Digging around for a video for today’s post, I realized that it has been a while since we ran any “library porn.” The bold and daring architecture and design of modern libraries continues to fascinate. The investment of such effort and creativity seems to fly in the face of an era where so many municipalities are deciding against funding libraries.

There’s a clear statement being made here, a physical representation of the importance of the library to the community. I also suspect that the willingness to experiment reflects the uncertainty in the changing role of the library. Libraries are no longer primarily places where books are stored, but what exactly are they? Flexible spaces open new possibilities and new functions for the library, which leads us to the wonders in the videos below. It’s interesting that both claim to show the world’s 10 “coolest” libraries, yet there’s no overlap between the two lists. Clearly there are a lot of cool libraries out there.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


1 Thought on "Bask in These Glorious Libraries"

I was very happy to see the Stuttgart library included. I have to ask, however, how can one include a library in North Korea? It’s not just the architecture but what happens inside the library that counts. And where there’s no free speech, not much is happening inside.

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