Ivan IV (the Terrible) inherited a library thought to contain ancient works from Libraries of Alexandria & Constantinople. Afraid that books would be stolen, he ordered his men to bury the books, then executed them. He died before revealing the location. Searches for the library continue today.
Cambridge University Library has run out of room for its 9 million+ books and built a huge store to hold 4 million more. The first book they put in was Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
In 1895, UK prime minister William Gladstone founded a public library. Aged 85, he wheelbarrowed his personal collection of 32,000 books the ¾ mile between his home and the library. His desire, his daughter said, was to “bring together books who had no readers with readers who had no books”.
There is such an expansive collection of books under the British library in their archive, that if a person could read 5 books per day it would take the 80,000 years to complete.
The Sacramento Public Library started a “Library of Things” earlier this year, allowing patrons to check out, among other things, sewing machines and other items that patrons may find useful, but don’t need to own long-term.
A Malawian teenager taught himself how to build a windmill out of junk and bring power to his village. He then went on to build a second, larger windmill to power irrigation pumps. He did this all from books he read in the library.
There is a library that was built on the US/Canadian border. Exiting the library through the opposite entrance requires one to report to the country’s customs thereafter.
Antonio La Cava, a retired Italian schoolteacher, decided that after 42 years of teaching, he could do even more to spread the love of reading to children. So in 2003, he bought a used Ape motorbike and modified it to create a portable library that houses 700 books. He’s been traveling in the Bibliomotocarro ever since.
There are libraries around the world in which you can check-out humans as a living book and listen to their stories.
There are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the United States.