Café Kubus, the café in the Permeke library on De Coninckplein, will be transformed into a youth hub by September next year. The glass space will include additional study locations, a multimedia lab and a workshop space. “It must become the main sign of the library,” said the alderman of Culture Nabilla Ait Daoud (N-VA).
Elien Van Wynsberghe
Café Kubus opened its doors on De Coninckplein in 2007. “It was a cooperation agreement with the city that was part of a larger objective to stimulate meetings, participation and the economy for the De Coninckplein district ”, declared Alderman Nabilla Ait Daoud. “In the meantime, several of these goals have been achieved. Think, for example, of the increase and diversification of catering in the square. The fact that Kubus coffee operators enjoy a number of important advantages, such as not having to pay rent, has gradually turned into unfair competition, according to the ships. “In addition, Kubus only reaches a few customer profiles and the space is underutilized. ”
Cube will thus be allocated a new destination which is part of the 2020-2025 political plan for Antwerp libraries. “We want to interpret the role of the library differently. It will no longer be the institution or the collection that will be central, but the customer “, explains Ait Daoud. The youth card is resolutely drawn by lot. The reorientation of Kubus should be a sign of this, since Permeke is the largest library in the world. ‘Antwerp.
Extended opening hours
“Cube will be Permeke’s youth library. This means a contemporary presentation of the youth collection, even more places of study, a multimedia laboratory, a workshop space and the possibility of setting up a partnership with secondary education. Kubus will also have wider opening hours than Permeke as a number of partners will be placed in the space. “This mainly concerns partners within youth work, but also partners already present in Permeke, such as the youth media agency Stampmedia”, specifies Ait Daoud. “We want to give them the ability to organize things outside of normal library hours. “
The focus will be on young people in secondary education. “It is necessary, especially in this neighborhood where many young people live. Schoolchildren are not yet claiming their place, but many need a place to study quietly, for example, because there is not enough room at home for this.
The main objective is to actively involve young people in the functioning of the library. “We want to show them what the library has to offer. We want to focus on the pleasure of reading, skills development, cultural education, media education and literacy. We want to captivate young people and better adapt the offer to their needs. This does not mean that we will change or reduce the offer for the classic library visitor.
In order to involve as many Antwerpers as possible in the activities of the library, the city is also introducing new rules of use which aim to remove the main obstacles. “We will no longer work with fines. Because for those who don’t have a lot of money, such a fine is a reason not to come to the library anymore. ”
Preparations for Cube’s transformation will be made in the spring so that Cube can get a fresh start in September 2022.