Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Speaking of Libraries...

Trinity College Library, University of Dublin
"In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them." --Mark Twain

In a couple of posts recently, I've mentioned fun excursions to branch libraries in our local area (a children's program, a fun MG title), but the other day I came across this wonderful tease--an article on "10 Mind Bending Libraries from Around the World." Oh, the places we could visit, the wisdom we could absorb!

Of the ten listed (check out the link for ideas for your travel wish list), there's the Philological 'Brain' University in Berlin, Germany--shaped like a human brain, and the National Library of Belarus which has 22 floors. The name for the shape of its building? Rhombicubocatahedron. (What??) San Diego's University of California hosts the Giesel Library, named in honor of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss). The French National Assembly Library in Paris was originally created with books belonging to the clergy and aristocrats who left France during the French Revolution. Book lovers can only imagine the wealth behind these walls.

Photos of the libraries in the article show how truly mind-bending these places look, outside and inside. The one that shouted "visit me!" is pictured above, the Trinity College Library at the University of Dublin in Ireland. They say its history goes back to the the founding of Trinity College back in 1592. How would you feel walking through those doors?

Just thought I'd share. If you check out the link, I'd love to hear from you which of the mind-bending libraries you'd like to visit. Which one could you imagine yourself getting lost in?

We can dream big can't we?


  1. I would choose the New York Piblic Library. There are lions out front, and there is a picture book about the library lion, and I used a lion puppet as my non-speaking host puppet when I did story times for many years, and so the NY library feels somewhat personal and sentimental to me. Plus, we visited it in 1994.

  2. That photo is so, so beautiful. My family and visited the Library of Congress in D.C. and were AMAZED.

  3. For starters, I'd take the one in your photo and probably never be seen again, lost somewhere among the books.

    But the New York Public Library sounds good, too. Many years ago I worked across the street from it at Sterns Department Store (in the telephone order department) and I'd go over to the library on my lunch hour or after work and stock up on books. I wouldn't mind walking up the steps between those lions again one day.

  4. Cathy and Elizabeth--how neat to think you've both been to the NY Public Library :-) The lions must be well-known landmarks to a pretty special place. I'd love to see them. I'll put this library on my list, too. Maybe one day? (Dreaming again...)

    Barbara--I missed the Library of Congress on our trip there some years ago. Sounds like I've got to go back. Actually I'd love to. The year we went to D.C. we chaperoned a youth group and there were a lot of places we missed!

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping by. Loved hearing about the special libraries in your lives.

  5. I could get lost in any library, actually. When my husband and I travel (which isn't all that often), we nearly always stop at the local library. They seem to have interesting bits of history. I would love to see the NY library. The best I've personally seen had to be the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh.

  6. Peggy--I hate to admit it but I've never thought of visiting a local library in the cities we've traveled to. Thank you for planting the idea! That would be a great thing to do. Every library anywhere has its own kind of flavor, I'm sure.

    I'd love to see the NY library,too--along with all the ones on this list. I wonder what that rhombicubocatahedron looks like on the inside???

    Have a great weekend...

  7. Wow, that is some library. I wish I could live 2000 years so that I had time to visit them all and read many of the books they hold. :)

  8. I agree, Kimberly. The world is wildly rich with books we'd love to read. If we could only do what Mark Twain said and absorb them through our skin!