We had an unforgettable midnight tour of the new Greek National Library during the Athens Congress with our wonderful spontaneous tour guide Sofi Gilda of IBBY Greece. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre library was alive in the darkness with readers, browsers, students drinking coffee and chatting amid the halls and shelves and walkways of this state-of-the-art work of art.
There must be so many beautiful, creative libraries and library services in IBBY countries around the world. Two of Ireland’s treasures are the 18th Century Long Room at Trinity College Dublin and the Marsh Library a few blocks away. The Long Room is a Hogwarts-worthy wonder lined with marble busts of great philosophers and writers.
Marsh’s Library, beside St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin is Ireland’s first public library dating from the 17th Century. The interior is beautifully preserved with oak shelves and three ‘cages’ in which scholars were locked to protect the books, complete with a skull on their desk to remind them of their mortality. A serious business, reading …