From Katy to Kingwood and Tomball to Seabrook, Harris County is filled with some amazing libraries, all of them proudly serving their communities. In fact, the HCPL system alone has over 26 branches open for you to enjoy, but these institutions are not just celebrated in Houston, or Texas for that matter. According to the ALA (American Library Association) there is an estimated 123,627 libraries in America and according to the IFLA Library Map of the World there are over 2.8 Million libraries across the globe.
This got me thinking. What libraries do Librarians want to visit? Certainly, since they are in “the business” they might have some insight or secret knowledge on what libraries should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. So, I asked as many Librarians as I could, “What library do you most want to visit?” and I was amazed at how many different and exciting libraries they named. Below is a Top Ten List of the libraries that captured the attention of Librarians surveyed.
- New York Public Library – Stephen A. Schwarzman Building – NYPL has no shortage of beautiful buildings, but this flagship location is a premier research facility and boasts the very photogenic, Historic Rose Reading Room.
- Bodleian Library in Oxford England – Duke Humphrey’s Library – In addition to being a working library, visitors might also recognize this location as the Hogwarts Library from the Harry Potter movies.
- The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. – The Library of Congress is the biggest library in the world, literally. It houses millions of books, films and videos, audio recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps, and manuscripts.
- Seattle Central Library in Seattle, WA – The new, Central Library opened in 2004 and
- Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria Egypt – Almost as exciting as the “original” Great Library of Alexandria. Bibliotheca Alexandrina should be on any bucket list of must-see places.
- The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City – The Morgan Library is a museum and independent research library that started as the private collection of J.P. Morgan’s son, Pierpont Morgan. It is located in the heart of New York City.
- The Boston Public Library in Boston, MA – The Central Library in Copley Square is actually two historic landmark buildings. It is known for its classical serenity and elegance.
- Municipal Library of Prague in Czechia – If you can make it to this awe-inspiring library, make sure you check out the Municipal Library of Prague’s “Idiom” - a spellbinding tower of books.
- The British Library in London England – The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom.
- The Rosenberg Library in Galveston, TX – The Rosenberg Library is the oldest public library in Texas in continuous operation and close enough to Harris County to make it an easy bucket list library to cross off your list.
Did we miss any of your favorites? What library do you want to visit most and why?