One of the first things I do when I move to a new place is drop by the library and figure out how to join. In Denmark public library membership is part and parcel of your health insurance (CPR) card, if you have that you are ready to go!
On entering Sonderborg Library for the first time I was quite impressed. It compares well to my previous favourite public lending library from when I lived in London: there are new books on a regular basis, the displays are constantly changing and, not to be forgotten, it is big, airy and light. This makes for an overall positive experience.
There are books for everyone’s taste, including a small English section, and also a small section with Danish books for adults with reading difficulties, which is where I get easy-to-read books in Danish without having to read about Soren and Mette playing with a cat. You can also get musics CDs and DVDs, though unfortunately most of the films we have borrowed have been scratched such that we couldn’t watch the complete film.
Nevertheless, the library here is much more than a place where you can borrow books from. There are regular events going on in the library, from talks, to music concerts. The notice board at the entrance to the library also carry a wealth of information about events in the area.
My absolute favourite feature of the library (and Danish libraries in general) is that you can have a book normally at another library delivered to you own library for you to read. The libraries you can borrow from therefore extends to most Danish libraries (including university libraries).
There is a wealth of knowledge out there that you can make use of. However, unfortunately, I have found that a good number of people (including Danes!) do not know of the possibilities the library offers. Moving here from London where libraries were being closed down due to cost-cutting I think it is only by using these services more can we show that we appreciate them and need them. Once the cuts are announced it is too late to realise how much you would like a library in your area – so use it now!