Libraries as places of sociability, not prohibitions: the Yves Coppens multimedia library and social centre in Signy-l’Abbaye

Émilie Dauphin presents the project behind the library and social centre she manages. The council and local people wanted a shared space where the village’s 1,358 inhabitants could come together. As the site offers a games library, Wednesday teatimes for children and their families, and activities for adults and older people, laying down rules and prohibitions seemed inappropriate. The article argues in favour of putting users at the heart of the project. The rules governing how the centre was to be used were drawn up in collaboration with the people using it, so that they felt comfortable in a public space that is intended to be welcoming to all sectors of the community.