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The 35 Most Amazing Libraries In The World

The 35 Most Amazing Libraries In The World
With education as our focus here at The Best Colleges, we obviously love libraries. College libraries, public libraries, private libraries, it doesn’t matter, we think they are all awesome. With that in mind we’ve done hours of research trying to find the most interesting libraries in the world, and come up with these 35 that we thought were especially noteworthy. We’ve tried to balance our list between architecturally interesting libraries and libraries with interesting collections, but most of these libraries are actually fascinating in both respects. We’d love to spend a day in any of these libraries, and we hope you’ll agree. 35. One of the most distinctive libraries on our list, the National Library of Belarus is shaped like a Rhombicuboctahedron (here’s what a rhombicuboctahedron is, just in case you’re not a mathematician.) 34. The University of Coimbra General Library has been in operation since the early 16th century. 33. 32. 31. 30. 29. 28. 27. 26. 25. 24. 23. 22. 21. 20. 19. Related:  Library design

Canada Water library – review | Art and design | The Observer OMG! It's a library! An absolutely new one, with books in it, too! Not in the London Borough of Southwark, apparently, where they have decided to keep all 12 of their existing libraries, as well as build this new one. And so he has designed a celebratory building. Inside, he has placed a big, wooden spiral stair at the centre, which rises from a constrained ground floor up to a bright, expansive top floor ringed with a gallery. The location is Canada Water, in the old Surrey Commercial Docks, on a big bulge into the Thames that was once so excavated by docks that it was more liquid than land. Creating town centres is not that easy, especially in a place where there has never been such a thing, and especially when this is done in the British way, whereby the private sector is nudged and enticed to achieve the thing officially desired by public bodies, which lack the resources and authority to lead and plan. The quality most obviously lacking, apart from charm or delight, is coherence.

The Once and Future Library To some librarians it must seem like a perfect storm: Budgets are being slashed, ebooks suddenly are outselling their print ancestors, electronic movies on demand are slowing over-the-counter DVD lending, and the general public can find answers to their basic reference-oriented questions online. In what history may well mark as an important milestone in how we live and learn, Amazon and the Association of American Publishers reported in spring 2011 that ebook sales had surpassed print for the first time. The former grew by triple-digit percentages from February 2010 to the same month this past year; the latter declined 25% in the same period. Besides librarians, architects are among the people most concerned about how, and how rapidly, such trends play out. Plans made a year ago for library additions or even modest renovations—never mind an entirely new building—are probably out of date. Change may be inevitable, but it will not be uniform. Built-in flexibility What are we looking at?

Long Overdue - Illinois State Magazine When students were asked what they’d like to see more of at Milner Library, the answer was surprising. Outlets. No one said books, and a wander through the six floors tells you why. Students lean over laptops clicking away, occasionally stopping to highlight in a textbook, answer a text, or take a sip from a Red Bull. Milner Library still smells like books, but there isn’t much else to remind graduates of the hours they spent studying there. The flash mob that kicks off finals week would never have been contemplated and certainly not allowed in the stacks decades ago. Milner provides the technology students expect and need, including collaboration stations for team projects. While undoubtedly still the place with a quiet reference room where research is serious business, the library has become so much more that the building is now known as “Club Milner.” Wastawy spends part of each day circulating among the students, quietly observing throughout the building. And they do.

Wonderful Hotel Libraries © Courtesy Gladstone's Library By Jennifer Paull Mar/Apr-2012 Books have long been essential traveling companions—perfect for pulling out on airplanes, perusing during solo meals or sparking conversations (remember how Jesse met Céline in Before Sunrise?). These days, as travelers turn increasingly to e-readers and tablets, the allure of libraries might seem to be fading—but luckily, some hoteliers are preserving, and even revitalizing, the tradition of linking travelers with books. For these hoteliers, a carefully curated in-house library speaks volumes (no pun intended) about their property’s character. Some hoteliers need guidance in selecting what should go on their library shelves—which is where companies like the Oxford-based Ultimate Library come in. “Someone once said that ‘a hotel should be a home from home but better,’” Blackwell continues. Ready to bookmark—and to spin the globe?

A Small Collection of Mini-Libraries Libraries are among the most important of human institutions, warehousing knowledge accumulated over centuries, nay, eons. Libraries are also very alluring places, often built with ornate and cavernous reading rooms, vertiginous shelving for book storage, and winding secret passages. Originally built to protect books from ruin, libraries are generally gigantic bunker-like buildings. Inwardly focused, they restrict access to their treasure troves to those who whisper and can thrive without sunlight. With the advent of the internet, however, all of the world’s knowledge is available instantly to anyone who desires it. Levinski Library by Yoav Meiri Architects The Levinski Library , also known as the Garden Library for Migrants and Refugees, was designed to provide escape from worldly troubles within the pages of books. Photos by Yoav Meiri Architects

10 Wonderful Libraries Repurposed from Unused Structures Last week, the internet went crazy for an abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, that was recently converted into the country’s largest single story library, winning its category in the 2012 Library Interior Design Competition in the process. Inspired, we went on the hunt for other libraries that were born from unused and abandoned structures, from the large (drill halls and supermarkets) to the small (phone booths and shipping containers). After all, what better way to recycle just about anything than to turn it into a center for knowledge? Click through to check out a few libraries that rose from the ashes of other structures, and let us know if we’ve missed any from your town in the comments!

37 Home Library Design Ideas With a Jay-Dropping Visual and Cultural Effect Probably the most “sacred” room of the entire crib, the home library combines relaxation with personal growth and completes the genuine atmosphere of a modern residence or apartment. As a tribute to these contemporary indoor oases, we put together a post with 37 beautiful home libraries, bearing within knowledge and acting as a refuge from the hectic lifestyle characterizing big cities. There are many ideas from the photos below we find inspiring, starting with the circular bookshelves in the shape of an indoor dome, the attic room library or the suspended above-the-stairs shelving system. The fireplace bookshelf is also an intriguing and daring idea, provided it is never left unsupervised. We also love reading nooks and window seats surrounded by books, which make for great relaxations spots. Recommended For You Jaw-Dropping Design Effects of Charred Wood Unveiled by Yaroslav Galant Complex Residence in India with a Jaw-Dropping Modern Design

Check out the world's most beautiful libraries I'm going to love it anyway. Not to be a hater, but one thing most of the libraries in the article above have is tons of glass, and tons of open space. Awesome for the eyes! Lousy for the books (also for efficient and not environmentally damaging temperature control). Light is not a book's friend, accelerating aging significantly, and in many cases more open space means fewer books, a battle played out in the San Francisco library. And yes, my declaration shows a belief that physical books still need a place despite ebooks and scanned copies, a belief perhaps not in keeping with the technological theme of io9. Well you can get UV protection glass in those hight profile libraries that would prevent most damage light does.... Also, no, you are surely not alone for loving books made of actual paper - not even on IO9 - we love gadgets, but mot of us here grew up on books....