Library Gawker

When I travel, I always like to pay a visit to the local library if I can find it.

Seattle’s downtown library is all sharp angles and contemporary. The exterior walls are all glass and metal. Inside the escalators glow neon green, and the floors are bright tangerine. The ceilings are high, and it’s very spacious inside. It was also packed on a Saturday. It reminded me a bit of a mall because of the traffic flow and all the people.

Seattle Downtown Library
Seattle Downtown Library - Interior

The library in the Iowa State Capital is a contribution from E. Check out the four stories of neatly arranged books. I’m guessing the contents of these books are more of a legal nature (the Supreme Court is housed in the same building). I wouldn’t mind spending a lot of time in a room like this, irregardless.

Library in Iowa
Library - Des Moines, Iowa State Capitol

Oddly, I don’t have any photos of my favorite local library. I need to remedy that once it stops raining.

Do you have a favorite library?


  1. Unfortunately, I don’t get around to my library much. 🙁 But, I must say, E’s library is simply incredible.

    And tangerine? Does that really help people relax? The green escalators sound cool though…

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      I don’t think the tangerine helps, but with all the noise, people, and few quiet corners to sit in, it hardly seemed like relaxing place at all. The architecture is kinda cool, but it wouldn’t be my ideal place to read.

  2. That library in Iowa has a very Harry Potter feel to it, doesn’t it?

    Dear Wife and I visted Trinity College in Dublin during our Ireland trip a couple years ago, to see the Book of Kells. In the process we also saw the library, which was also very Harry Potter – huge arched ceilings and several open floors of books. I really dig that old-world feel.

    Then again, if you’re actually looking to find a specific book, a modern library is probably a superior option.

    At our local library, we usually reserve books online and wait for them to come in. We’ll get an email when the books become available, and when we got to pick them up they’re on a reserve stack by order of the last-name of the library patron (i.e. us) – which makes it much easier to find our books!

    1. I like to do the online reservations at our library too, though sometimes I enjoy just browsing and looking through books I’m not as familiar with. I’ve stumbled on a few gems that way.

      Yes a bit Harry Potter, though even a bit Steampunk 🙂

  3. Oh my goodness, those are gorgeous!!

    The Cincinnati Public Library, Main Branch is pretty lovely too, on the outside. (Inside is not “lovely” but perfectly comfortable and nice.) I think my favorite library is less about aesthetics and more about nostalgia, though: growing up I could walk to my nearest library, and so I used to go there all the time. I fell in love with books and research there. I spent hours wandering the stacks. I still love it, even though I haven’t been in years… Found a lot of good books there. 😉

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      I spent a lot of time in library’s while I was young too. My favorite place in library was this mini amphitheater in the corner of the library, where the librarians would read books to kids. I loved reading time! Otherwise, that library was pretty ugly in an aesthetic sense. In a mini-mall, florescent lights, and industrial gray carpets.

      Don’t go as much as I used to these days…but yes good memories too!

  4. Oh yes, I LOVE the Seattle Library. A couple months ago my husband and I took a mini vacation in a nice hotel right across the street from that library. When we got to our room I just stood at the window gawking for minutes and minutes with this huge smile on my face. (I hadn’t realized just how good a view we were going to have.) My husband made fun of me – kindly – and confesses he thinks that was just about the geekiest thing he’s ever witnessed. Poor non-bookish dear, I do love him so… but we’re not exactly on the same page (haha) when it comes to libraries.

    Thanks for being someone who I can share this story with. I just KNOW you’ll understand.

    Terrific pictures, by the way!

  5. Wow, that interior shot of the Des Moines library is especially amazing, though I really love the modern exterior of the Seattle one, as well.

    Unfortunately, none of our libraries here are half that cool, heh, so no, I don’t have a favorite library. (I used to hang out at the design library at ASU, though, when I was enrolled there. I liked to sit by the windows look out over the street, watching folks walk by.)

  6. Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library. It’s in a building called The Forum which often has mini exhibitions or craft fairs going on. It’s very open and spacious and airy, which I like. It has a buzz in the air. I didn’t expect myself to like this – I’ve always believed libraries should be silent – but I do – it makes it seem friendly and welcoming and it’s not intruding when you’re trying to work.

    Both those libraries look gorgeous.

    To be honest, as long as it has lots of books and some desks to sit at, I’m happy.

  7. Theresa, showing libraries to writers is like showing a starving man a buffet meal. The library in Seattle looks incredible. What’s the next library you would like to visit and why? 🙂

  8. Dawn Butler

    I think Seattle’s Library exterior & interior is great, I like the unexpected contrast. Des Moines, Iowa’s Library is spectacular.

    My Library in Trinidad & Tobago, W/I, NALIS TT, Port of Spain is Great. You can google them at http://www.nalis.gov.tt

  9. How about Vancouver’s coliseum library?! =) Can’t forget our dear-old! I used to always head up to the 5th floor in the early mornings to take a seat by the windows.

    I also liked Whistler’s public library — more from the outside, very quaint. But the inside is very cramped. =P

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