Partnering since 2011 with Gislaveds Bibliotek, a library in Sweden, together we've discovered the differences and similarities between our cultures, learned about each other's country and spread a love of books, reading and libraries across the ocean.
Gislaveds Bibliotek is a municipality library located in southern Sweden with 1 main library, 6 branches and 1 library bus.
Pronounced like “Yees-la-ved”, Gislaved Bibliotek and the Westerville Public Library are alike in a lot of ways, offering storytimes, crafts, games, movies and author visits. Both libraries circulate books in many different languages and welcome immigrants and migrants. Additionally, both have seen a rise in the popularity of Swedish crime, detective and suspense novels like Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (Fun fact: The original Swedish title for this book is Men Who Hate Women.) Both communities have converted old railways into bike paths.
Unlike Westerville, Gislaved is considered rural (not suburban) whose service area is 37 times larger in size, while Westerville's service area is 47 times more populous. Gislaved is filled with vast, beautiful nature areas and small villages called municipalities. One municipality, Anderstorp, is known for its raceway which hosted the Scandinavian Grand Prix in the 1970s, while Hestra is known for its winter sports resort which hosts activities like cross country skiing. In 2008, the Gislaved Bibliothek was named the best library in Sweden.
Body of Water
City of Westerville
12 square miles
2,896 people/sq mi
Jan = 28°F, Jul = 75°F
Jan = 9.5, Jul = 15
Banking, health care
600 acres of park land
Schneider's donuts, Cheryl's cookies, CaJohn's salsa
471 square miles
62 people/sq mi
Jan = 30°F, Jul = 72°F
Jan = 6, Jul = 19
Metal, plastics, timber
Cinnamon buns, semla, ligonberries
Over the years, we have gotten to know each other through email exchanges, postcards and shared exhibitions. Inspired by Gislaved's celebration of the 70th birthday of beloved children's book character Pippi Långstrump (Pippi Longstocking), both libraries hosted parties.
We continue to enjoy this opportunity to foster friendships, gain a global perspective, exchange views, share experiences and collaborate on programs.
Visit Gislaveds Bibliotek through the eyes of our Youth Services Librarian, Robin G, who had the wonderful opportunity to visit our sister library in the spring of 2015.
Watch this video about what it's like to live in Gislaved, Sweden.
Or explore the library's branches and surrounding area with this interactive map.
9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
1 p.m. - 6 p.m.