I love libraries. Even if I’m not looking for a particular book, I can spend hours perusing the shelves and walk out with several books I would have never read otherwise, all for a grand total cost of nothing as long as I have my library card on me. However, some libraries are notable for reasons other than just the books they provide. Here are eight unique libraries from around the world that you’ll want to visit for the experience just as much as the books.
1. Epos – Norway
Image Via Bokbaten
This library ship visits small places in across three counties in Norway. The service started in 1959 and carries a total of 6,000 books. At any given time, some 20,000 of the floating library’s books are lent out.
2. TARDIS – Detroit, Michigan, USA
Image Via The Verge
This small streetside library was built by Dan Zemke, who is clearly a big Doctor Who fan. It is a lifesize replica of the TARDIS from the show, and he was inspired to build it since he also runs a local branch of the youth reading program Reach-Out-And-Read. The mini library holds up to 140 books.
3. Biblioteca Vasconcelos – Mexico City, Mexico
Image Via Woondu
This library in downtown Mexico City has been labeled by the press as a “megalibrary.” It’s over 400,000 square meters in size and has more than 470,000 books.
4. McAllen Public Library – McAllen, Texas, USA
Image Via Strong Towns
The city’s former library was getting to be too small for the community, so what did they do? Take over a former Wal-Mart. Since the change in location, the number of patrons visiting the library has almost doubled.
5. Picture Book Library – Iwaki City, Japan
Image Via National Geographic
This library serves three preschools, but it also gets other, older visitors who come to see its collection of international children’s books, all of which are displayed with the covers out. The library has approximately 10,000 books, 1,500 of which are on display at any given time.
6. Beach Library – Albena, Bulgaria
Image Via EVS at Sofia City Library
This library was built on the beach of the Bulgarian Black Sea resort city of Albena. It contains over 2,500 books from ten different languages.
7. Weapon of Mass Instruction – Argentina
Image Via Pantera Press
When you see this mobile library, its name makes sense. The 1979 Ford Falcon has a tank-inspired frame over it that is literally stuffed with books. Its creator Raul Lemesoff has driven it all across Argentina, bringing literature of all genres to small and impoverished towns.
8. Haskell Free Library and Opera House – Stanstead, Quebec, Canada AND Derby Line, Vermont, USA
Image Via Reddit
Yes, this library is the only one in the world to be located not just in two different cities but also in two different countries. It was deliberately built on top of the US-Canadian border in order to provide the border communities with a mutual location for learning and cultural enrichment. The front door is located in the US while the circulation desk and stacks are located in Canada. The reading room is international: there’s literally a line that runs through the middle of it that marks the border.
Feature Image Via MEAction