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12 coolest libraries in the world
September 28, 2011 4:11 PM   Subscribe

The 12 coolest libraries in the world.
posted by anothermug (78 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
The interior shot of the Seattle library makes it look like a really distracting environment.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:17 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


#10 Vancouver Public Library is also the alternate universe Fringe Headquarters. So it has that going for it.
posted by dobie at 4:18 PM on September 28, 2011


The interior shot of the Seattle library makes it look like a really distracting environment.

That part is actually somewhat peaceful. The distracting environment is the red floor.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:22 PM on September 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, I have my postapocalyptic living-in-the-ruins home wishlist all set up now.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:28 PM on September 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


Another fun thing about the Seattle library is that it has escalators that go up, but no escalators that go back down again (you have to use the elevator). In the first days after it opened, curious visitors started accumulating on the top floors, unable to figure out how to get out of the building, and there were hastily written handmade signs everywhere pointing to the elevator.

Form did not follow function.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:29 PM on September 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


"Cool"-looking, I'd agree. But I'd include as cool (in general) any library with great children's programming, and a great info-desk staff. /derail
posted by datawrangler at 4:30 PM on September 28, 2011


Having spent some time in the Seattle library, I have formed the opinion that as a library it makes a very fine art project.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:34 PM on September 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


A proper library should also have a fine selection of cake pans.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:34 PM on September 28, 2011


The Seattle library was designed by Rem Koolhaas, which is pronounced "cool house". Great name for an architect, eh?
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:35 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, I have my postapocalyptic living-in-the-ruins home wishlist all set up now.

You know as soon as you move in, your glasses will break.

These are fabulous!
posted by chatongriffes at 4:38 PM on September 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


I prefer dimly lit library dungeons with nary another person and the occasional unnerving knock, flicker, chill, or peripheral movement of a spectral prankster.
posted by dgaicun at 4:45 PM on September 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Glad to see the Salt Lake City Public Library the list. One afternoon there I saw a local film crew using it a location for their movie set in The Future.
posted by Trurl at 4:46 PM on September 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that Strahov monastery photo was taken by my wife. They did not credit her. Here is my wife's photo.

The Calgary Herald attributes it to: Photograph by: Courtesy, pixdaus.com whatever that is.
posted by vacapinta at 4:54 PM on September 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


You know as soon as you move in, your glasses will break.

Ha! 20/15 vision, bitches! Suck it, Rod Serling.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:55 PM on September 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah, vacapinta, that is definitely the same photo. I'd bring it to their attention if I were you.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:58 PM on September 28, 2011


Looks like Mexico has been assimilated by the Borg.
posted by Wet Spot at 5:04 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ohhh, the Library of Trinity College in Ireland is like dead-tree porn.
posted by misha at 5:11 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The interior shot of the Seattle library makes it look like a really distracting environment

. . . . The distracting environment is the red floor


And the noted absence of down escalators. But even more 1) it is a dirty place that smells of pee in more than one location; 2) it is extremely difficult to find a book or CD, kinda the purpose of a library; 3) it is too noisy and uncomfortable to be a good place to do research either.

After being really disappointed in the new Seattle library when it finally finished being constructed (and the exterior is really a cool piece of artsy architecture, also raising expectations as it was being put together), my Bear and I visited Portland and we went to the Portland library. So gorgeous, so easy to work or read in, so tastefully updated to allow full computer access too. I have wanted to swap libraries with Portland ever since.
posted by bearwife at 5:18 PM on September 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


And this library is like live tree porn.
posted by dgaicun at 5:19 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


They didn't include this?
posted by delmoi at 5:21 PM on September 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I would like to marry the Beinecke. I mean come on.
posted by grapesaresour at 5:21 PM on September 28, 2011


I like The Library of Congress, but it's not clear that anyone in Congress has actually checked out a book from it.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:25 PM on September 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


The best bits of the Beinecke are all hidden underground, a massive subterranean book world.

okay, most of the stacks are pretty utilitarian and plain white. But the offices and work spaces underground are nice.

