The World’s Best Public Libraries

For the last two years I’ve been walking around with a bit of red cardboard in my glasses case. The item in question is black on the reverse and the word ‘Silence’ is inscribed in small gold letters. What is this strange thing? It’s actually a box that once contained earplugs, taken from a Virgin Atlantic flight, probably one from Sydney to London via Hong Kong.

The point of this story is that after 2 years I’ve finally looked at what’s written on the red side of the card and it’s a list of the best libraries in the world. I have no idea where this list came from, but a wild guess would be some inflight magazine or other. Anyway, here’s the list.

1) Bibliotheca, Alexandria, Egypt
2) Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (part of New York Public Library)
3) Customs House, Sydney
4) Kyoto International Manga Museum, Japan
5) Cardiff Central Library, Cardiff
6) The Royal Library, Copenhagen

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4 Responses to The World’s Best Public Libraries

  1. Bradley says:

    What’s the definition of ‘best’ libraries?

  2. Richard says:

    You tell me! Highest quality or best overall user experience I’d imagine.

  3. For more inspiration on Better Libraries, or rather Beautiful and Amazing library buildings, feel free to visit my “Guide Michelin of Libraries”-Pin Board/Group at

  4. Pingback: The World’s Best Public Libraries | Plan to dominate libraries

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