“Yes, libraries do matter in the age of Google. They always have and they always will. Libraries will outlive the printed books so long as we continue to evolve, grow, and innovate (just as we always have).”

How can our love for public libraries be turned into increased funding, so they are around for longer?

Image credit: books library shelf by Unsplash. Public domain via Pixabay.

One of the most profound joys of being an arts student is taking out books from the library and reading other students’ annotations. In doing so, you’re participating in an unofficial scholarly tradition, united around a shared experience of an artifact, and sustained by the communication of an ever growing treasury of commentary: when you read their annotations, you are entering into communion with the student who wrote them, and all the other students who read and learned from them. When you make your own marks on the book, you both further the tradition, and anticipate your communion with the students of the future.

25 Of the Most Magnificent Libraries Around the World - Right from the Pages of a Fairytale

There is an essence of timelessness when it comes to libraries and books. Even with the modern marvels of human technology, e-books, audio books, libraries have still preserved the atmosphere of exercising and feeding the human mind with rich text and pages of storytelling. These great feats of architecture we have featured below are the integration of great design and the age old love of ancient yellow pages that have the history of the world etched in them.

The priceless treasure trove of great minds, dreamers and scholars are documented in these buildings which have been designed and built with great care in order to make them stand forever as a monument over these articles of importance like no other.

The libraries below have become an enduring tribute to impeccable design; the best décor and space construction, and art are ingrained into the floors and ceilings and wood panelling. Some of these studies have been built to attract not only readers eager to ponder over pages of food for thought, but to keep the spirit of young minds eager to see the enchanting presence of a library no digital book can recreate.

When that unique smell of worn out books, dust mingled with sunny afternoons wafts through the stone cracks of these majestic structures, people once again are transported back to the classic charm of an intimate moment spent with a satisfying story in the solitude of a hall crammed with books to the ceiling.

The National Library Of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

Biblioteca Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

The Admont Library, Admont, Austria

George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland, Usa 

St. Florian Monastery, Austria

Bibliothèque Nationale De France, Paris, France

Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer Der Staten-generaal Den Haag Iii, Netherlands

Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, Portuga

The City Libary, Stuttgart, Germany

The Iowa State Law Library, Iowa, USA

The Oberlausitzische Library Of Science, Gorlitz, Germany

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University, Connecticut, USA

The Old Public Library Of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, Paris, France

New York Public Library

Walker Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Vennesla Library, Vennesla, Norway

Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris, France

St John’s College Library, Cambridge, UK

 The Library Of Congress, Washington, D.C., USA

Technical University “gheorghe Asachi” Library, Iasi, Romania

The Great Library Of The Reformed Church College Of Sarospatak - Sarospatak, Hungary

The National Library Of China, Beijing, China

via Bored Panda


On the fifth floor of South Korea’s sprawling National Library is a place far more fascinating than its name suggests: The North Korea Information Center.

Here you can read every edition of North Korea’s national newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, dating to its first publication in the 1970s. Or peruse a collection of 100,000 North Korean books and videos — fiction, nonfiction and the complete teachings of the autocratic dynasty that runs the country.

In addition to political propaganda, there is also a North Korean children’s book section. And there are textbooks. (Calculus problems are exactly the same in North Korea, but the textbooks have much less color.)

“There are very few places worldwide where you can get most of this stuff that is surrounding us,” says Christopher Green, a North Korea scholar from University of Leiden, who spends a lot of his time here doing research.

Researchers know about this place, which opened in the late 1980s during a thaw in inter-Korean relations. But the library isn’t advertised. Most South Koreans have never heard of it, and they can face jail time for having these materials out in the wild.

In The Heart of Seoul, A Trove Of North Korean Propaganda

Photos: Elise Hu/NPR

Skeleton, The One About the

An African-American girl of about 3-years-old was in our children’s area with her father. After playing for a while, she told her dad she’d like to read a book.

Dad: “Sure, which book?”

Girl [pointing to a book on display]: “The one about the skeleton.”

Dad: “Skeleton? I don’t see one about a skeleton.” 

Girl: “Yes, this one!”

She held up this book:

Dad [with a kind laugh]: “No, that isn’t a skeleton, that’s a little girl…she, um, she is pale. She has light skin.”