/ex-part-time student gopher
posted by jb at 5:28 PM on September 28, 2011


This is where I liked to study when I needed complete isolation.
posted by bukvich at 5:29 PM on September 28, 2011


delmoi, that's not a real library, it's a CGI concept design.
posted by dgaicun at 5:30 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, this is my favorite library ever. Heaven is sitting in one of the deep chairs with a view of the lake, excellent book in hand.

My second favorite is this library (i.e. the old McKim Mead & White part of the structure.)
posted by bearwife at 6:06 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


dgaicun: "delmoi, that's not a real library, it's a CGI concept design."

dgaicun, this is delmoi, have you met?

(I think it's pretty obvious he was joking.)
posted by misha at 6:11 PM on September 28, 2011


Probably the only library I loathe more than the Rem Koolhaas's Seattle library is Philip Johnson's evil, evil NYU Bobst library. That place kills the soul (and students).
posted by Auden at 6:21 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am wondering why that list doesn't include the 8 trillion ton turkey that I call home.
posted by Beardman at 6:24 PM on September 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's a good collection of Amazing Library Pictures from all over Europe and the Americas that doesn't require clicking through different pages. There are dozens of equally cool libraries that could fill a list like this. For example here are some pics of the Parque España and the Villanueva Public Library in Columbia.
posted by dgaicun at 6:28 PM on September 28, 2011


Here we go: Beautiful-Libraries.com is a whole website devoted to cool library pics.
posted by dgaicun at 6:31 PM on September 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


No NYPL, the list is useless. The NYPL is the largest library in north America and the only library that is nearly inaccessible due to nearly year round fashion shows.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:35 PM on September 28, 2011


I love the Seattle library. The only thing I don't like about it is that it closes down for a week every year due to budget cuts.
posted by grouse at 6:40 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Library of Trinity College is so cool that it was used as the model for the Jedi library in the Star Wars prequels.
posted by sbutler at 6:48 PM on September 28, 2011


Beard man, I was looking for Robarts too. Thanks for that awesome tumblr link.
posted by saucysault at 6:53 PM on September 28, 2011


My personal favorite is the library at Exeter Academy by Louis Kahn, and I'd probably switch it out with the UCSD library, which looks cool on the outside, but is pretty standard library-looking on the interior.
posted by LionIndex at 6:53 PM on September 28, 2011


*Beardman damn autocorrect
posted by saucysault at 6:54 PM on September 28, 2011


Call those cool? My books live in the fridge.



Seriously though, love a good library.
posted by arcticseal at 7:03 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, these are cool libraries.
posted by unliteral at 7:13 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably the only library I loathe more than the Rem Koolhaas's Seattle library is Philip Johnson's evil, evil NYU Bobst library.

I'm...I'm spending my midterm break in the Bobst library, reading a bad novel. If I'm never seen in these parts again, I guess it will be because the demonically-possessed stacks have transformed me into an especially tattered Religious Tract Society novel.

Second vote for the NYPL.

Cue sentimental feelings for the original British Library Reading Room, although I admit that it's nice not to have to do the morning mad dash for seats with electrical hookups.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:15 PM on September 28, 2011


If (like me) you're suffering from acute library envy, remember, folks, it's really all one library.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:26 PM on September 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


When the zombie apocalypse comes, I am setting up a tent in that Priceline guy's house. After feeding him to the zombie hoards.
posted by Ber at 7:37 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Horde. Jesus, I can't even snark right today.
posted by Ber at 7:37 PM on September 28, 2011


We have a shiny new library here in Indianapolis. While not totally spectacular, it's pretty darn spiffy for these parts. I've promised Jessamyn a tour should she ever get back to these parts.
posted by pjern at 7:42 PM on September 28, 2011


I'm pretty fond of Avery Library at Columbia, if only for the bizarre juxtaposition of the mahogany and marble main floor and the carpeted and fluorescent-lighted rest of it. It's like walking into a steel tycoon's study, only once you go downstairs to print something out it's your dentist's waiting room.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:43 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Seattle Public Library looks cool, but it is not all that cool once you get inside.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:43 PM on September 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is the post where I get to say how much I love libraries.

