In this week’s Princh Library Blog post, guest writer Nina Grant encourages everyone to visit their local library but has a few specific libraries she wants to shed some light on. Check them out.
Extraordinary Libraries in Unexpected Places
The digital craze has made people infinitely more dependent on their phones and other devices, but incredibly enough, libraries continue to hold a sacred place in people’s hearts. Pew research shows, for instance, that Americans steadfastly believe that libraries are important to their community, and 65% of people aged 16 and over feel that closing their public library would have a major impact on their community. What’s more, around 46% of people aged 16 and over visit a library in a given year, with many doing so as a means to relax from the stressors of daily life. Of course, library visits don’t always have to be quiet, relaxing, or typical. They can be adventurous, mysterious, or even downright scary. If you’re planning on travelling soon, consider popping into one of these unique word oases.
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Seikei University Library in Tokyo
The main atrium of the Seikei University Library in Tokyo boasts five raised glass study pods that seem like something you might find in a science fiction film. One wall of the entire building is also built in glass, so that passers-by on the street can see visitors reading books in their elevated pods. If that’s not an excellent way of motivating people to read, then nothing is!
The Morbid Anatomy Library in Brooklyn
NYC’s Morbid Anatomy Library in Brooklyn is the ideal spot for those who are into “dark topics” like murder, art and death, and medical museums. It contains hundreds of rare books, plus photographs, art, pieces of ephemera, and artifacts on a host of strange topics—including taxidermy, arcane media, and esoterica. The museum is a fantastic contrast to the city of New York itself, which despite its hustle and bustle is considered one of the safest places for female travelers and tourists as a whole. Vacation Hype gives NYC a 7/10 safety score, which is pretty impressive considering the city’s sizable population.
The Future Library in Oslo
This library is so unusual that it isn’t actually viewable yet! It is actually the brainchild of Scottish artist, Katie Paterson, who came up with a brilliant idea: every year, one author would add a secret manuscript to a special collection of books (The first book was added in 2004). All works would be kept in the Oslo Public Library’s Silent Room. In 2114, they would be printed on paper obtained from a sustainable forest. Margaret Atwood was the first author to write a secret story for the Future Library, which indicates the level of writing bookworms can expect at this sanctuary of words.
Tête Carrée in Nice
Imagine a futuristic-looking art installation that doubles up as a public library. That is exactly what Tête Carrée is—a gorgeous, surreal, heartfelt homage to all forms of knowledge and creativity. It was dreamed up by French sculptor, Sacha Sosno, and given life to by architects Yves Bayard and Francis Chapus. From a distance, it simply looks like a gray Rubik’s cube, suspended in the air. Get a little closer, however, and you see that the cube is serving as a giant “hat” for a man beneath it. It’s a rather appealing metaphor for the glory of immersing yourself in books, if you ask us!
Camel Libraries in Pakistan
If you love the idea of getting up close to camels, and you enjoy reading while you’re on holiday, then the Camel Libraries in Pakistan are a must-see, “moving site.” These libraries actually serve an important mission: that of ensuring that books make their way to people in remote areas. It is the result of the hard work and passion played by the Alif Layla Book Bus Society, which aims to help educate those who are at a disadvantage owing to distance and socioeconomic factors.
Forget about the idea of libraries being simple, quiet spaces that are devoid of excitement and life. Across the globe, there are a myriad of existing and future libraries that seek to make the reading experience more dynamic. From the Future Library in Oslo to the moving Camel Libraries in Pakistan, these structures are not only providing hours of entertainment but also changing the lives of many people in need.
We will be back next week with another interesting article from the library world!
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