As a college student, it’s hard not to associate libraries with a sense of dread. It’s where we spend our most grueling hours writing term papers and studying for exams while other students, burnt-out on studying, nap lazily in the chairs. In truth, libraries are an untapped resource for some really interesting stuff, and a lot of colleges don’t capitalize on their potential. Some, on the other hand, go all out. Have you seen any of these awesome college libraries?
Hip and Modern: Princeton University’s Julian Street Library
They say that blue rooms are calming and great for studying, and Princeton took that to heart when they recently renovated their Julian Street Library. Everything in the library is either blue or maple hardwood, from the giant couches to the cozy, modern chairs. It makes for a cozy atmosphere in which students can do their deepest thinking, but the clean, modern appearance makes it pretty delightful to visit for pleasure, too.
Bringing the Outside In: Myongji University’s Bangmok Library
Myongji University, located in Seoul, has the right idea when it comes to convincing students to come inside and study on a nice day. The exterior is made entirely of U-Glass, which filters light through into the building and makes it bright and sunny. The central lobby is rife with skylights, providing even more natural sunlight, which is complemented by the live, decorative trees and other wooden accents. It feels like a picnic when you come in to read a book.
Book Nerds Rejoice: University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
If you love literature, you’ll love this: University of Toronto is home to the largest collection of rare books in all of Canada. You can read Shakespeare’s First Folio at your very own school if you choose to attend – very cool. It also has some incredible architecture: multiple levels of shelving can be seen through the clear glass windows as you stand in the lobby, so you can stand and marvel at just how extensive this book collection really is.
Amazing Architecture: Trinity College’s Old Library
Trinity College located in Dublin, Ireland has been home to a budding book collection since 1743. Over the past 250 years, some 200,000 old – and rare – books have accumulated, which you can peruse from walking down one long, tall hallway known as the “Long Room.” The architect, Thomas Burgh, put lots of thought into creating an arched ceiling and many arched chambers, with the second-story sections having a balcony that overlooks the main hall.
Culture and Art: UNAM’s Central University City Campus Library
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico is home to a library that you’ll want to visit just from seeing the outside. It’s heavily adorned with amazing murals which depict cultural depictions of zodiac wheels, Aztec culture, modern Mexico, and Latin America. The building itself is a work of art.