LIS Group

Library & Information Science Professional's Group

bookmark bookmark
Admin On December - 6 - 2015

Unique Libraries Around The World

Books are a man’s best friend. And when it’s pre-winter, the bookworms of Kolkata head to the many old libraries around the city for hours of relaxed reading sessions.

library - CopyRows upon rows of shelves, the smell of old books and the silence -for a book lover, there’s no greater place than a library and no greater feeling than cooking up new ideas there. Sure the city has many uppity bookstores to offer but they will never be as satisfying as the good ol’ ones like National or Barabazar libraries. We take a look at some of the most amazing bookstores across the world that provide you with much more than just a quiet reading zone. Read on to find more.

Fancy a camel that stacks up your favourite books on its back? Well, your dream has come true! The library camels of Kenya, as they are popularly known, serve the nomadic population in the country with books. A programme which was started way back in the late 80s, these book toting humps just sit around in empty spaces, allowing you to come and choose your book, read it and then keep it back in the book trunk. Now that’s something everyone should experience!.


Forget about floating restaurants, the world has gotten its first, one-of-a-kind floating bookstore. In a tiny county called Hordaland in Norway, this floating library sails to more than 250 small communities on the islands of Fjords every year between September and April. On board, this vessel can house about 6,000 books at one time. A captain, a cook, a couple of libraries and one or two entertainers (clowns and a contortionist) make this library a unique experience.


Don’t go by the literal meaning of the name -this library in Argentina represents a dark time in the nation’s history. A mobile library which displays about 900 odd books, is in the shape of a tank (representing the Argentine War of Independence) and cruises along the streets of Buenos Aires and other smaller towns which do not have access to traditional libraries. It pulls up besides pedestrians and allows them to borrow books.


The camels in Kenya are not the only ones who deliver books to readers. A primary school teacher in Colombia, South America loads his donkeys with books and heads off to the rural areas in the town and delivers books to children, who have no access to a library.

These burros have introduced the joy of reading to these little children who wait eagerly for their `mobile library’ to arrive!


Well there’s nothing like walking into a bookstore, smelling the dusty tomes and asking for suggestions on books from the good ol’ librarian. But, to make reading easier and convenient for its patrons, a library in California is designed as a vending machine which is stocked with both fiction and non-fiction books. This library is open 24×7 and just like you would vend out a bottle of cola from the machine, you pay a fee and vend out the book that you wish to read. Taking the tradition forward, a few districts in Beijing, China have also followed suit.


While there are a bunch of free libraries across the globe, have you ever thought of converting your front yard or your mailbox into one? A few counties in England and Europe have converted their mailboxes into libraries and offer a free read to passers-by. These tiny libraries can house about 10 odd books and mostly cater to children in the vicinity. However, some of these libraries do stock up on books for adults and often charge a nominal fee. Talk about innovative hacks!

Categories: Library Science

Leave a Reply