One would think there are only so many ways to interest people in checking out a book or just plopping down and opening a book. Have a look at these “improbable libraries”.
BILOTHEQUE NATIONALE ——- Paris, France
It is composed of 4 towers that are shaped like “open books”. They are built around a sunken and thickly forested courtyard. It was constructed in 1996 to replace a former library structure that could no longer accommodate expansion. It is one of the largest in the world boasting a 22-story structure.
(2) READING CLUB 2000 ——– Manila, Philippines
It was started when Hernando “NANIE” Guanlao thought of a way to honour and preserve the memory of his parents who inculcated in him the “love for reading”. He gathered his old text books and set them outside his Manila residence to test if the community would be interested to borrow and read them. They were. Twelve years later, NANIE’S Library grew to contain 2,500 books. As an additional service, he also runs a “BOOK BIKE” service, where he delivers books to poor areas in Manila.
(3) STOCKHOLM PUBLIC LIBRARY ———– Stockholm, Sweden
This is Stockholm’s first library to apply an “OPEN-SHELF DESIGN”. It opened in 1928. When architect Gunnar Asplund and librarian Fredrik Hjelmqvist decided that the people who would patronise the library could fetch their own books, librarians, all over the globe, rejoiced. Recently, its “self-service” model was revitalised b more drive to infuse a “check-outs and returns” automation system.
(4) TRINITY COLLEGE LONG ROOM ——– Dublin, Ireland
Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest University also houses the largest library in Ireland. The “oldest” and “rarest” of its collection is kept in the “LONG ROOM”. With its more than 200,000 volumes, it is the largest “single-chamber” library in the world. The “LONG ROOM” grabbed the “limelight” once again, recently, for being the “unofficial” inspiration for the Jedi Archives in the movie Star Wars —- Episode — 2 : Attack of the Clones.
(5) THE KENYAN CAMEL LIBRARY —– Serving Nomadic Population in Kenya
Meet the LIBRARY CAMELS of Kenya, who carry books and some camping gear. Travelling librarians need a place to rest after a long journey across the desert. The caravan caters to nomadic communities which are mostly illiterate due to lack of access to books.
(6) TAIPEI PUBLIC LIBRARY —- Beitou, Taiwan
The most “eco-conscious” building, in the country, is also a famous library in Taiwan. It received the highest EEWH rating lately : the DIAMOND RATING for being the most “eco-friendly structure” in the country. All wood used for its construction, came from sustainably-managed forests. It also uses “PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS” for generating power. To insulate itself from the heat of the sun during daytime, its roof is equipped with 20cms “layer of soil”. This building is also designed to collect rainwater to be used for toilet-flushing. Not to forget, they have an interesting line-up of books.
(7) BIBLIOTECA SANDRO PENNA —— Perugia, Italy
It’s not an “alien ship” you are staring at. It’s not a “pink bubble-gum candy” designed by Hello Kitty, either. It’s a POWER HOUSE of books, providing library services for the people of Perugia, Italy. This is a public library named after the poet —- Sandro Penna. It features “rose-coloured” glass walls designed to let sunlight in during daytime and at night it creates a “rare glow”. The architect who designed it, Italo Rota, made a “3-storey disc” to exude an appearance of an “alien flying saucer”.
(8) MECHANICAL LIBRARIES —— Serving readers 24 hours a day in Beijing
In a district in Beijing, machines account for 31.6% of books loaned. Even if you are fighting a good fight against the machine overlords, you’ll have to agree that anything that increases the number of books the public consumes —- can’t be all that bad.
(9) STUTTGART CITY LIBRARY —— Stuttgart, Germany
This amazing weird-looking structure is designed by Korean architect Eun Young Yi. When it opened in 2011, it got mixed reviews from library connoisseurs, architects and even the locals. It’s been ridiculed and described as a “2-tone Rubik’s Cube” and a “box-shaped jail” for books. But, it’s a HAVEN FOR NERDS.
(10) BILLY BOOKCASE ——- Sydney
In 2010, IKEA built the world’s “longest” outdoor bookshelf on Bondi Beach near Sydney. The feat was in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the company’s BILLY BOOKCASE. The shelves were filled with roughly 6,000 books and beach-goers were asked to trade in one of their own books for a copy on the shelves.
(11) KANSAS CITY CENTRAL LIBRARY —— United States
This library isn’t one for “subtlety” ————- Its exterior ensures you know that this is a library. The building, which is clad in 22 of the favourite titles by local readers, might be one of the more memorable in the US.
(12) WEAPON OF MASS INSTRUCTION —– Buenos Aires
A military-surplus 1979 Ford Falcon has been turned into a library by the artistt Raul Lamesoff, who drives it around Buenos Aires handing out books. He calls it, of course, “ARMA DE INSTRUCCION MASIVA ( Weapon of Mass Instruction).