Sweden Has a Social Fabric: The Library Pattern

November 29, 2023

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

If a building is left unlocked and unattended, it’s all but guaranteed that people will trespass, rob, and vandalize. While we expect the worst from humanity, sometimes our faith in the species is restored with amazing stories like this from ZME Science: “A Door At A Swedish Library Was Accidentally Left Open-446 People Came In, Borrowed 245 Books. Every Single One Was Returned.”

Gothenburg librarian Anna Carin Elf noticed something odd when she went to work one day. The library was supposed to be closed because it was All Saint’s Day. People, however, were browsing shelves, reading, using computers, and playing in the children’s section. A member of the library staff forgot to shut one of the doors. The next day patrons took advantage of the open door and used the facilities.

When Elf saw the library was open she jumped into action:

"As people were coming in and out of the library, one librarian (Elf) walked by and noticed the people using the library. She realized what was happening, called her manager and a colleague, and then announced that the library was closing. The visitors calmly folded their books closed and left. But some left with books.”

When the library was accidentally left open, the people of Gothenburg borrowed 245 books and every single one was returned. It’s wonderful when communities recognize the importance of libraries and decide to respect them. Libraries continue to be an important part of cities as they provide access to information, Internet, books, activities, and more.

Whitney Grace, November 29, 2023


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta