WHAT DO you give the world's most literate country for its 100th birthday? For Finland's politicians and public, the answer was simple : 

A vast, state-of-the-art library, a new ''living room for the nation''.

Twenty years in the planning, Helsinki's central library, officially opened on December 5 at the end of a year of festivities marking the centenary of Finland's independence after breaking with Russia in 1917 following six centuries of Swedish rule.

It is a huge, flowing structure of  wood and glass sitting on a prime spot in the city centre, directly opposite the Finnish parliament.

But whereas the parliament building is an austere and imposing hunk of granite, the new library was designed by a Finnish firm ALA Architects as a welcoming, undulating structure, clad in 160 kilometers' worth [99 miles] of Finnish Spruce, drawing people inside with a ''warm hug''.

Named Oodi -''ode''- in Finnish - it is intended as a paean to knowledge, learning and equality in what was ranked the world's most iterate country by 2016 report based on official statistics.

While books will feature heavily - 100,000 of them - the cutting-edge facility also boasts studios for videos and music production, a cinema workshops containing 3D printers and laser cutters, all free of charge for the public.

It will also house an EU-funded visitor center, offering information on the 28-member block's work and its impact on people's daily lives.

''Oodi gives a new modern idea of what it means to be a library,'' Tommi Laitio, Helsinki's  executive director of culture and leisure, said.

''It is a house of literature and it's also a house of cinema, it's a house of the Union. ''And I think all of these came together to this idea of hope and progress,'' Laito said.

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on Developed World's great ideas and accomplishments continues. The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Sam Kingsley.


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