Tag Archives: Scandinavia

The modern libraries of Thionville, France and Seinäjoki, Finland have something in common

2017-02-15

Public libraries all over the world have a new problem to solve: how to provide the best possible services to citizens when the core service of a library – printed book – is transforming to digital format. Ebooks can be checked out from a library at home sofa, at beach chair or at hospital bed. We firmly believe libraries as public spaces are needed in the future as well, but how they will look like and what they might actually do is another thing.

One of the first real life experiments with next generation library is being conducted in Texas, USA. Bexar County has opened an all digital library called Bibliotech. There are no physical books for people to loan, but computers, tablets and ereaders where library card holders can loan and read ebooks (or hang out on the Internet). Library staff is always there to help with books and with technology.
Thionville library in France
The town of Thionville in northern France didn’t go all digital when it opened a new library in 2016. It is a beautiful modern building with plenty of space for activities, like sipping coffee, having a picnic on the roof, or playing instruments in soundproof rooms. The architects explained to Fast Company that the objective was to build spaces for the community. Printed books are available in the library, as well as ebooks and other forms of digital media.

Thionville doesn’t even call its new building a library, but Mediatheque.

Before we continue to Seinäjoki, Finland, take a look at a video introduction to the Mediatheque of Thionville, France. Mediatheque was opened in 2016. It was designed by the Strasbourg-based firm Dominique Coulon and Associates.

Let’s jump from Central Europe to Northern Europe in order to find out what kind of libraries are being built in Scandinavia. One of the most liked and celebrated new libraries in Finland was built in Seinäjoki, in the central region of the country. The Apila (Shamrock) Library, designed by Helsinki-based architects JKMM, opened in 2012.

The primary service in Seinäjoki library is still printed books, but community spaces, activities and digital media have their own nooks, rooms and corners as well. The shadow of Finland’s master architect Alvar Aalto was a factor in the design process because buildings designed by Aalto are located around the new library.

Now, take a look at the following photo gallery of the Seinäjoki Apila Library and compare the pictures with the video images of the Thionville library. There are a number of details and large design solutions that resemble one another in these two libraries, even though the architects are different. Perhaps it is a sign that libraries are finding one common way to serve citizens in the digital future.

Seinäjoki Apila library, Finland
modern library of Seinäjoki in Scandinavia
modern library  architecture in Seinäjoki, Finland, North Europe
community spaces in Seinäjoki library, Finland
reading nook in Seinajoki library, Finland, Scandinavia, Europe

What is the Finnish way of doing things? American author reveals it all in the 6th edition of his book about Finland

2017-02-10

Author, journalist Russell Snyder moved to Finland from California in 1982. He has spent over 30 years exploring and enjoying the Nordic country. He has traveled far and wide searching for experiences, but has uncovered many cultural treasures right in Helsinki where he has mostly lived. “Finland is both a great place to visit and to live. The longer you stay here, the more you become hooked on the Finnish way of doing things.”
cover image of book: The Lighter Side of Finland 6th Ed
Here is what the author had to say about the new edition of his book about Finland.

You have just launched the 6th edition of The Lighter Side of Finland. When was the first one published?

The first edition was published 22 years ago. It reflected Finland as it was back then. However, Finland is constantly changing and redefining itself, so the book has been updated and revised to reflect those changes.

Why have you picked this year to publish this new edition?

Finland is celebration its 100-year anniversary of becoming an independent nation, so I wanted to celebrate the occasion with this book.

You use a lot of humor in your writing.

I believe humor is the best way to encourage people to keep reading. And if people are entertained and get a few laughs, they may even remember something.

What have been your favorite experiences in Finland?

Sledding on a hill with my kids. Walking around in a forest in Lapland during the autumn to experience the fantastic colors. Fishing on the Ruunaa River and smoking the freshly caught trout on a campfire. Dancing on a Saturday night in a small village and meeting new friends. Trying out the magnificent smoke saunas the Sauna Society. And many more.

You have also written Analysis of the Finnish Tango and I, Helsinki. Any plans to write another book?

I hope to write a book about Estonia soon.

sauna etiquette in Finland
The book covers the basics of sauna etiquette as well as many other unique Finnish customs.

Traditional Nordic cooking for contemporary kitchens: Finnish Cookbook with Modern Flavors

2016-03-24

Maybe Finnish kitchen is not (yet) as renowned as the French or Thai kitchens that can be found in all major cities of the world, but Scandinavian tastes have been discovered by food lovers. Traditional Finnish meals were prepared from ingredients readily available at small farms, lakes, large forests and the sea. It was simple, hearty food.
Sample page from Finnish Cookbook
Even when something already tastes good, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be made even better. That’s what author Marko Päkki has been doing for most of his life. He knows exactly how to cook traditional Finnish food, but he didn’t leave there. He has developed new recipes based on traditional Nordic cooking.

