Unique Lending Libraries Around The World
We can all agree that not only are libraries necessary institutions but they are also great fun as well. How many hours have people spent in library nooks reading and, through the power of their imagination, traveled to far-off places they may never learn of otherwise? Libraries are not only for studying but for leisure as well. Let’s explore some quirky, unexpected sorts of libraries that can be found around the world.
“I had found my religion: nothing seemed more important to me than a book. I saw the library as a temple.” -Jean-Paul Sartre
- The Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart is the public library in Stuttgart, Germany. Designed by architect Eun Young Yi, it has been recognized as one of the world’s leading libraries due to its sheer size (nine stories) and incredibly modern design. With many zigzag staircases, railings, and cubed windows, it’s a geometric dream and, because it’s entirely white inside, its appearance has a strangely calming effect. This is definitely one of the most contemporary and fashionable libraries ever!
- The Bibiloburro: Imagine having a book delivered to you by a donkey! This is the case in certain rural areas of Colombia. Thanks to teacher, Luis Soriano having books delivered on the backs of donkeys started in La Gloria over twenty years ago. This is a revolutionary effort because, otherwise, many would not have access to reading materials. Not only is the Biblioburro a champion for literacy, but it is also innovative and fun.
- Mechanical Libraries in Beijing or “self-service” libraries are like vending machines but, instead of getting a snack, you can check out a book! It’s food for your imagination. Open 24/7 (and usually found near subways and in cities), these little mechanical libraries are truly innovative.
“When in doubt go to the library.”-J.K. Rowling
- Epos Book Boat: “Epos” or “library ship” is literally a floating library. This library boat has been delivering books to tiny counties in Norway since 1959. Because many (especially on the west coast of the country) live in very out-of-the-way places near mountains, glaciers, and fjords, they are surrounded by water and cannot travel easily. With the Epos (that can hold up to 6,000 books), culture that seems far away is now within reach, and it’s free (as it should be)!
- The War Tank or “Weapon of Mass Instruction” in Buenos Aires is a tank-like structure that delivers books. Created by artist Raul Lemesoff, this idea of using something that has warlike connotations to instruct and transport free books to those who need them most is truly radical.
- Little Free Libraries can be found all over the world. Operating under the philosophy “take a book, leave a book,” these little lending libraries can be found in the most unexpected of places—even on the beach!
- Phone Booth Libraries have become a fad across the UK. Shelves of books can be found inside these teeny-tiny iconic red telephone boxes and are accessible and free to everyone (they adopt the “if you take a book, leave a book” philosophy as well). What a fun idea!
For more information on some of the libraries mentioned in this blog, consult the links listed below (and check out Full Cycle Publications for other literary needs).