A Dizzying Drone's-Eye View of How the NY Public Library Sorts Books

Your friendly local librarian hasn't been replaced by technology just yet, but that doesn't mean the library itself hasn't benefitted from a few modern upgrades. Wrangling special-order books and DVDs between the New York Public Libary's 150 branches is a daunting task, but it's actually made surprisingly efficient… » 7/09/14 11:00am 7/09/14 11:00am

Yep, Harvard Really Does Have a Book Bound in Human Skin

This past April brought disappointing (but relieving?) news that a book long suspected to be bound in human skin in Harvard's library was, in fact, bound in sheepskin. Nothing here, move along, right? But no! Now Harvard has confirmed, for the first time ever, one of its other books is indeed sheathed in human skin. » 6/04/14 7:20pm 6/04/14 7:20pm

The Roof of This Sloped Library Doubles as an Awesome Slide

Imagine how much easier it would be to get kids excited about going to the library if the library itself doubled as a playground. That's exactly what's happened in an earthquake-ravaged village in China's Yunnan Province. The town's new library doubles as a community center with a slide on top. And it's beautiful. » 4/09/14 5:40pm 4/09/14 5:40pm

Rediscovering Acres of Forgotten Books In a Grand Old Albany Basement

Amidst endless stories about the death of the printed word and the closing of America's libraries, another issue remains unresolved: What's to be done with all the leftover books? In Albany, administrators at the former State Library are embroiled in a debate over the value of books—and what's "too precious" to throw… » 1/24/14 9:40am 1/24/14 9:40am

Read to Win the War: 13 Vintage Posters Promoting American Libraries

Ever since the internet came along, our relationship to libraries has changed dramatically. But recent studies show that these institutions—pillars of the OG sharing economy—are still viewed as essential to American communities. So it's fascinating to take a look through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign » 12/27/13 9:00am 12/27/13 9:00am

15 of the Weirdest Images in the British Library’s New Digital Trove

Digging through the archives of old libraries is a blast. Depending on the library, you'll find everything from dated architectural drawings to snippets of old children's books. You can just imagine the treasures to be found in the British Library's ancient archive. And, now, you don't even have to get your fingers… » 12/17/13 9:00am 12/17/13 9:00am

A Mountain Range of Shelves Turns This Kids' Library Into a Playground

Learning to read is a massive adventure in itself, but discovering the library—a magical place where the stories are plentiful and the books are free—is downright mind-blowing. In an effort to match the fun between the pages, the Mexican branding studio Anagrama transformed the interior of a local heritage site into … » 11/01/13 7:20pm 11/01/13 7:20pm

Oxford's Library Chooses Its First New Chair Design Since 1936

Oxford's Bodleian library—aka the Bod—is one of England's largest libraries, a 414-year-old research hub steeped in tradition and history. For example, only three types of chair have ever been designed for use inside its walls. Until now, that is: According to Co.Design, the library has chosen a fourth design to… » 10/15/13 9:00pm 10/15/13 9:00pm

The Great Library at Alexandria was destroyed by budget cuts, not fire

One of the great tragedies of ancient history, memorialized in myths and Hollywood film, is the burning of the great library at Alexandria. But the reality of the Library's end was actually a lot less pyrotechnic than that. A major cause of the Library's ruin was government budget cuts. » 10/08/13 9:03pm 10/08/13 9:03pm