Vikelaia Municipal Library of Heraklion

Heraklion, Crete

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 was recently renovated.

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:

  • Panoptes, a digital catalog that allows visitors to navigate through its content and discover further information about the books of the Library or any recommended educational programs. Two such systems are hosted in the Vikelaia Municipal Library, one at the reception of the building and one in the children’s books department.
  • Beantable, an interactive table consisted of a physical object recognition surface which feature various activities that support free and personal interaction with the books in digital form. The system integrates entertaining and artistic applications inspired from the books and allows children (up to 10 years old) to play with puzzle games, painting activities, etc.
  • Interactive Art Table, a physical object recognition surface installed in the children’s books department that enables users to freely interact with the books of the Library through a digital catalog which presents information (i.e. writers, descriptions) and entertaining games such as quiz games, memory games, painting etc.
  • Interactive Column, a large vertical touch screen display a continuous flow of announcements from Vikelaia Municipal Library and places to visit in Heraklion.
  • Interactive Sculpture, an interactive work of art dedicated to the women and men of letters of Cretan descent.

Contact details

El. Venizelou Square
GR-71202 Heraklion, Crete

Tel.: +30  2813 409700
Fax: +30  2813 409701