A Wealth of Knowledge: 7 of the Best Libraries Around the World

There’s nothing quite like spending a few hours discovering the ins and outs of a library

There’s nothing quite like spending a few hours discovering the ins and outs of a library and getting lost in a good book. These cultural landmarks have lasted centuries – take a look below at seven of the most beautiful libraries around the world.

California State Library – Sacramento, California

The California State Library was founded in 1850 located across the street from the historic State Capitol in the heart of downtown Sacramento, and has been a landmark of the city ever since. The Library collects, preserves, generates and disseminates a wide array of information, holding an expansive collection of over six million items including books, old newspapers, historic maps and artwork. www.visitsacramento.com

San Diego Central Library – San Diego, California

Unveiled in 2013, San Diego Central Library is a unique landmark in the city, designed by US architect Rob Quigley. Spread across nine floors, the library is more than just books; there are bay view terraces, roof gardens, a cafe and an inspiring reading room beneath the lattice dome to enjoy. Bookworms can discover more than 5.3 million different books in the library, including e-books and audio-visual materials. The library also hosts regular events and exhibitions spotlighting local artists. www.sandiego.org

West Hollywood Library, – West Hollywood, California

Spread over three floors, the West Hollywood library features reading lounges, integrated computer and technology areas, group study rooms, as well as a career development centre, special collections, children’s library and theatre, teen centre, community meeting room, multi-purpose sloped floor meeting room, a cafe, bookstore and TV station. The library has a stature as a key civic asset in the city and offers views from its upper floors of both the city and the Hollywood Hills. The architecture models the austerity of mid-century modernism in southern California, combined with the flamboyance of the Spanish baroque that characterises some of the earliest buildings established in California. www.visitwesthollywood.com

Yosemite Branch Library – Yosemite Mariposa County, California

The Yosemite branch of the Mariposa County library is located in a building that dates back to the park’s early days. It has just one room with a rugged rock fireplace, perfect for a cold winter’s day to sit by with a book in hand. www.yosemite.com

Takeo City Library – Saga, Japan

With incredible architecture, a coffee shop and an extensive library, Saga’s Takeo City Library is one of Japan’s most popular public libraries. After undergoing an extensive renovation in 2013 which nearly quadrupled the amount of yearly visitors, The library is more of a cool modern bookstore than an old stuffy library. Peruse nearly 200,000 books of all genres, including the latest magazines, while enjoying a delicious cup of coffee from the cafe. www.japan.travel/en/uk

National and University Library – Ljubljana, Slovenia

Situated in the centre of Ljubljana, the National and University Library is an important historical landmark first established in 1774. In 1930, Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik created a new building dedicated to the educational institution which is said to be one of his greatest achievements. The library is home to over one million books. www.slovenia.info/en

Seattle Central Library – Seattle, Washington

Redefining the way the world experiences literature, Seattle Central Library is a futuristic library with a glass exterior which overlooks the beautiful city landscape. Seattle Central is the flagship library of the Seattle Public Library system which is made up of 27 branches. The 11 story glass and steel building is situated in downtown Seattle and is an iconic attraction which entices travellers to wander for hours. visitseattle.org