If you are the kind of person who finds yourself shedding a tear for everything lost in the burning of the famed library of Alexandria or feeling melancholy over thousands of destroyed Mayan codices, you can take some heart. There are still a good number of historic public libraries watching over the collected printed history of humanity.
And though the digital age would have you believe that such collections are out of date, the majesty of these hallowed halls would beg to differ. Take the gorgeous Raza library in Rampur, India which is said to be the most important collection of knowledge in South Asia. Just in its largesse, this historical center tells a narrative of the history of the region that cannot otherwise be made palpable.
Spanning from the 6th century and situated around the world, Oldest has put together their top 11 choices for the most invaluable historic public libraries, which together house millions of books and historical materials.
Which one is on your bucket list?
Secret Library Gorgon, whose real name is Mel, told Bored Panda that being a librarian was never her intention but sometimes great things happen without you planning them.
“I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years but I became quite unwell about five years ago and had to leave my product design engineering role and course. I was gutted but I knew that recovery would take a while. I’ve always been a bookworm so I started looking for jobs in libraries and other environments to do part-time while I recovered. I love it so much that I hope I can keep working in libraries permanently.”
After chatting with a colleague about some of the quirks of their job, Mel started posting them on Twitter: “I figured a few of my fellow library assistants would relate. If I’d known how big it would become, I’d have proofread them first!”
“I saw most of the protesters were young. At the sit-in, they only had their phones and were reading from it. I then thought what if I bring them books so that they can read and protest at the same time,” Moalim, popularly known as Kabila, told Al Jazeera news.
The government will share £188,000 of funding through the Pub is the Hub project to help rural pubs diversify their offerings and help bring communities together by expanding their services beyond food and drink. Rural pubs are particularly threatened with fourteen pubs closing every week, and with austerity always at the forefront, libraries and community services are also under threat.