November 14, 2023
France, November 14, 2023 – In a remarkable achievement, the library Le Zèbre, located in Albert, France, has been awarded the prestigious Territoria Gold at the 37th edition of the Territoria Awards. This national accolade was presented at the French National Assembly to the teams of Le Zèbre and Michel Watelain, the President of the Community of Communes of Pays du Coquelicot.
Territoria Awards recognized the library’s successful digital transformation using open+ from Bibliotheca. The pinnacle of access, open+ allows patrons to independently access the library outside of regular hours, enabling them to enjoy the space for reading, media consultation, relaxation, and various activities without the need for staff to be present.
The library in Albert is the first in France to offer open+, making it a pioneering model in the country. The library is also equipped with other Bibliotheca solutions, such as selfCheck kiosks, security gates, and staff workstations. The award honors the comprehensive effort to boost community services coupled with user interest in and response to the new tools offered when the library opened in January 2022.
During the ceremony, the jury of the Territoria Awards, chaired by Dominique Faure, Minister Delegate, recognized 48 winners, presenting 19 Territoria Gold, 18 Territoria Silver, 10 Territoria Bronze, and 1 Territoria Zebra awards. The selection process involved around 200 applications, with 59 innovative initiatives in 20 fields chosen for their innovation, replicability, and efficient use of public funds.
A pioneering model in France
Le Zèbre is a cultural and digital third place that brings together a library, music school, digital space, video game bubble, workshop, fab lab, and performance hall. The city of Albert is situated in the Somme department in northern France. This territory encompasses 65 communes, hosting a population of 28,300, with over 35% residing in Albert.
The goal of open+ at the Le Zèbre is to extend open hours, attract new users, and enable the community to develop a sense of ownership and diverse uses of the library space. The Community of Communes collaborated with Bibliotheca to innovate and meet the residents’ high expectations of Pays du Coquelicot, offering expanded services in a modern 998 m² public space while keeping payroll costs under control.
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