Would More People Use the Library if it had a Water Slide?

Rhetorical question from The Atlantic Cities:

In 2010, Poland's National Library performed a survey to determine the reading habits of the Polish citizenry. The results were not buoying: 56 percent of Poles had not read a book in the past year, either in hard or electronic form. Just as bad was that 46 percent had not attempted to digest anything longer than three pages in the previous month – and this included students and university graduates.


So architect Hugon Kowalski conceived of a new kind of library that he hopes will one day be built in Mosina, a town just south of Pozna?. On its first floor, it's all bibliotheca: Patrons squat on moddish stools among stacks and stacks of books. But then it gets weird: In the middle of the library is a glass column full of water and flailing human bodies. Go up one level and you're suddenly in the middle of a vast swimming facility, complete with a snaking water slide that takes whooping swimmers on a ride inside and outside of the building.

Kowalski got to thinking about his watery wonderland of reading after consulting surveys that showed Poles "rarely indicated" a desire to build new libraries. Rather, they wanted to see more sports halls, pools, kindergartens and retail shops. So the architect decided to supply the public with a fun reason to repeatedly visit a mixed-use library facility. If it so happens that bathers exit the pool's locker room with a fierce desire to consume Hans Fallada, that's just a happy side effect of the building's design.

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Carnegie would be happy

Didn't he promote mixed-use library facilities? http://www.homesteadlibrary.org/aboutus.html Very neat.

Architects

Architects love to put water in libraries. Small waterfalls, tranquility pools and other water hazards for the collection. Architects seem to have a philosophy to put something in buildings that will destroy the thing that the building is there for. I assume that when architects build structures for the natural gas industry they look for where they can install an open flame.

I've seen it done

I've actually been inside a natural gas office where they had exactly that.

Ice cream

As it would cost 3 million zloty to install water features in a library, why not just offer free ice cream for the kids. A fraction of the cost, and, with Polish people loving ice cream, the library would be swamped. Not that anyone would borrow a book, of course.

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