What’s more inspiring than a library? Big or small, libraries have a way of making you think you can be anyone or go anywhere. Maybe it’s that “book” smell, the rows of computers ready for academic pursuits, or the reference librarians who can literally find anything.
While some libraries are simple municipal buildings, there are a few that surpass all expectations. Here’s a list of ten libraries so special, it may be worth your while to take a trip to see them.
1. The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
The oldest federal cultural institution in the United States.
2. Library Hall, Clementinum, Prague
This baroque library was opened by Jesuits in 1622 when they had only one book to put in it.
3. New York Public Library, New York, NY
Founded in 1895, it is the largest public library system in the United States.
4. Bodleian Library, Oxford, United Kingdom
Enacted in 1602 as Oxford University’s library and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe.
5. Macquari University Library, Sydney, Australia
Robot cranes pick up your books and transports them to the desk for check out.
6. Trinity College Library, Ireland
The largest library in Ireland and home to the famous Book of Kells.
7. Stuttgart City Library, Stuttgart, Germany
Everything is painted white so the only color comes from the books and the visitors.
8. Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Haven, CT
One of the largest buildings in the world housing rare books and manuscripts.
9. The Royal Library Copenhagen, Denmark
Part of the Royal Library, the Black Diamond holds a concert hall, cafe and exhibition spaces.
10. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France
Home to 15 million books, it is beautifully French. Also, tourists.
From baroque to ne0-modern, these fantastic libraries were designed to treat all the senses. Support libraries!