Zuidas Leeft

City Council sets aside funds for OBA NEXT in Zuidas

The City of Amsterdam is releasing funding to enable a new branch of the Amsterdam Public Library (Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, OBA) to open in Zuidas. Referred to as ‘OBA NEXT’, it is expected to be based in the Knowledge Quarter, close to Amsterdam Zuid station.

Amsterdam City Council reached this decision on 11 July 2019. Like all the other public libraries across the city, OBA NEXT in Zuidas is set to become a familiar place for everyone in Amsterdam. OBA is eager to align itself with Amsterdam’s development as an accessible, secure and user-friendly Digital City. In that context, OBA NEXT aims to become the ‘public clubhouse’. ‘We are pleased with this positive result’, says OBA director Martin Berendse. ‘In the years ahead, the area around Amsterdam Zuid station will become a second city centre. That calls for an open public facility. OBA NEXT seeks to connect with all the people of Amsterdam and contribute to a connected, inclusive city.’

Heart for Zuidas

The plans for OBA NEXT bring together three ambitions: a public library designed for the future of knowledge and information, a cultural and social heart for Zuidas and a programme focusing on lifelong learning, data- and media-savviness and digital resilience for Amsterdam citizens. Berendse: ‘We are developing OBA NEXT together with our partners, including the Vrije Universiteit (VU University Amsterdam). The OBA NEXT offering will reflect the challenges of our age. It will give the people of Amsterdam the opportunity to learn the skills they need for their futures.’

The young people’s floor at OBA Oosterdok
The young people’s floor at OBA Oosterdok Photo: Luuk Kramer

Developing digital skills

During the council debate on OBA NEXT, a motion was passed calling for ‘an extensive, but user-friendly range of courses to be offered at OBA NEXT aimed at eradicating (digital) illiteracy and poor language skills and developing the digital skills needed for the future labour market’. In the years ahead, OBA will not only be investing in the new location in Zuidas, but also in new branches or extending existing branches across the city of Amsterdam.

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