(not our library, also not to scale…)
I have a theory about libraries. I think they make people happy and thoughtful. Kind. Appreciative. Youâ€™re in the presence of so much, given free.
Maybe itâ€™s too much sugar in my morning coffee, but I get a little world-peacey about them. Thereâ€™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 isnâ€™t even backed by your local financial institution.
I know libraries arenâ€™t really free, of course. Theyâ€™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 Iâ€™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, whoâ€™s to say?