Before the Internet, I used to visit libraries in different cities. I traveled around as part of my work. In a new city, I'd visit the library. I'd ask to visit the rare books room. Librarians everywhere have an interesting psychology - partly worrying about the books under their care, and partly hoping someone would actually care about them.

My own weird interest involved documenting extremes of human existence. For example, I once spent many hours in a rare books room studying the Admirable Crichton, an amazing individual, a polymath, now totally forgotten.

The librarian ushered me into a tiny room and showed me a copy of the Life of James Crichton of Cluny, commonly called the admirable Crichton, published in 1819. An old book, with yellowed pages. The book smelled of years. The librarian made me promise not to bring drinks or smoke into the room.

This document is online now.

Libraries are dying, replaced by the Internet. That may be a Good Thing. But that experience, of being ushered into a small room with an odd smell isn't something I can get from the Internet.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:57 PM on September 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Seattle Public Library looks cool, but it is not all that cool once you get inside.

:backhands you with a white glove:
posted by cashman at 7:59 PM on September 28, 2011


Robarts isn't on the list because it's a list of "cool" or attractive libraries, not "libraries where Darth Vader would feel most comfortable starting a second career after his MLS."
posted by jb at 8:02 PM on September 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Huntington Beach public library is the coolest in the world simply because I spent much of my childhood there.... Is there any other criteria?
posted by Huck500 at 8:31 PM on September 28, 2011


Man, I love those old wooden libraries. Screw all that modern stuff, get me a nice old fashioned library like the older ones on that list.
posted by Canageek at 9:00 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Jay Walker library is the kind of thing I like to think I'd do if I for whatever hard-to-imagine reason came into real Fuck You money.
posted by pts at 9:03 PM on September 28, 2011


I prefer dimly lit library dungeons with nary another person and the occasional unnerving knock, flicker, chill, or peripheral movement of a spectral prankster.
You mean like this?
posted by DisreputableDog at 9:36 PM on September 28, 2011


My local library in Westport was huge and gorgeous, like its founder Paul Newman (I think).

Though I did live down the street from the creepily gothic Peqout Library.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:38 PM on September 28, 2011


I don't like most of those libraries. A library shouldn't be a work of art, it's a place where books can be safely stored and efficiently found when needed - therefore, the design should be focused upon books. You don't need hundred foot ceilings covered with hand molded frescos or crazy modernist metal netting, just lots of shelves, and a design that makes it easy to reach all the books. It should be a fairly compact floorplan where you can easily pick up a book then walk over to a table or cubicle or chair to read it. No walking half a mile to the reading rooms, like in Vancouver.

No doubt some space is needed for efficient climate control systems. Lots of low ceilinged rooms would be more inviting, but they'd smell like mouldy paper after awhile. So one or two big rooms may be more cost effective and easier on the subsystems, but you don't have to make the place look like an airplane hangar. The thing that makes Trinity College Library look so inviting and useful is the way it takes a big room and subdivides it into many smaller spaces. The shelves form lots of little corridors, where you can have a little privacy as you browse the stacks.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:41 PM on September 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


There's a lot to be annoyed about with the Seattle library. But the red walled/floored meeting room level isn't so bad, honestly, having just spent three days there in meetings; you get used to it.

What I hate:
-- Going up or down is a game of chutes 'n' ladders; the elevators end up being the best way, so they're eternally slow
-- Moving around in general is a real pain
-- The spiral stacks mean Seattle is stuck with the Dewey Decimal System they can't convert to a subject-based book ordering system
-- The meeting rooms were designed for 2004 but lack outlets anywhere but the walls
-- The mixing chamber is a befuddling space, especially given the third floor does it just as well

OTOH, the bond issue that brought us Central Library also brought about a massive expansion and renovation of the system -- and some really nice new branch libraries.
posted by dw at 9:50 PM on September 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


The main Vancouver library makes me crazy. Seattle looks neat but doesn't seem functional.

