The Trapèze library – Boulogne-Billancourt

Quite small, the library opened in September, 2012 and covers over 450 m² in a structure which includes the National Game Center too. However, there are 6,000 registered users and a big attendance. Still while we continually declare that people don’t go to the library anymore, why does the “Trapèze” library have so much success?

The actual concept of learning center

The library is far from being a simple passage way where we simply borrow books. On the contrary, it’s similar to a real third place, specialised in high technology. Once passed the reception hall, the visitor enters a friendly room, with armchairs and coffee tables. Some I-Pads, with press inside are available for users, a tactile table proposes a map of the library in 3D, and also children’s games and librarians’ favorite books. The walls of this lounge are made of concrete and allow to hang up exhibitions. Some coffee and drink machines are accessible for all.

The friendly room

The friendly room


The furniture is composed of trays which are pulled and can roll. The doors are sliding, to take up the less space possible, and some of the partitions are removable. In this way, the children’s corner, on the ground floor, includes a space for events with a removable partition. On the first floor, we find adult collections and a studying room with six computers, connected to Wi-Fi and a printer.

Collections and services

The library has a great collection of books: 8,000 documents for children, 10,000 documents for adults, 2,500 DVD, 3,400 comics for all ages, 100 video games, 100 periodicals, 10 e-readers, and a lot of e-books and online resources. In another way, the library offers access sets to those electronic resources and to the Internet. Television screens with 3D glasses and sets allow to listen to CD’s or watch DVD’s. Video games are also valued with some consoles. Video game nights for young people will be organized soon, in spite of the librarians’ reluctance, as they have a lot of work with library events.

The collections

The collections

The librarian’s missions

Seven librarians work at the library but they don’t care about the lending part; the lending service is entirely automatized with numeric stand, exclusively for the users. The librarians are there to welcome visitors, who all enjoy of a library’s presentation, for their first visit.

Their first mission is to answer to the user’s questions and to help them in their bibliographic researches. But they also propose a consequent quantity of animations and events, like “the tale time”, exhibitions, animations around the video game, literary aperitif, short lengths projections and writing workshops.

The e-book’s place

The Trapèze library is quite famous for its lending of e-books. A numeric library composed of 2 000 titles, called BiblioVOX is accessible online. It has been fitted out among others for disabled persons. It proposes documents with big polices and sonorous documents. A downloading platform gives access to e-books in ePub or PDF formats, or still WMA for audio documents. Those documents all-supports can be read on computers or reading tablets. Finally, the library lends 10 readers for a home borrowing. The users can download books that he wishes. They will be deleted at the end of the lending.

The spirit of the library

The library is not in a spirit of document conservation. The collections are recent and the director wants to keep it that way. They don’t hesitate to pulp, to keep books that they want and which are in good condition. The collection has to be of quality, rather than quantity, because the books which are sleeping on the shelves are useless.

The director prefers well-spaced shelves, almost empty because all the books are borrowed. According to her, completely full shelves don’t attract readers and don’t help them find the book they wishes. The important thing is that the reader has to find his happiness, can spend more time in the library, and will want to come back there.


 Julie Crosse, Pascaline Milliat & Maxime Fidèle

2nd year students in Information-Communication

Speciality professions of book – IUT Paris Descartes

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