There are a number of libraries in the Reykjavík Capital Area and they are of all sorts: public libraries, school libraries and special libraries. Here is a brief list, excluding school- and special libraries.
Reykjavík City Library is the largest public library in Iceland with a main library , five branches, a bookmobile and a story-van. The library has a good collection and offers diverse services to children, youth and adults alike, as well as companies and institutions. Among its programs are reading circles, multicultural programs, literature walks, various children’s activities and a number of events such as poetry slam, writing workshops, exhibtions, readings and more. The library is also a good place to sit down and relax, brows through books about Iceland or Icelandic literature in translation, have a cup of cofffee, read a magazine, use the free hot-spot or the public computers offered for a nominal fee.
The National and University Library of Iceland are located in the same building at the University of Iceland campus. The National Library houses, conserves, records and categorizes all Icelandic materials that have been submitted to the library by law. The library also provides services for the teaching and research undertaken by the University of Iceland and maintains a library and information service for the professional sectors, administrative organizations and research institutions in Iceland. The library places considerable emphasis on the collection of materials from all disciplines and in making them available for visitors, as well as offering various educational and cultural activities. The National Collection of the library contains several research collections, commonly used by researchers working on research projects in their relevant fields. Amongst these collections are the Laxness Collection and the Icelandic Women’s History Collection.
Another important library in the capital are is the Icelandic Library for the Blind, located in the municipality of Kópavogur. The library is run by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and serves the entire country. The library provides and produces audio books for the blind and visually impaired, as well as for people with dyslexia. A large group of elderly citizens also make use of the library’s services.
The Nordic House in Reykjavik operates a library with a good collection of books and other material in the Nordic languages, other than Icelandic. The library is open daily and it welcomes guests who want to brows through its books or use the public computers. The Nordic House is a cultural centre, hosting events of all kinds, exhibitions and more. It is the home of the Reykjavik International Literary Festival and the Reykjavik International Children’s Literature Festival. The restaurant Dill focuses on the New Nordic Kitchen.