Sadly, what really keeps me out of libraries now is noise. I guess with staff cuts there's a lot less shush-ing of noisy people, but the whole open concept that the modern buildings go for make it so much worse. I go in and can hear ESL lessons and people talking on their cel phones and all sorts of crap - and that's just in the local branch, forget about the main branches.

Also, the Vancouver main branch has CLOSED STACKS. What kind of public library has closed stacks? I get the need to protect special collections materials, but that's not what these are. It's ridiculous.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:52 PM on September 28, 2011


:backhands you with a white glove:

No, it's true.

Everything in the Seattle Public Library is all awesome and cool and arty and future and stuff - until you have to use it. First, you take the neon colored escalators up, where you pass the eyes. Seriously - many TVs of closeup images of eyes, blinking, turning, dilating, etc. This, is part of the 'art'. The other part are the disembodied voices that accompany the eyes. They come from NOWHERE. Now, I already have auditory processing issues, and often hear things that aren't there, are distorted, etc. Having random distorted voices TALKING AT YOU in a language that I can't make out? When all I want to do is find my book on my Fascination of the Month? UNNERVING. NOT CALMING.

But, this doesn't take you to the bookshelves. This merely takes you to another floor. Where then, you have to wander aimlessly until you stumble upon the OTHER neon escalator. With MORE freaky ghost art.

Then, you get to the bookshelves. But, they're not on floors. They're on a spiral. SPIRAL. So, you find what you think is the right 'spiral level', and you find that it's not. Instead of just moving up and down to the right floor, you have to walk up and down the ramps of the spiral until you find whatever book you're looking for. Oh, and the quasi-helpful Dewey Decimal numbers that they implanted onto the spiral floors? No longer correspond with the Dewey Decimal numbers on the shelves. So, you think you're able to get that wildly desired book on the Insects of Uruguay, and instead you're confronted with a bunch of tomes on Orthodontics.

Somehow, you find that book on the Insects of Uruguay. And you're psyched, because fuck yeah insects! In Uruguay! Now...you have to try to find your way back to the bottom. The escalator is an obvious choice, if you wanted to go to the roof and catch a helicopter home. Otherwise, you have to find the stairs and/or elevator. And unlike the Art Escalators of Doom, they're hidden away in the corner, with nary a sign pointing the way. And floor indicators don't help, because sometimes you don't know what floor you're on, having walked up a goddamn SPIRAL and all. And once you find the elevators? You'll find that they also are used as urinals, because the bathrooms are also hard to find. Luckily, they're devoid of art. And ghost voices.

I want the people who praise the Seattle Public Library so, to actually try to use the Seattle Public Library.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:04 PM on September 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have actually used the central Seattle Public Library to find books or other materials on multiple occasions. It usually works like this:
  1. Take elevator up to desired floor. The Dewey decimal range for each floor is in the elevator.
  2. Find books.
  3. Study. The stack areas seem pretty quiet to me.
  4. Take elevator back down.
Yeah, the elevators are slow.
posted by grouse at 10:10 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have siblings in both Seattle and Salt Lake and have spent a bunch of time in both libraries; they're on my nerdy brothers' and sister's lists of neat things to do/go to in their towns. I appreciate the thoughtful design of both libraries because I think it speaks to how much those communities value learning and libraries and are willing to invest in them (until they make dumb budget cuts, anyway). They're both gorgeous public spaces.

Anyway, I'm just assuming that since all my brothers and and my sister have beautiful, airy libraries, that my town is next.