Here is the result: Finnish Cookbook with Modern Flavors for home chefs who want to try out simple but tasty recipes in their kitchen. Choose from fish, meat, vegetable dishes or prepare a traditional dessert (out of fresh berries, naturally).
Download ebook: Cookbook, traditional food of Finland
Recipes introduced in the book are, for instance, Traditional Baltic Herring Fillet Steak, Chanterelle Bacon Pie. Karelian Stew, and Rainbow Trout with Fruit Salsa.

More information about the book Finnish Cookbook with Modern Flavors here.

The Best of Helsinki, Finland: Tips from a Local Writer

2015-05-24

Helsinki, Finland is a relaxing Scandinavian destination to visit: it is a relatively compact city that can be explored by foot, by bicycle or by public transportation, like trams. Local people think there are traffic jams in the city, but visitors from one of the metropolis of the world may have another view. The best time to visit Helsinki is May-September when there is plenty of light and everyone enjoys the warm season.

view over the roofs of Helsinki, FInland

More tips for travelers heading to Finland in Russell Snyder’s book I, Helsinki – A Finland Visitor’s Guide. Here are some highlights:

Sight: Suomenlinna fortress island
City view: Ateljee Bar in Hotel Torni.
Sea view: Sightseeing cruise from the Market Square.
Piece of history: Senate Square.
Architecture: Tour around Töölönlahti for monuments and variety.
Food: Restaurant Lappi for traditional dishes of Lapland, restaurant Bellevue for Russian delicacies.
Park: Esplanadi in the city center and Kaivopuisto by the sea.
Art: Ateneum and Kiasma museums, galleries in Design District.
Shopping: Esplanadi for branded goods and Hietalahti flea market for fun.
People watching: Cafés at Esplanadi.
Drive: From Lauttasaari to Kulosaari via the coastal road.
Cycling: Any cycling path that follows the coastline, for instance a route via Töölö, Meilahti, Munkkiniemi. Kuusisaari and Lauttasaari.
Beach: Hietaranta in the city.
Hike: Nuuksio national park outside Helsinki, hike around Töölönlahti in the city.
Winter fun: Walking on ice, sledding in Kaivopuisto or cross-country skiing in Paloheinä.

 
Here is a video that shows a few highlights of Helsinki:

I, Helsinki – A Finland Visitor’s Guide download travel guide to Helsinki, Finland

New Purchase Options for Scandinavian Ebook Readers

2015-04-19

Amazon dominates many ebook markets across the globe, but there are some corners of the world where local ebook stores thrive. Scandinavia (in this case, only Sweden, Norway and Finland) is not an easy market for a large international company like Amazon to enter because every country has its own language and currency, and above all, the markets are fairly small. Adlibris is the largest Scandinavian online bookstore that also offers a large selection of ebooks.
adlibris ebooks, norge screen shot
At the moment, Swedish customers may choose from 25 000 ebooks, Norwegians have a selection of 23 000 ebooks and Finns don’t yet know how many ebooks there are, because Adlibris’ Finnish ebookstore is waiting for its official launch (ebooks are already available, though). Vast majority of available ebooks at Adlibris are published in Swedish or in Norwegian.

Here are the Adlibris bookstores where Scandinavian customers can shop in their local language and currency.
Finland
Norway
Sweden

New Klaava Travel Guide Published: Gothenburg and Sweden’s West Coast

2015-03-08

When most people think about Scandinavia, they probably think about Stockholm, fjälls, fjords in Norway, large wilderness areas of Lapland, and the Northern lights, but how many travelers have seen the unique archipelago in the South-West corner of Sweden? That’s where the city of Gothenburg is located as well, but on the mainland. Now, you can read all about it from our new travel guide.

gothenburg-sshot4

Gothenburg and Sweden’s West Coast is not an ordinary travel guide. Although it includes all the necessary sections that you would expect from a guidebook, the ebook comes with some extra features: photo galleries and resizable maps have been complemented with video segments.


Find out more about the book here.

Book trailer video:

Book Reading: a Video of Helsinki, Finland Travel Guide

2015-02-16

The majority of overseas visitors arrive in Helsinki, Finland’s capital in the summer. During summer weekends, however, local people migrate to their summer cottages they have built on lake and sea shores around the country. In the winter, on the other hand, a visitor may encounter peculiar local habits, such as skiing and skating on sea or sledding in the city center.
I Helsinki, Finland travel guide
In any case, if you are planning to visit Finland, and Helsinki in particular, it makes sense to plan ahead. Travel guidebook I, Helsinki lets you quickly discover the sights you want to visit and activities you would like to try out.

Here is a video (captured in the summer) that includes five chapters from the book that you can listen and watch:

More about the book. I, Helsinki, travel guide to Finland's capital

How Was Finland Created? Lessons from History

2012-10-12

In 2017, Finland will celebrate its 100th Independence Day. It has been a long and turbulent path to prosperity for this Northern European nation, but today, Finland is a stable democracy.

A Concise History of Finland outlines the key historical events that created the nation. The story of Finland starts from the early Middle Ages, and takes readers to the new challenges set by globalization.