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16 Wonderfully Weird Libraries Around The World

16 Wonderfully Weird Libraries Around The World

When imagining libraries, a serene, quiet, well lighted, and clean surroundings will automatically pop out in your head. However, the list of libraries you’re about to see are absolutely out of this mould. Some of them might not be ideal places to read, but I would definitely enjoy visiting them.  

1. Arma de Instruccion Masiva (Weapon of Mass Instruction) – South America

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    Photo: Carlos Adampol

    Artist Raul Lemesoff has taken a 1979 Falcon (a car that represents a dark time in Argentina) and transformed it from a symbol of fear to a mobile library in the shape of a tank.

    2. Stuttgart City Library – Stuttgart, Germany

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      Photo: Elmastudio

      This amazingly weird looking structure is designed by Korean architect Eun Young Yi. When it opened in 2011, it got mixed reviews from library connoisseurs, architects, and even the locals. It’s been ridiculed and described as a 2-tone Rubik’s Cube and a box-shaped jail for books. I have a different opinion, though. To me it’s a heaven for nerdy people like me.

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      3. The Biblioburro: Delivering Books Via Donkey – Columbia

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        Photo: Itzuvit

        It would be fun to check a mobile library in rural Colombia. Biblioburro (the name of the library) is being operated by Luis Soriano, a primary school teacher during his spare time. Witnessing kids wearing a genuine smile each time he visits their villages in rural Colombia would surely warm anybody’s heart. Using two donkeys, Alfa and Beto to carry loads of books, Soriano spends four hours on each trip just to reach those remote places.

        4. Bibliotheque Nationale – Paris, France

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          Photo: Panoramas

          This library is composed of 4 towers that are shaped like open books. They are built around a sunken and thickly forested courtyard. It was constructed in 1996 to replace a former library structure that could no longer accommodate expansions. It’s one of the largest in the world boosting 22-story structures.

          5. Reading Club 2000 – Manila, Philippines

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            Photo: Andrew Tadalan

            Reading Club 2000 started when Hernando “Nanie” Guanlao thought of a way to honor and preserve the memory of his parents who inculcated in him the love for reading. He gathered his old textbooks and set them outside his Manila residence to test if the community would be interested to borrow and read them. They were. 12 years later Nanie’s library grew to contain 2,500 books. As an additional service, he also runs a “book bike” service, where he delivers books to poor areas in Manila.

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            6. Stockholm Public Library – Stockholm, Sweden

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              Photo:Marcus Hansson

              Sweden’s first library to apply an open shelf design, the Stockholm Public Library, opened in 1928. When architect Gunnar Asplund and librarian Fredrik Hjelmqvist decided that the people who’ll patronize the library could fetch their own books, librarians all over the globe rejoiced! Recently, its self-service model was revitalized by more drive to infuse a check-outs and returns automation system.

              7. Mechanical Libraries: Serving readers 24 Hours A Day – Beijing

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                Photo: Joe Gratz

                Nothing can replace the relaxing rustle of pages, and the smell of dusty tomes, but there are times when night owls like me would love to prowl the night for books even at 3am. That’s why I’m not completely against library vending machines. In a district in Beijing, machines account for 31.6 percent of books loaned. Even if you’re fighting the good fight against the machine overlords, you’ll have to agree that anything that increases the number of books the public consumes can’t be all that bad. Still, it’s not as depressing as a bookless library, right?

                8. Trinity College Long Room – Dublin, Ireland

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                  Photo: Brett Jordan

                  Trinity college, Ireland’s oldest university also houses the largest library in Ireland. The oldest and rarest of its collection is kept in the Long Room. With its more than 200,000 volumes, it’s the largest single-chamber library in the world. The Long Room grabbed the limelight once again recently for being the “unofficial” inspiration for the Jedi Archives in the movie Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

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                  9. Biblioteca Sandro Penna- Perugia, Italy

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                    Photo: Perugia-City.com

                    Nope, that’s not an alien ship you are staring at. It’s not a pink bubblegum candy designed by hello kitty, either! That’s a power house of books providing library services for the people of Perugia, Italy. Biblioteca Sandro Penna, is a public library named after the poet Sandro Penna. It features rose-colored glass walls designed to let sunlight in during daytime and at night it creates a rare glow. The Architect who designed it, Italo Rota, made the three-story disc to exude an appearance of an alien flying saucer.

                    10. Taipei Public Library – Beitou, Taiwan

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                      Photo: LWY

                      The most eco-conscious building in the country is also a famous library in Taiwan. The Beitou branch of the Taipei Public Library system received the highest EEWH rating lately: the diamond rating for being the most eco-friendly structure in the country. All wood used for its construction came from sustainably managed forests. It also uses photovoltaic cells for generating power. To insulate itself from the heat of the sun during daytime, it’s roof is equipped with 20 centimeter layer of soil. this bulding is also designed to collect rainwater to be used for toilet flushing. Not to forget, they have an interesting line up of books.

