When we moved to the town of Nyon, I joined the municipal library. The building itself is worth writing about – great thick walls, windows widened with painted wooden shutters, flowers on the sills and in stone pots; a child’s dream of a library, though in fact it houses the adults’ library with the childrens’ being elsewhere.

Inside they have kept many 18th and 19th century features, such as wooden panelling and doors painted in subtle shades of dove grey, and a large porcelain heating stove covered in blue and white painted tiles, with a polished brass hatch for fuel.   Even some of the slender, ornate door hinges and handles have been maintained.

This and other libraries in the canton of Vaud began a programme of outreach a few years ago which aimed to make the ‘Saturday of Libraries’ a key annual event in the canton’s cultural calendar.  By now it involves over 40 local libraries and has inspired a similar programme in the nearby canton of Fribourg.

It came to my attention through the wonderful posters they commissioned, supported by the Swiss Bibliomedia Foundation and others.  The series, by the local illustrator Anne Crausaz, is both captivating and cohesive.

My only complaint, as is often the case with such time-bound marketing, is that they haven’t (yet) made them available as postcards on sale in local libraries.

For more information (in French) on the annual Samedi des Bibliothèques, see Bibliovaud.ch.  See also Bibliomedia.ch (in French, German or Italian), the Foundation which supports the 600 public libraries in Switzerland, with funding from the federal government.

Image credits: Anne Crausaz and Bilbiovaud.ch


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