The World’s Best Libraries, via Beyond The Margins

(not our library, also not to scale…)

I have a theory about libraries. I think they make people happy and thoughtful. Kind. Appreciative. You’re in the presence of so much, given free.

Maybe it’s too much sugar in my morning coffee, but I get a little world-peacey about them. There’s something special about a place that lets you walk out with a bunch of books in exchange for nothing more than a chunk of plastic that isn’t even backed by your local financial institution.

I know libraries aren’t really free, of course. They’re funded by our taxpayer dollars, along with tomahawk missiles and metermaids, but when budget-cutting season comes around, it seems like libraries are more expendible.

I love libraries in a way I’ll never love tomahawk missiles or metermaids. I love beautiful historical ones, and ones with modern innovation. Bright libraries with walls of windows, and dark-paneled-enclaves with armchairs. Tiny local branches you can walk to, and big special ones worth the drive. I love knowing that the books on the shelves stay put, regardless of whether a hard drive fails or battery dies, whether a title goes out of print or out of vogue.

What are the best, most beautiful libraries, all the world over? Well now, who’s to say?

via Beyond The Margins » The World’s Best Libraries.

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