever. This has become a reality for people. More choices, more information. So many opportunities, which can be overwhelming at the same time.
We see Forum Groningen as a response to the major developments of our time. Our eyes are wide open, based on the motto: it’s better to know what lies ahead than to be caught by surprise.
If we can convince people to open their eyes to the world of tomorrow, we’ll have accomplished what we set out to do.
We’re no fortune tellers at the Forum. Just like you, we don’t know what the future holds. We’re no science fiction writers either, conjuring up crazy scenarios.
There are things we do know about the world of tomorrow, however. We know that the essence of tomorrow is already visible today. In new trends, ideas and technologies. And those trends, ideas and technologies – that’s what we’re about at Forum Groningen.
It all starts with embracing the future.”

dbieb Library of Leeuwarden

dbieb is one of the most inspiring public places in the heart of Leeuwarden. A place where everyone is welcome to come and find inspiration, read, explore, learn and meet others. One of the main attractions of this modern library is its location in the Blokhuispoort business centre in Leeuwarden. The Blokhuispoort is a national monument of great cultural value and has a rich history. Built in 1499, for centuries it served as a penal institution where prisoners were incarcerated. The building has witnessed many remarkable events, including a spectacular raid by the Dutch Resistance on 8 December 1944. Today, the Blokhuispoort is a vibrant cultural centre and creative business hub. The central branch of dbieb opened there following the refurbishment in 2018.
Anyone who enters dbieb will see traces of the past: the historic character of the building has been preserved as much as possible. A walk through the building, which contains a collection of more than 7,200 books, is a voyage of discovery. dbieb attracts around 300,000 visitors a year. There are more than 200 study stations, 30 of which are equipped with computer facilities. Many students come here daily, to work and study. The De Kapel room at the heart of dbieb was originally the prison chapel. Today it is a multifunctional space with a welcoming 1950s interior where period features such as the wooden ceiling and original structural elements have been preserved. It provides a wonderful setting for the public events, theatre productions and author readings held here on a regular basis. Bajes Streetfood Club in the middle of dbieb offers refreshments for those who visit the library.

Every day at dbieb people of all ages participate in activities that address various cultural and social issues. Those who want to challenge themselves, find inspiration or develop their skills can take advantage of courses, workshops, lectures, read-aloud sessions, events and performances. Together with local partners such as the Fries Museum, the Fryslân campus of Groningen university and the Stadsschouwburg De Harmonie theatre in Leeuwarden, dbieb works to make culture accessible to everyone.
There are also services for individuals, who can learn how to use computers and find out about things such as e-government, taxes, benefits, arranging care and finding work. These services are provided at the branches of dbieb and also outside dbieb, in community centres and other places where people gather. dbieb also operates in more than 60 primary schools. Dedicated reading consultants organise, facilitate and help teachers implement reading, language and media policy.