UV Magic!

Heather Bain, a graduate student from @uicb was taking a look at some pages under UV light in order to see some faded marginalia and inscriptions. Heather is compiling information about the copy-specific features of our incunables for inclusion in the Material Evidence in Incunabula database, part of the 15cBOOKTRADE Project. 

 She was very kind to share some photos with us. Here’s what Heather had to say about it:

“As you can see, in visible light you can just barely tell that the inscriptions are there at all, but they’re much clearer under UV. I especially like the inscription in the top right margin (image uvlight) that says “Joannes 1616 emit me” or “John bought me in 1616”. There’s also an inscription from Claudius Mingron (?–not sure about his last name) from 1672, another owner’s inscription at the top, and some Latin that is unfortunately still not very legible inside the versal.

The book is a copy of the Legenda Aurea of Jacobus de Varagine from 1480 (Call # BX4654 .J3 1480). The inscriptions were washed or bleached out after the book was rebound in the 18th century, as was common practice.”


PSA:  Always protect your eyes when working with UV light.

Originally posted by outdoorsculture



Hotel In Tokyo Created As An ‘Accommodation Bookshop’

Tokyo is known for its eccentric architecture and customs, yet one new hotel has rivalled them all. The Book and Bed Tokyo hotel, which opened its welcoming doors to people looking for a good read and nap in November 2015, is a dedicated haven for readers. The hotel has been imagined by Makoto Tanijiri and Ai Yoshida, designed around the concept of the blissful moment of falling into a deep sleep that only a good story can do.

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By popular demand, ALA Graphics is reissuing the David Bowie poster. This special limited-run reprint of the iconic 1987 READ poster honors the singer-songwriter, actor, producer, and artist. An avid reader, David Bowie was one of the first celebrities to pose for the READ campaign. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, he received a 2006 Grammy for Lifetime Achievement, among numerous other awards throughout his career. David Bowie: 1947-2016.

You can pre-order now. The poster will be shipped in February.

Wonder of wonders, a homeless individual can own a two-year-old smart phone and carry a briefcase and print resumes and ask about tax forms and read Jackie Collins, and still remain without a permanent place of residence.
—  When a librarian argues with a supervisory board about why the homeless library support programs exist when no one in the library appears to be homeless

“…Library buildings may also seek to incorporate within their overall aesthetic some visual statement of the importance of their contents: as storehouses of knowledge, as lasting memorials of human achievement, or as publicly accessible gateways to education and enlightenment.”

- From The Oxford Companion to the Book. In anticipation of UK National Library Day on Saturday, 6 February 2016, we’re sharing free, fun library content all this week. Given the statement above, what is your favourite library building?

Image credit: Life beauty scene library by Unsplash. Public domain via Pixabay.

You know a lot of people say that movies and shows and books about college lie to you because of the way that the students look or the way that the food looks or the way that the parties look or the way that the administration looks etc.

But I am here to tell you that I have been lied to by all of the college movies/books/shows which constantly show the nerd curled up in some corner in the library, surrounded by books, with not a care in the world. The atmosphere is nothing less than a bibliophile’s paradise.

And as someone who is in my fourth year of college (who even worked at my old college library) I can tell you that that’s a big fat lie. College libraries aren’t filled with a soothing atmosphere that attracts bibliophiles who can just relax in a pile of books and read the day away. College libraries are filled with the most stressed out, caffeine-hyped, eye-twitching, jaw-trembling, students who are running around, trying to hold back their tears as they try to finish their assignments by the deadlines and cite the right sources and find out what printer their papers printed to and what do you mean it’s jammed and those guys from the local frat who are talking way too loudly and are getting a ton of glares and the one student who is running as fast as they can to the exit because someone just called them and they don’t want to disturb anyone, unaware of the fact that the dramatic motions have disturbed and the people who are surviving off of food from the lobby vending machine and the very intimidated college workers who look like deer caught in the headlights as they try to help a student who is crying because there are no more staples in the stapler. And don’t get me started on dead/finals week. You wheel into that place and you practically crash into a wall of stress.

A college library is one of the most stressful places on any campus!