Middelfart Library first opened its doors in 1936 in the central part of the town. Today, the library spans 2500m² and has moved inside the Culture Island, an architect-designed culture house surrounded by the sea. The building also holds a cinema, tourist office, café, and restaurant. The library circulates around 250,000 items per year and services 18,600 registered patrons. Their opening hours are between 7 am to 10 pm on all weekdays, with staff available only during normal working hours. By means of their Danish social security card, anyone can enter the Culture Island and use the library’s facilities, however only registered patrons can borrow items. The library hosts numerous events and offers free access to wireless internet, PCs and work stations, meeting rooms and play areas for kids.
Middelfart Library’s sorting system was installed by Lyngsoe Systems in 2005, and the sorter was an instant success with staff by relieving them from strenuous work. However, after more than 10 years of operation, the aging sorter was showing signs of wear, which needed to be addressed.
At the same time, Middelfart Library had a vision of becoming more accessible for their patrons. They wanted to extend their opening hours and tear down walls to become part of the main space of the culture house where the library is located.
Together with Lyngsoe Systems, they found a solution.
Rather than investing in a new sorter, the library chose to upgrade its existing solution with the latest generation of Lyngsoe Systems’ Sort Mate™ technology. For accessibility, the Access Mate™ was installed, providing public access for citizens based on their social security card.
Upgrading the old sorter entailed significant improvements including flawless functionality and low-noise operation. The Access Mate™ not only provides extended access to the library, it has also caused a step-change in public usage of the whole culture house.
“People in our local community love and embrace the open library concept, and it has changed the way they are using our facilities. People let themselves in early to study or read the paper, and there are lots of synergies with the other operators of the building. For example, children will run to the library’s kids zone to play while their parents are queuing up to buy cinema tickets.” – Charlotte Pedersen, Director of Middelfart Library