A Glimpse Inside the Hidden Vault Where Harvard Keeps Millions of Books

Harvard's flagship library, Widener, is an imposing granite cube built quite literally as shrine to the book. A central alcove cuts through the stacks to show off a prized relic: an original Gutenberg bible. But this is not the heart of Harvard's libraries. No, that would be its cold storage site, an anonymous… » 2/06/15 11:00am 2/06/15 11:00am

95 percent of American public libraries now carry ebooks

Ebooks are the new books. At least that's according to a recent survey by the Library Journal that looked at American public libraries. Ninety-five percent of libraries carry ebook titles. That's up from 89 percent in both 2013 and 2012, when researchers thought that adoption had plateaued for good. » 11/26/14 5:32pm 11/26/14 5:32pm

Calgary's New Library Is a Towering Glass Creation

City libraries are an embodiment of the spirit of higher learning that governments are supposed to be all about, and nowhere is that more true than Calgary's about-to-be-built Central Library. » 9/25/14 5:00am 9/25/14 5:00am

One Library for the Entire World

It's quite easy for people to talk cynically of the various ways in which technology is supposedly undermining culture and society. (And those complaints are obviously nothing new.) In particular, people have — rightly or wrongly — been afraid of "information overload" for ages. » 2/21/12 10:42am 2/21/12 10:42am

You Won't Be Able to Find a Book in This Beautiful New Library

You're looking into Florida Polytechnic University's new library. Light, bright, beautiful curves and... there's not a single book on its shelves? » 9/01/14 7:00am 9/01/14 7:00am

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Your friendly local librarian hasn't been replaced by technology just yet, but that doesn't mean the library itself hasn't benefitted from a few modern upgrades.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

Soon Your Local Library Could Let You Borrow the Internet

Forget dog-eared copies of Fifty Shades of Grey: Library visitors will soon be able to check the entire Internet out from their local branch. » 6/25/14 10:40am 6/25/14 10:40am

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

Navigate by Barcode and Never Get Lost Again

Libraries have terrible maps; supermarkets and department stores have bad signage; all of them have a built-in system for navigation that we don't use: barcodes. » 5/04/14 12:00pm 5/04/14 12:00pm

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

Dive-Bombing Hawks Force Florida Library-Goers to Cower Under Umbrellas

No less than six patrons of the Port Orange Library in Florida have been attacked by a pair of book-hating hawks over the past week. Now, the library is protecting its brave bibliophiles the only way it knows how—with umbrellas. » 3/31/14 11:20am 3/31/14 11:20am

These Grand Cathedrals Now House Regular Books, Not Bibles

Churches tend to ebb and flow with generations: Chapels close after neighborhoods are redeveloped, cathedrals are abandoned after religious upheaval. So, what then? In more than a few cases, they've been turned into bookstores and libraries. » 3/27/14 9:00am 3/27/14 9:00am

Harvard's Hiring a Wikipedian-in-Residence

Do you like Wikipedia? Are you a fan of obscenely wealthy educational institutions with unspeakable power? Then you'll love the job listing that just went up at Harvard. They're hiring a Wikipedian-in-Residence. It pays by the hour. » 3/11/14 7:20pm 3/11/14 7:20pm

Let BookBot Bring You Any of This Library's Two Million Titles

Wow. Look at BookBot go! This massive automated delivery system is housed in North Carolina State University's stunning Hunt Library. With the touch of a few buttons, it will scan and deliver any title in the two million volume collection straight into your hands. » 3/11/14 4:40pm 3/11/14 4:40pm

This stunning image of a crowded, multi-layered library is not the work of M.C. Escher. It's actually the National Library of China in Beijing, as featured in Travel 365. The library looks big because it is big: the fifth largest in the world, in fact, with over 24 million items in 1.8 million square feet. [National… » 2/25/14 11:55am 2/25/14 11:55am

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

This Animatronic Wall Of Books Moves In Time With Library Visitors

One of the great joys offered by an old library is stepping through the doors and being greeted by an overwhelming sense of stillness. Endless stories exist between the covers resting on the shelves but, until you crack open a title and start to read, it's blissfully oh so quiet. » 1/01/14 8:00pm 1/01/14 8:00pm

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

How Librarians Are Helping People Navigate the New Healthcare System

Lupie Leyva has answered questions about immigration issues, taught people how to use email, and once even helped a person make an appointment to see a family member who was incarcerated. "I've worked in public libraries for 10 years," she says. "Nothing surprises me anymore." » 12/20/13 3:00pm 12/20/13 3:00pm

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