September 26, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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The Kubus Café in the Permeke Library has become a youth center: “This should become the main motto of the Library” (Antwerp)

The Kubus Café in the Permeke Library has become a youth center: “This should become the main motto of the Library” (Antwerp)

Member of the local council for culture, Nabila Ait Daoud (North – Virginia). © Jan van der Berry


Kubus Café, the Permeke Library café in De Coninckplein, will be converted into a youth center by September next year. The glazed space will include additional study spaces, a media lab and workshop space. “This library should become the leader in the library,” said Culture Board member Nabila Ait Daoud (N-VA).

Elaine Van Winsberg

The Kubus Café opened its doors on De Coninckplein in 2007. “It was a cooperation agreement with the city and was part of a broader goal to stimulate meeting, participation and the economy in the De Coninckplein region,” said Alderman Nabila Ait Daoud. Meanwhile, many of these goals have been achieved. Consider, for example, the increase and diversification of the catering industry in the field.” The fact that the operators of the Kubus cafe enjoy a number of important advantages, such as not having to pay rent, is gradually becoming unfair competition, according to the ships. “In addition, only Kubus arrives to a small number of customer profiles and the space is underutilized.”

Thus, Cube will be given a new destination that fits into the 2020-2025 policy plan for Antwerp Libraries. “We want to interpret the role of the library differently. It is no longer the institution or the collection central, but the customer,” explains Ait Daoud. The youth card is firmly drawn. The reallocation of Kubus should be a sign of this, given that Permeke is the largest library in Antwerp.

Wider working hours

“Cube will be the Permeke Youth Library. This means a contemporary offering for the youth group, more study spaces, a media lab, workshop space and the possibility of partnering with secondary education.” Kubus will also have wider opening hours than Permeke because a number of partners will be placed in the space. . “This relates mainly to partners in youth action, but also to partners that are already in Permic, such as the youth media agency Stampmedia,” says Ait Daoud. “We want to give them the opportunity to organize things outside of normal library hours.”

The focus will be on youth in secondary education. “This is necessary, especially in this neighborhood where many young people live. Schoolchildren have not yet claimed their place, but many of them need a place to study quietly, for example, because there is not enough space in the house for that.”

© Jan van der Berry

The main goal is to actively involve young people in the work of the library. “We want to introduce them to what the library has to offer. We want to focus on the joy of reading, competency development, cultural education, media literacy and literacy. We want to captivate young people and better tailor the offer to their needs. This does not mean that we will change or reduce the offer to the classic library visitor.”

In order to involve as many Antwerp residents as possible in library activities, the city is also introducing new user regulations aimed at removing major barriers. We will not deal with fines anymore. Because for those who don’t have much money, this fine is a reason not to come to the library anymore.”

Preparations for the Cube transformation will be made in the spring so that Cube can make a fresh start in September 2022.

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