His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway opened Oslo’s newest and largest public library on Thursday. The day of the opening was not random as Crown Prince Haakon opened the library exactly 87 years after his great-grandfather King Haakon VII opened the old main library in Oslo.
His Royal Highness was welcomed to the library by Oslo’s Mayor and a number of Norway’s best authors. Authors Lars Saabye Christensen and Camara Joof opened the ceremony. Musicians Lars Lillo Stenberg and Maria Lotus performed some of their songs before library manager Knut Skansen spoke and welcomed guests to Oslo’s oldest and newest library.
Crown Prince Haakon held the opening speech in which he said: “A library can both shape and change lives. The library can strengthen communities. The library can make the world a better place. Through the books, we have the opportunity to discover the world, to open ourselves to it and find our place in it. We have the opportunity to seek both knowledge and recognition. The library offers all this and is open and free to everyone.”
After the Crown Prince’s speech, the Opera’s children’s choir performed and His Royal Highness was given a tour of the brand new building.
After the opening ceremony, the doors were opened to the public. Because of Covid-19, there can only be 1000 people inside the library at a time until further notice.
The library has a collection of about 450,000 books, films, music and games. The new building has six floors, each with its own distinctive features. The library also has a restaurant and café, cinema, and study rooms, sound studios, a room with 3D printers and a collection of old manuscripts. The most famous book in the collection is Aslak Bolt’s handwritten Bible from 1250.