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Best Libraries That Give Your Unforgettable Reading Experiences

Best Libraries That Give Your Unforgettable Reading Experiences

Libraries collect the vast stores of human knowledge and imagination.

1. Admont Abbey Library, Austria

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    Although this astonishingly beautiful library looks as though it would exist only in a Disney movie rather than real life, the Admont Abbey Library was built in 1776 and remains the largest monistic library in the world. Adamant Abbey holds 700,000 books which are all accompanied by wonderful pastel paintings and wall carvings.

    2. Strahov Monastery Library, Czech Republic

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      Containing over 200,000 books, this library hosts some of the most important titles printed in Central Europe and the decor is incredible. Not only is this library visually appealing, it alsohas  geek appeal as it has two secret passageways which can be opened by faux books.

      3. Geisel Library, USA

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        libraries.ucsd.edu

        Named after Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel – although you may know him better as Dr. Seuss – this library at the University of San Diego honors the late couple who often donated to UCSD.

        4. Trinity College Library, Ireland

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          Not only is Trinity College Library the largest library in the whole of Ireland, it also houses the Book Of Kells which is believed to have been written as early as 800 AD by celtic monks.

          5. Boston Public Library, USA

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            Established in 1848, Boston Public Library was the first municipal library in the entire U.S.! Containing over 8.9 million books, the library was originally part of a small Massachusetts school house until architect Charles Follen McKim completed the current building – named ‘Palace For The People’ – situated in Copley Square in 1895.

            6. Raza Library, India

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              Once part of a palace, the Raza Library was completed in 1904 but houses a collection the royal family began collecting as far back as 1774. There are now 17,000 rare or completely unique manuscripts and over 200 hand-written letters.

              7. George Peabody Library, USA

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                The first American to be interred in Westminster Abbey, George Peabody is known as somewhat of a success story. Although he was born into a humble life, George worked his way up to become a very wealthy man who funded many museums and libraries in both the UK and USA in the early 1800s. George constructed this library in Baltimore, USA to thank the local people for their “kindness and hospitality’.

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                8. Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, USA

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                  Encapsulated within a huge glass dome, Mansueto Library is the main studying hall of the University of Chicago. So students can receive any books or documents they require quickly, Mansueto actually has a robotic arm system underground that catalogues and finds certain books.

                  9. Villanueva Public Library, Columbia

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                      Villanueva Library was constructed using only locally sourced materials and people. The design, which was created by four college students near to the construction, is focused around natural ventilation so visitors remain cool and comfortable.

                      10. The Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination, USA

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                        This extremely interesting space holds over 20,000 volumes belonging to celebrated inventor Jay Walker. Inspired by the designs of M.C. Escher, Walker’s private library is meant to focus entirely on the never-ending phenomenon of the human imagination.

                        11. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, USA

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                          One of the largest libraries in the world, Beinecke Yale Library is exclusively reserved for, as I’m sure you can imagine, rare books and manuscripts. There are currently over 500,000 books in its possession and several million manuscripts, including a Gutenberg Bible.

                          12. Karl Lagerfeld’s Private Library, Paris

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                            One of the largest private libraries in existence, Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld owns over 60,000 books which he keeps in his Parisian apartment.

                            13. Bristol Central Library, England

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                              Completed in 1906, Bristol Central Library combines Tudor Revival and Modern Movement styles to create a fascinating combination of architecture. It was also built on a slope, which is why the front half of the building has three stories while the end half has five.

                              14. James B. Hunt Jr Library, USA

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                                businessinsider.com

                                Although this was opened extremely recently in 2013, this North Carolina State Library is host to a robotic arm system that can retrieve any of 20,000 volumes for students as well as two 3D printers.

                                15. Bibliotheque Nationale De France, France

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                                  Despite many parts of The National Library of France having been built back in 1886, the entire structure is still in use.

                                  16. The Library of El Escorial, Spain

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                                    Perhaps the most interesting element of this library is the fact it is situated in the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the residence of all of Spain’s past kings. Although it is now a world heritage site, King Phillip II began the library and collected many of the books that are still held there.

                                    17. Wiblingen Monastery Library, Germany

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                                      Completed in 1744, this beautiful Baroque building is inscribed with the wonderful phrase ‘In quo omnes thesauri sapientiae et scientiae,’ meaning ‘In which are stored all treasures of knowledge and science.’

                                      18. The Library of the San Francisco Monastery, Peru

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                                        Located in Lima, the San Francisco Monastery was built in 1672 making it one of the oldest functioning libraries in the west.

                                        19. University of Otago Central Library, New Zealand

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                                          The University of Otago is home to several libraries, however their Central Library is by far the most impressive. The library has over 500,000 books, 9000 of which where printed before 1801, and 2000 study spaces for students.

                                          20. Nakanoshima Library, Japan

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                                              True, this building doesn’t look traditionally Japanese but this Library constructed in 1904 actually fits in rather well with the rest of Osaka.