Right, Anchorage? Right? Right? Right? No? Goddammit.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:04 AM on September 29, 2011


This library at Hearst Castle is my idea of a perfect library: overstuffed chairs, soft rugs, atmospheric lighting. Nice cup o' tea and I'm all set.

Vacapinta, Pixdaus is a site where people upload photos they find and other users vote on the coolest photos; almost nobody credits the original photographer, which used to make me completely crazy before Tineye was developed, making it possible to track down most things. Crediting anything to Pixdaus is like ... crediting Metafilter as the originator of any content you find linked here. Crazy.

One question I have though... Your wife has her photo licensed with a Creative Commons "Some Rights Reserved" license that says "You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor." I often use Flickr Creative Commons licensed photos, and this always confuses me a bit, because no one ever specifies how to attribute their photos.

I always look on the profile page, and if they have their real name included, I use that; if they don't, I use their Flickr handle. If their Flickr handle is something like BigGorilla83, but they have a photography website listed, I'll usually use that instead. I always link to the Flickr stream, but if BigGorilla83 has no real name, and no associated site, I'll just put a linked generic "Photo Credit."

So, your wife might want to put a line in her profile asking people who use her CC photos to credit her in a specific way. (Which wouldn't have saved the Pixdaus error -- whoever did that was not very web savvy, or didn't care.)
posted by taz at 12:05 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Hearst Castle library is fantastic! (Here's same picture at very high resolution - now that's a great reading room)
posted by Auden at 12:48 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Notice the lampshades, by the way, which you can see well in Auden's hi-rez link. It looks like they are decorated with text from old illuminated manuscripts. Since it's Hearst, that was probably all hand-done.
posted by taz at 1:13 AM on September 29, 2011


Number twelve on the list, the British Museum Reading Room, no longer functions as such and hasn't since 2007. For the last four years its shelves have been shuttered and a temporary flooring has been erected above the original ground level. It currently functions as a space for travelling exhibitions. It is hoped, I think, that it will revert back to its original state sometime around 2014. It's a shame; the space (and its wonderful dome) being effectively out of commission feels sad, and visiting it as a hangar for exhibits, partitioned and dark, is odd.
posted by hydatius at 3:12 AM on September 29, 2011


I recently "discovered" that the Library in my neighborhood is not only a lot closer to my house than I previously estimated, but that it's actually a darn cute and functional little neighborhood library (compared to the Library downtown that functions as a de-facto homeless shelter).
posted by schmod at 6:37 AM on September 29, 2011


METAFILTER HAS LEFT THE LIBRARY.

METAFILTER HAS BEEN SAVED.
posted by schmod at 6:38 AM on September 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


unliteral: "No, these are cool libraries."

And, by libraries, you mean horror movie sets, right? Why are the books chained to the shelves? Who does that???

Seriously. Thank you for providing the setting for every nightmare I'm going to have for the next year.
posted by schmod at 6:50 AM on September 29, 2011


The Seattle library was designed by Rem Koolhaas, which is pronounced "cool house". Great name for an architect, eh?

Myes-ish, although "Cole harse" probably comes closer, depending on your variety of english.

By the way, Kool means cabbage in dutch, haas translates to hare. Rem means brake.

But I suppose Brake Cabbage-hare still is a great name for an architect.
posted by Sourisnoire at 7:35 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Your wife has her photo licensed with a Creative Commons "Some Rights Reserved" license that says "You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor." I often use Flickr Creative Commons licensed photos, and this always confuses me a bit, because no one ever specifies how to attribute their photos.

The full license specifies that you must include (1) a copy of or the URI of the license and unless the Licensor requires otherwise, (2) keep intact all copyright notices, (3) provide the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym), and any other parties designated for attribution, (4) the title of the Work if supplied, and (5) the URI the Licensor specifies to be associated with the work. There are additional requirements if you make a derived work.

