The main library Apila was opened for public on the 20th of August 2012. The library is designed by JKMM Architects from Helsinki who won the invited architectural competition in 2008. Head designer is architect Mr. Asmo Jaaksi, interior decorator Mrs. Päivi Meuronen and project architect Mr. Aaro Martikainen. The building is located next to the administrative and cultural centre designed by Alvar Aalto.
The shape of the building resembles a clover, therefore the building is called in Finnish Apila (Clover). The shape of the building has also been influenced by Japanese origami. The facade is covered with copper and the surface pattern resembles of a scale.
Apila is about 3 500 square meters in surface area. There are two floors open to the public; the offices are situated in the ground floor and in the 1st floor.
There are about 61 000 inhabitants in Seinäjoki. The library department in Seinäjoki consists of the main library, three branch libraries, a hospital library and two mobile libraries. Number of staff in the whole library is about 55 persons.
The new library Apila is only a part of the main library. The whole main library consists of two buildings: the new Apila and the old main library designed by Alvar Aalto. The old library was completed in 1965. It was renovated and restored and was opened to the public in the end of May 2015. These two buildings are connected by a tunnel.
In Apila the check-in and check-out are fully automated and for reserves there is a self-service pick up. The system is based on RFID technology. Naturally, the customers can still have personal service from staff.
All the stacks are open to customers. In the stacks there are also microfilm readers and microfilms and a digitizing room for customers.
Offices are located mainly on the 1st floor, but on the ground floor there are also offices and the stacks for mobile libraries. The customers don’t have access to the offices.
The News Area is located on the ground floor. There you will find magazines and newspapers, workstations for the customers and a café. In the ceiling there is a relief that represents a river, both a piece of art as well as an acoustic element. The relief is designed by graphic designer Mr. Aimo Katajamäki.
Jaaksi Hall is a conference room, named after the head designer Asmo Jaaksi. There are seats for 120 people, a stage, and a grand piano. The room can be divided in two sections with movable walls. Next to Jaaksi Hall there is also a computer classroom.
Children´s department is also situated on the ground floor. It has been inspired by a famous Finnish children’s book Piilomaan Pikku Aasi by Lea Pennanen. Books and other materials are mainly located in the book houses and every book house has a theme. Picture books are located in book boxes and there is also a long sofa by the window plus a lovely story time room.
Adult´s lending department is located next to children’s department. The atmosphere is peaceful and quite traditional. Book shelves are made of pine. There are study seats and comfortable rocking chairs and a beautiful, big window with a great view towards the Aalto centre. For those who want to study there is a quiet reading room.
Reading steps are the heart of the library. It is a venue for various events and also a place for reading and spending time.
The youth and music department is located in the basement; the space has been influenced by the sci-fi novel Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The colorful reading nooks are characteristic for the space and create a unique atmosphere. Books and magazines for youth and young adults, movies, CDs, sheet music and scores are located in white book shelves. In this section you can also find a game room, an exhibition space and a music listening room for customers.
You can get to the Aalto-library via the youth and music department.