                                              21. Beitou Library, Taiwan

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                                                  Eco-friendly and modern, this library recycles rainwater by letting it run down its slanted roof to be used in the restrooms!

                                                  22. Victorian State Library, Australia

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                                                    Victorian State Library opened in 1856, although the famous domed room (pictures above) didn’t open until 1913. This absolutely huge library is home to over 2 million books including diaries from the famous James Cook.

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                                                    23. The Tianyi Pavilion Library, China

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                                                        Built in 1560, Tianyi Pavilion Library is the oldest private library in Asia, and third oldest on the entire Earth. The collection, which was started by a retired imperial minister, includes over 300,000 ancient books that cannot be found anywhere else.

                                                        24. Fisher Fine Arts Library, USA

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                                                          Built in the late 1800s, this University of Pennsylvania library was designed by Philadelphia’s Frank Furness, making it a historic landmark.

                                                          25. Indianapolis Public Library, USA

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                                                              Originally constructed in 1917, this Indiana library has since been extended to combine older and extremely modern architecture in a harmonious and impressive display.

                                                              26. Palafoxiana Library, Mexico

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                                                                The first publiclibrary in Mexico, built in 1646, this Puebla library is now one of the many buildings on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.

                                                                27. University of Michigan Law Library, USA

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                                                                  Renowned for its Gothic architecture, the Law Library is available to all students and is located at the centre of the Michigan campus.

                                                                  28. Library of Parliament, Canada

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                                                                      Built in 1876, the Library of Parliament was originally part of the parliamentary headquarters. The building was under construction for ten years before the builders admitted they didn’t know how to create a domed roof, and so this library became the first structure in North America to have a wrought iron roof.

                                                                      29. National Library, Costa Rica

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                                                                          Featuring an inverted arch above glass walls, this library may now have been built to withstand the numerous earthquakes that hit Costa Rica. So make sure to have a look while you can!

                                                                          30. Austrian National Library, Austria

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                                                                            Built in 1723, Austria’s largest library is located in the Hofburg Palace, Vienna and is host to an incredible 7.4 million books.

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                                                                            31. Central Library of Vancouver, Canada

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                                                                              If you were to look closely at this building, which ancient constructions does it remind you of? If you guessed the Roman Colosseum you’re correct! In fact, this library was based on the ancient structure and covers an entire city block to do so. Not only does it include 1.3 million volumes, Vancouver’s central library also houses retailers, offices and restaurants.

                                                                              32. Klarchek Information Commons, USA

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                                                                                On the shores of Lake Michigan, the stunning building at Loyola University in Chicago offers even more impressive views.

                                                                                33. José Vasconcelos Library, Mexico

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                                                                                  Aptly referred to as the ‘Megalibrary’ by the Mexican press, this huge structure covers 409,000 square feet and houses over 500,000 books all hanging from glass shelves.

                                                                                  34. Delft University of Technology Library, Netherlands

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                                                                                      Delft University’s Technology Library is in a field of its own when it comes to modern architecture. With the library located under what appears to be a hill, the roof is a skylight that transforms into cone.

                                                                                      35. Abbey Library of St. Gallen, Switzerland

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                                                                                        As if it wasn’t enough that this library is the oldest in Switzerland, it’s one of the oldest monastic libraries in the world.

                                                                                        36. The Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Brazil

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                                                                                          Located in Rio de Janeiro, The Real Gabinete Português de Leitura was built in 1887 and holds more works in Portuguese than anywhere else outside of Portugal.

                                                                                          37. The National Library, Brazil

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                                                                                            Another of Brazil’s incredible libraries, The National Library is the largest library in Latin America and the seventh largest on the planet.

                                                                                            38. Cornell Univeristy Uris Library, USA

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                                                                                              As Cornell University is located on a rather large hill, Uris sits at the top of the ‘slope’ with the proud title of being Cornell’s oldest library. You may also recognise the room above as the ‘Harry Potter’ library.

                                                                                              39. Stephen A. Schwarzman Library, USA

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                                                                                                Otherwise known as The New York Public Library, this National Historical Landmark was originally built in 1911 and houses 75 miles of shelving. As it continued to grow, an underground area was built that extends under Bryant Park.

                                                                                                40. Handelingenkamer, Netherlands

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                                                                                                  This library holds every record of Dutch parliamentary discussions and was very cleverly built to minimize the need for candles in a time before electricity.

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                                                                                                  Last Updated on December 2, 2018

                                                                                                  How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                                                                                                  How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                                                                                                  Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                                                                                                  The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                                                                                                  The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                                                                                                  Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                                                                                                  Review Your Past Flow

                                                                                                  Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                                                                                                  Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                                                                                                  Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                                                                                                  Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                                                                                                  Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                                                                                                  Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                                                                                                  Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                                                                                                  We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                                                                                                  Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                                                                                                    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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