Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Last night PBS showed a fascinating program about the New York Public Library: the crème de la crème of libraries. The show was packed with little bits of information and trivia, the most interesting of which was that this grand dame of a library was built in 1911 - a decade after the Ketchikan Public Library was formed. For a bunch of hardscrabble miners and frontier folk, the early citizens of Ketchikan were a forward-thinking group of people. If you missed the program, don't worry, we'll be adding it to the collection as soon as it is available on DVD.
In the meantime, slake your thirst for library images with The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World, by Guillaume de Laubrier. There are over 240 pages of gorgeous color photos of the oldest, largest, most ornate libraries in the world. The Vatican library, the Boston Athenaeum, Trinity College in Dublin, and the national libraries of Portugal, Austria, Russia and the Czech Republic are just a few of the amazing buildings included in this book. Some of these libraries were built to impress visitors, some were built to inspire learners, and some to facilitate quiet contemplation. The ideal library, I suppose, would accomplish all three tasks and then some. There is something about libraries that attract people. Even our library gets visitors every summer who are just coming in to look and relax (and sometimes, of course, to avoid the rain).

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