Today I was inspired to take a look at the world’s most majestic libraries. The first is the New York Public Library mentioned in my last post. A man named Samuel J Tilden bequeathed his fortune to establish and maintain a free library and reading room. With the funds from two other benefactors Astor and Lenox the library was opened in 1911. Today the library is funded with State Aid, Grants and Donations.
All our libraries are needing to established their uses amongst the community as people turn to e-readers and free downloads. Facilities within the libraries have kept up with advancements, such as offering internet access, WiFi, coffee and a sofa. The changing image of the book is coinciding with the image of the libraries as modern buildings are no longer bound in polished wood and brass fittings. The modern libraries are as sleek as the e-readers, such as the Stuttgart City Library in Germany.
My personal preference is the Monastic library in Prague. The Bishop Zdik founded the monastery including the libraries in 1140. The buildings have since been rebuilt over the centuries but the layout of the rhythmical shelves is just magical.
My last library is the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland. The original Old Library was founded by the Military Colonel Thomas Burgh from 1712. He was an engineer, architect and a member of Parliament in Ireland. The layout is row upon row of methodology looking like a well dressed line up of military structure on parade.
If changing the nature of these buildings is necessary for their survival then so be it. But I fear the quiet spaces for silence, thought, peace from outside chaos will be diluted as new services are introduces to keep the doors remaining open. Social activities are now featured in these buildings, knitting circles, family history groups, and internet suites. If the temper and the ambience is to change in order for the continued stay of these magnificent spaces then all I can ask is, please can we have a reading room that remains just the same?
(Images from Google images)
- Shhh! World’s Most Stunning Libraries That Show We Still Have a Journey of More Than 5000 Miles to Go! (edupedianigeria.wordpress.com)