Since June 2017
Vikelaia Municipal Library of Heraklion is named after the writer and man of letters Demetrios Vikelas, the first president of the Olympic Committee and organizer of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Vikelas bequeathed his personal library to the Municipality of Heraklion in 1908, a donation that transformed the small local library into an important repository of books and archives. Later donations include the library of the Nobelist poet George Seferis and his wife, Maro, the writer Elli Alexiou, scenographer George Anemoyiannis e.a. Furthermore, the library also houses Venetian, Ottoman and German archives pertaining to the city of Heraklion. Vikelaia Municipal Library is more than just a place for reading or displaying books. It is a cultural institution that organises and supports scientific and artistic activities, conducts research and has its own publishing house.
Vikelaia Municipal Library is located in the center of Heraklion, in the so-called “Achtarika” building, which has recently undergone extensive renovations and is gradually re-opening to the public. The Children’s Books / Check-out Department was the first to re-open, with the rest of the library expected to be fully operational again within 2018.
The installation of Ambient Intelligence interactive systems implemented by the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas, is an integral part of the library’s renovation. These systems include: