“The 12 coolest libraries”

The Calgary Herald offers a list. They’re all very visually striking, but I particularly like this one — Jay Walker’s massive personal “Library of the History of Human Imagination” is a wonder to behold:

Love the fact that there’s an original Sputnik satellite hanging from the ceiling! It’s almost a crime that the space isn’t open to the public — but if I were the multimillionaire founder of Priceline.com I’d understand the desire to keep all this to myself as well (perhaps I’d have it open during the day for school tours and researchers). Go here for more gorgeous photos and descriptions of the vault’s many treasures.

The other libraries are stunning architectural marvels as well, but in my opinion they missed one:

Call me biased. But the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library is the iconic library, the image that first pops into most people’s heads when the word “library” is mentioned; and after a top-to-bottom restoration in preparation for its centennial celebration this past summer, it’s looking better than ever. More than that: as the largest public library system in North America, with eighty-seven lending libraries and four research branches, the New York Public Library is one of the crown jewels of human culture — a portal, in fact, that connects everyone TO human culture — and its treasures are there for all. All you have to do is walk in.

Or go online. Check out the new website with improved user-friendly navigation, allowing easier access to databases, exhibitions, classes, events, blogs, and the beautiful new catalog.

(via Abe Books; photos by Andrew Moore and Birdmaster)

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