17 of the Most Unusual Libraries in the World

17 of the Most Unusual Libraries in the World

I’ve always loved libraries. In my youth I was a regular visitor to our local library where the world opened up to me through books and reading.

A few months ago I created a post, 20 of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the World, at my author blog. So many people enjoyed it that I have created another post with images of 17 of the most unusual libraries in the world.

Important Note: these are not my photos and credits are provided with a mouseover of each image.

1. Liyuan Library, China

Li Xiaodong Atelier 李曉東 - Liyuan Library 籬苑書屋 - Photo 04.jpgLi Xiaodong Atelier 李曉東 - Liyuan Library 籬苑書屋 - Photo 13.jpg

2. Cottbus Library, Brandenburg, Germany

IKMZ (Library) BTU Cottbus (inside)

3. Vennesla Library, Norway


4. Kanazawa Umimirai Library, Kanazawa City, Japan

Coelacanth K&H Architects - Kanazawa Umimirai Library - Photo 03 - Photography by Satoshi Asakawa
Coelacanth K&H Architects - Kanazawa Umimirai Library - Photo 15 - Photography by Satoshi Asakawa

5. Royal Danish Library (the Black Diamond)

The Black Diamond, an extension to the Royal Library

Black Diamond Royal Library

6. Vancouver Central Library, Canada

The Vancouver Central Library

7. Jose Vasconcelos Library, Mexico

Biblioteca José Vasconcelos / Vasconcelos Library

8. Stuttgart City Library, Germany


9. The National Library of Sejong City, Korea


10. Aberdeen University: Sir Duncan Rice Library

Aberdeen University: Sir Duncan Rice Library
Aberdeen University: Sir Duncan Rice Library

11. National Library Belarus

National Library

12. Alexandria Library, Egypt

Alexandria library
The New Library of Alexandria

13. Library of Parliament, Ottawa, Canada

Library of Parliament

Library of Parliament, Ottawa

14. Tripitaka Koreana, Korea

Buddhist Scripture

15. Biblioteca Sandro Penna, Italy

Biblioteca Sandro Penna

16. The Kansas City Public Library’s Parking Garage, USA

Big Books

17. St. Catherine’s Monastery, Egypt

View of St Catherine's Monastery

18. BiblioBurros, Colombia


Here is a link to the CNN story on BiblioBurros.

I am sure there are many more libraries with unusual and creative designs. Please let me know about them in the comments section below.

Gary McLaren

Gary McLaren is an author and digital entrepreneur. He blogs at Writers Unplugged and manages Worldwide Freelance Writer. He's been helping writers online for more than 16 years. You can also follow Gary on social media at Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

7 Responses

  1. Daniel Agostinelli says:

    The library pictures are very interesting and beautiful. I visited the one in Alexandria. I was expecting to see the remains of the ancient library. I was surprised to see that they built a modern one. As I recall there was a an absence of books on shelves. The books were on computers and for a price you could download them any carry away a hard copy.

  2. Jan says:

    Very interesting & great photos (I particularly like the Kansas & Canada ones), but I think any library is beautiful, because of what the books it shelves does for readers. 🙂

  3. Beth Moon says:

    Nice photo essay … the new Birmingham Library (England) is quite groovy!

  4. If I may add, since you have BiblioBurros — Efren Peñaflorida, 2009 CNN Hero of the Year, with his pushcart library, http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/09/16/cnnheroes.penaflorida.update/

  5. Thank you for material and nice pics! I would like to visit one of these libraries one day 🙂

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