                      11. The Kenyan Camel Library: Serving Nomadic Populations – Kenya

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                        Photo: BookAid.org

                        Before you assume donkeys are the only mammals able to carry around a library by merely using their backs, meet the library camels of Kenya. The camels carry books and some camping gear. Traveling librarians need a place to rest after a long journey across the desert. The caravan caters to nomadic communities which are mostly illiterate due to lack of access to books. The Kenya National Library Service unleashed the program in 1985 and kept on sending book-wielding hump-backed service animals on the deserts of Kenya.

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                        12. Boston Public Library – Boston, USA

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                          Photo: R..D

                          The Boston Public Library is the 2nd largest library in north America. It opened in 1848. With its over 24 million books it’s undoubtedly one of the biggest libraries in the U.S. Another worthy fact to mention is that it’s also the very first public and free-to-all library – and the first book house to loan books to patrons.

                          13. Vasconcelos Library – Mexico City, Mexico

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                            Photo: Eneas De Troya

                            The 409,000-square-foot Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City is also known as the Megabiblioteca (a megalibrary). To me it’s a haven for real bibliophiles. The architect, Alberto Kalach, created a structure that looks like it’s been taken straight out of a Matrix-induced dream – with books kept on crystal shelves seemingly suspended in mid-air, large industrial steel fittings, and five grid-like levels. The 500,000 books are displayed over an open courtyard boosting gigantic striped whale bones that appear to be floating up from the ceiling. Everything is surrounded by a beautiful and  massive botanical garden.

                            14. Picture Book Library – Iwaki City, Japan

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                              Photo: Ken Lee 2010

                              To the joy of Japanese preschoolers in Iwaki, Fukushima, the Picture Book Museum was built in 2005. Turned off by the strict and conservative atmosphere of traditional libraries, the founder of Picture Book Library allowed architect Tadao Ando ultimate freedom to design a space that would be irresistible to kids. And he had only one condition: To make sure the book covers were highly visible. The end result was the vibrant, colorful, and highly celebrated library considered by many as a new paradigm in educational spaces in Japan, and an architectural masterpiece.

                              15. Epos Book Boat: Floating Books In The Fjords

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                                Photo: Anders

                                In the Fyords, a book boat known as Epos travels to more than 250 small communities on islands every year between September and April. On board the vessel are some 6,000 volumes, a couple of librarians, a cook, a captain, and one or two vaguely titled “entertainers” (Contortionists? Clowns? Exotic dancers? What’s that you say? Three-in-one? What’s the most fitting entertainment when snowed into their abodes for months on end?). During summertime, the boat/library turns into a leisure cruise ferry. It all started in 1959, and is funded by the libraries of the three counties it serves.

                                16. Nassau Public Library – Nassau, Bahamas

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                                  Photo: Brickapolis

                                  The Nassau Public Library has street-cred. In the past it housed criminals. Built in the late 1700s as a prison, the octagon-shaped building was turned into a library around 1837. It’s shape has helped accommodate its treasures for each 8 sides holds a portion of the library’s 28,000-volume collection.

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                                  Anthony Dejolde

                                  TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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                                  Last Updated on October 15, 2019

                                  How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                  How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                  What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                                  To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                                  All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                                  There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                                  With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                                  What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

                                  1. Think Big

                                    From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                                    “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                                    There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                                    Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                                    Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                                    Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                                    Instead be ambitious.

                                    2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                                      From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                                      “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                                      This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                                      Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                                      If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                                      Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                                      Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                                      Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                                      3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                                        From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                                        “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                                        All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                                        If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                                        However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                                        If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                                        In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                                        To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                                        4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                                          From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                                          “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                                          There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                                          Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                                          His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                                          He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                                          Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                                          Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                                          If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                                          5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                                            From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                                            “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                                            This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                                            It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                                            If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                                            Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                                            6. Be a Person of Action

                                              From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                                              “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                                              Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                                              Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                                              When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                                              You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                                              All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                                              Applying this to you?

                                              Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                                              7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                                                From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                                The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                                The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                                People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                                This is key to good leadership.

                                                It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                                But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                                What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                                As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                                                8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                                                  From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                                  “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                                  It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                                  Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                                  If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                                  9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                                                    From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                                    “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                                    Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                                    It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                                    Keep dreaming!

                                                    10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                                      From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                                      “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                                      Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                                      Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                                      If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                                      However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                                      11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                                        From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                                        “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                                        It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                                        When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                                        Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                                        If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                                        This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                                        12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                                          From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                                          “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                                          You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                                          Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                                          True success comes from work.

                                                          You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                                          Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                                          13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                                            From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                                            “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                                            In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                                            If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                                            It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                                            Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                                            Final Thoughts

                                                            What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                                            Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                            More to Help You Succeed in Life

                                                            Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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