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Friday, September 17, 2010

Libraries in Odd Places

An article this week in The New York Times got me thinking about unusual places for libraries ("At Schiphol, an Unlikely Sanctuary for Books," Sept. 16, 2010). Apparently, last summer, a 1,200-volume library opened at Schiphol Airport in The Netherlands. ProBlio, a non-profit agency that supports Dutch libraries, opened the library in Europe’s fifth busiest airport. The library specializes in books by Dutch authors or on subjects about The Netherlands in two dozen different languages.

A Google search revealed some other odd sites for libraries – a mule’s back in Venezuela ("Venezuela's Four-Legged Mobile Libraries," BBC News, Aug. 7, 2007) and a hobbit house in Pennsylvania. A Seattle resident tried to convince the Seattle Public Library to place a library branch in his apartment. (Library Shenanigans).

In Chile the Department of Libraries, Archives and Museums has placed libraries in metro stations and in parks. Spain has initiated a project to place libraries at beaches, pools, rivers and public parks – any place where people might wish to read. One Spanish town has placed a library in a city market.

There is, of course, The Library Hotel in New York, and I’ve also seen mention of libraries in boats.

Probably there are few places where readers gather that wouldn’t welcome a library.

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