In the past, I have satisfied this by using text such as:
“The sun and a blue sky, finally” <http://www.flickr.com/photos/petermooibroek/1007829914/> by Peter Mooibroek provided under <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/>.
If I were using it on the internet, I would simply do this:
“The sun and a blue sky, finally” by Peter Mooibroek (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
I doubt anyone who can't give minimal attribution will care about a specific request for attribution in some other manner though.
posted by grouse at 7:52 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


My recollection of the Geisel Library (then known simply as "Central Library") was that it was extremely quiet, and chock-full of serious students. So very un-socal of it.
posted by mrhappy at 8:11 AM on September 29, 2011


> Sadly, what really keeps me out of libraries now is noise. I guess with staff cuts there's a lot less shush-ing of noisy people, but the whole open concept that the modern buildings go for make it so much worse.

Library managers are, broadly speaking, so terrified of losing patrons that librarians are strongly discouraged from kicking out anyone unless they're starting fires or exposing themselves. If you think of libraries as places for quiet study, your wishes will almost always be trumped by the people who just want a clubhouse with free wifi, because you are vastly outnumbered.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:34 AM on September 29, 2011


The Central Library by itself is enough to justify moving to Seattle. And yes, I'm thinking about it.
posted by cool breeze at 3:03 PM on September 29, 2011


The Card Cheat: " If you think of libraries as places for quiet study, your wishes will almost always be trumped by the people who just want a clubhouse with free wifi, because you are vastly outnumbered."

I realize that this is not the primary purpose of a library, but after visiting public libraries in a couple of US cities I am impressed that such spaces are provided to absolutely anyone. At the Chicago library, I wandered into the computer center and did a double take - there are hundreds of poor- or homeless-looking people here and they are using the Internet! Sure, plenty of them may have been wasting their time. But given how important internet access is to even a basic civic existence these days, it would be criminal to have it any other way. You WANT these people having access to spaces like these.

Similarly for teenagers - of all places they could be lounging about and faffing with their buddies, a space surrounded by books and knowledge is a pretty good outcome. Maybe it will rub off, maybe not - but they're not hanging around at malls and on the streets.

I played chess with a homeless dude at the cafe/lounge area in the Seattle library. I don't think we exchanged more than a few words the entire time, during which he soundly kicked my ass at chess. I think that's okay, because there are plenty of worse places he could have been.
posted by vanar sena at 3:15 PM on September 29, 2011


By way of contrast: if you look poor or under-educated, you're not getting past the door in any library here in Delhi. I assume the thinking is: what could such a person possibly want with a library anyway?
posted by vanar sena at 3:28 PM on September 29, 2011


vanar sena - that's tragic. Poor and under-educated people are the people for whom public libraries are the most important -- and they should be the public libraries highest priority.
posted by jb at 7:07 PM on September 29, 2011


Come on. Everyone knows the coolest library in the world is the first one I used as a little kid.

I think that it's unfortunate they decided that "visually striking" is the only criteria used to determine how cool a library is. Some of my favorite libraries ever are pretty boring looking. I'm thinking specifically of the various libraries of UVa where I did most of my research during high school.

Also, I have to say some of these, particularly the ones built in the last 10 years, are actually disheartening. Library budgets are being slashed across the board in cities across the US. We don't need multi-million dollar buildings with fancy giant atriums. We need solidly built libraries, and enough funds left over to staff them. I honestly don't care about a library that's pretty but I'd jump for joy for a library that's open on Saturdays and within walking distance. One of the libraries in Philly was closed for months because someone stole all the copper piping (copper apparently being a valuable commodity these days). You know what would have made that library really cool? An effective security system.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:54 AM on September 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think that it's unfortunate they decided that "visually striking" is the only criteria used to determine how cool a library is.

To their credit, that's how they decided to include them in a photo slideshow.
posted by mendel at 10:17 AM on October 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is great! I was going to make an AskMe about this, only limited to Europe. I have a PhD thesis to write, and believe it gets easier in a place where the wings of academic history can be heard gently flapping.
posted by springload at 11:17 AM on October 4, 2011


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