Saturday, April 12, 2014

My Beautiful Libraries

When I came to Germany on foreign study, my fellow American classmates used their first free time to locate the nearest pubs. I ran to the local library and applied for a library card. True story.

So you see, libraries are important to me, and I've been lucky to have some amazing ones in my life. The two most memorable so far are these.

I grew up in Highland, Michigan. In 1982, the public library moved from the tiny old post office building (which I also remember) to the old Highland United Methodist church.

Photo courtesy of the Highland Township Historical Society
The Highland Township Public Library was like a second home to me. The librarians knew my name before I pulled out my library card. And I can still feel my feet treading on the thin carpet as I walk between the aisles, searching for the next great adventure.

I moved away before the library was transferred to its current location in 2002, and despite visiting Michigan often, I haven't made it into the new building yet. Not sure if I want to.

Now, I live in Herzogenaurach, Germany, where the public library is in a...castle. Yes, a castle.

Inside, chandeliers light the way to your next escape from reality.

In the children's section, there's a tiny, locked door. The top of the stonework is at my shoulder, and I set my backpack in front of it for scale. What is this tiny, ornate door for, you ask? It remains a mystery.

How about you? Do you have a favorite library? If so, what makes it special?

All pictures by me (especially the fuzzy ones) unless otherwise noted.

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