Beautiful books deserve beautiful spaces. As someone who worked in libraries before moving to the publishing industry, I am interested in the ways we continue to change the aesthetic and function of public and academic libraries. TechInsider recently released a list titled The Most Beautiful Library in Each US State, and that lineup is a fascinating and potentially controversial one.
Many of the libraries on the list reflect the trend of moving away from traditional libraries as places that house books to contemporary places of active learning, technology access, and collaboration. This means that in many of these very lovely, very modern libraries, few rows of books exist through which a patron can wander. That doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with these libraries – on the contrary, they serve their patrons well – but they appear very different from idealized libraries with floors upon floors filled with books.
I encourage you to look at the list and see which libraries catch your eye. Do you agree with some of the choices that TechInsider made, or does the sight of that much curved glass give you vertigo? Do you know of a secret gem of a library that they overlooked? If so, please share. I’m greedy and am always searching for more library spaces to explore and claim as my own.