Ik hou van de Roermondse Bibliotheek

Hello, beautiful Roermond!

Library love!

I love libraries! They are one of the best things humans do. Libraries give me hope for humanity.

the Roermond library

The library here in Roermond is a wonderful place. I like it for lots of reasons. For one thing, just look at it! Great design! The beautiful scrollwork around the entrance, and the respect for the history of the buildings that have been here for hundreds of years. (Maybe it’s an American thing? I am so delighted by the history here!) I like the poem on the front steps; it’s by a Roermond artist, Brohlin Coumans.

Inside, the building is bright and airy. I like to go to the top floor, towards the back. Under those windows it feels like I’m perched among the rooftops. I look at the exhibits in the Historiehuis every couple of months, as I learn more Dutch and understand better. And the Brasserie is gezellig en lekker!

But earlier this year, I was new here and everything was locked down, so I didn’t know much about the library yet. I explored their website, and then went in to see if I could get a library card.

I was a bit shy and didn’t speak any Dutch. Of course the librarians spoke English, and they were so welcoming. They gave me a library card. They explained the lockdown restrictions. And they told me about Taal Café.

Once a week the library hosts Taal Café, where buitenlanders like me can meet with Roermond residents to learn Dutch language and culture. It was closed then, but the librarians told me it would start again after lockdown. I let them know I was interested.

Taal Café

In September, Taal Café started again. Each week there are 15 or 20 of us non-Dutchies there, and 5 or 6 volunteers who so kindly and patiently teach us. It’s fun – we talk, play games, learn about culture, and make friends. How great is that?

Since 2017 the library has participated in a Language Agreement. Along with other organizations, they work to improve the basic skills of people living in Roermond, Roerdalen, and Echt-Susteren. So there are Taal Cafés in De Kemp and Donderberg, too, as well as other services.

The library staff is SO friendly and helpful. One of the librarians knows I like poetry, and she waited for me one evening, after Taal Café, to show me a new book of Dutch poetry that the library had just received. How thoughtful is that? (And she was right – it’s a great book.)

The motto of the library (in English – I don’t know it in Dutch) is:

“We believe in equal opportunities. Being able to read well contributes to this.”

It’s something else for me to be thankful for – that the city of Roermond maintains such a beautiful, welcoming, and useful library!

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