Half-day Tour 2: The Gouda Library / Chocolate Factory and Central Library Utrecht

Libraries:The Gouda Library and Central Library Utrecht

Type of Library: special

Total Distance Return Trip: 110 km

Meeting Point: Ahoy Rotterdam

Price per person: € 15

The Gouda Library / Chocolate Factory

The Gouda Library ‘DE CHOCOLADEFABRIEK’ – situated in the historical city of Gouda, appr. 20 kilometres fro Rotterdam – is one of the most cutting-edge and innovative libraries in terms of facilities as well as in terms of partnerships and alliances.
‘The Chocolate Factory’ offers a wide range of discoveries from goose feathers and printing presses to virtual reality, high technology and robotics. And everything – needless to say – revolves around ‘Language and Story’.

Our library is based in a former chocolate factory, where we closely work together with:
* the Regional Archive, with whom we organize lectures and courses on (local) history.
* the Printer’s Studio, with 19th and 20th century printing presses where the public can encounter historical craftsmanship.
* the Taalhuis (Language House), a community initiative where newcomers in The Netherlands can learn Dutch and where we offer low literate citizens a broad range of programs for enhancing Dutch language and digital skills.
* the Maker’s Space, another community initiative, where we teach children high and low technology and 21st century skills. The curriculum is based on the STEAM methodology.
* VRSPACE, a private company which specializes in virtual and augmented reality and with whom we develop virtual reality experiences, for example the Glass Elevator Ride from Roald Dahl’s Charly and the Chocolate Factory.
* Mirakel Musicaltheater, a musical school where ‘language and story’ are trasformed into ‘song and dance’.
* Libertum. Interactive Museum for Peace and Freedom, with whom we organize political debates and lectures on (digital) citizenship and other civic subjects.
* Kruim, the restaurant. Hospitality is the heart of everyone’s business in the Chocolate Factory. We pay due attention to a good cup of coffee, lunch, dinner and a glass of wine.

And of course there are thousands of books, lectures on literary subjects, meet & greets with authors, reading sessions and so on. Our colleagues are looking forward to showing you around and tell you all about our activities and alliances.

Neude Library (Utrecht Public Library)

Neude Square, in the heart of Utrecht, is the location of the Central Library. It is housed in a historic building that originally opened in 1924 as the Main Post Office. The adjustments and the new additions were made carefully, with respect for the historic monument, while at the same time giving it a contemporary feeling that fits all the functions of a modern library. The library opened in 2020.

The Central Library spans 9,000 square meters spread out over 4 floors. The first floor hosts the children’s section. On the second floor, you’ll find the adult section. There are bookcases in the hallways on both floors. The attic on the third floor is the place for quiet reading and study. Here, under the historic beams and rafters, you’ll find the City Study House and various study cabins. In total, the Central Library has 356 seats and workspaces. In total, the Central Library has some 1,000 bookcases and a collection of 163.032 items.

Besides the book collection, the library also provides spaces for meetings, events, talks, theatre and movies. A Theatre with 200 seats and a Cinema with 50 seats, a Lecture Hall and various Conference Rooms, and the stately former Director’s Room. All of these facilities can be used for events organised by Utrecht Public Library or rented for public or private events. Utrecht Public Library puts together its programme in collaboration with municipal, cultural and social partners and with the residents of Utrecht. Large festivals and municipal partners are welcome, and use the Library for their programme. Catering facilities Restaurant Noda on the second floor and Café Mr. Potter on the ground floor ensure a pleasant stay for visitors.

In the Neude Library, everyone is welcome. Patrons and non-patrons. Young and old. Book lovers and low literate visitors. People come in for information and with questions, for entertainment, and to meet up with friends. Visitors can attend the many events, and residents of Utrecht can organise events for fellow citizens. Together with the city, we make the library for and by everyone. Not only in our central library at Neude, but also in the other 12 branches.