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Open-air library is ready to serve bookworms in Turkey’s Bursa

Open-air library is ready to serve bookworms in Turkey’s Bursa

An open-air library recently inaugurated in the northwestern city of Bursa is now ready to serve bookworms with reading opportunities with plenty of fresh air and social distancing.

Launched by the municipality in a three-acre field inside the city’s Merinos Park, the library will remain open “as long as the weather allows us,” Mayor Alinur Aktaş said. The library is part of the municipality’s efforts to keep reading a daily habit in a time where people are encouraged to stay indoors. Aktaş said in a written statement Wednesday that they were already delivering books to anyone requesting them during the curfews before Turkey gradually started lifting measures earlier in the summer.

Sitting on inflatable chairs, mattresses, large swings and other furniture, readers can pick among 4,000 books from a mobile library. Free-of-charge WiFi access to 22,000 e-books is also available in the outdoor library under the trees. For children, the library offers an activity corner with coloring books and regular workshops to improve their skills.

Like other indoor venues, libraries were shut down in March as part of measures against the coronavirus but were reopened in June amid strict rules. Most libraries work with an “appointment system,” admitting only applicants booked ahead, and a mask requirement is in place for visitors. They are regularly disinfected and the seating layouts were modified to allow readers to maintain a social distance.