Before I became a Librarian I never really considered a library as a tourism destination. I travelled a lot when I was younger, yet rarely stopped in at many of the wonderful libraries in the cities I visited. Even when I was desperate for a computer or internet, I would go to Apple stores, MacDonalds or café’s to use the free Wi-Fi (blasphemy!). But now after completing my LIS education and working in the field, I have discovered the wonderful world of international libraries (and those in my home town too).
On a recent trip to Adelaide I saw one of the world’s most beautiful libraries (according to the Huffington Post). It was an amazing place to visit and also allowed me to share with my partner something I have a passion for. He’s a carpenter and was just as interested in the stunning architecture as I was in the history and holdings. I took advantage of my new knowledge and took my German friends, who were on holiday in Melbourne, to our State Library. I am really quite astonished that such breathtaking places are so rarely thought of as a place to visit when travelling.
Not only do libraries offer wonderful art and historical exhibitions to learn about the area you are visiting, they are awe inspiringly beautiful. And on top of all that, they are extremely practical places to visit – you can book your transport or hotel, get out of the heat/snow, pass the time while waiting for the transport you just booked, or even read. I only wish I had started these visits at the beginning of my many travelling adventures.
As a library and information services professional – do you visit libraries when you go travelling?
– Michelle De Aizpurua, ILN Content Officer.