Libraries of My Life

This wouldn’t be a proper book blog if I didn’t spend some time gushing about beautiful libraries. I’ve spent my fair share of time studying, working, and browsing in libraries. My mother is a librarian, and my sister and I have both worked in libraries. At least for my age (early twenties), I’m probably an expert concerning libraries. Recently, I stumbled across Business Insiders’ article on The Most Beautiful Library in Every US State, and I obviously wanted to share this with you guys. I wanted to also share a few of the beautiful libraries I’ve spent time in during my short life thus far.

You might even learn a little more about me as well…

Ohrstrom Library, St. Paul’s School — Concord, NH

a view from the outside
a reading room area
a larger reading area

Our first stop is St. Paul’s School’s Ohrstrom Library in the capital city of New Hampshire. St. Paul’s is a private high school that is renowned for its strong academics. During the summer between my junior and senior years of high school, I participated in a program at St. Paul’s School and was able to use the Ohrstrom Library. I studied Ancient Greek, and I loved memorizing the ancient Greek alphabet, reading classical plays, and writing papers with my classmates in the ancient Greek and Roman literature room.

In this link, the architects detail the design of the library and explain some of the background. (It’s also where I found the gorgeous pictures!) I love libraries with large windows and the third picture above shows exactly why–the natural light. It’s nice to remember that there is an outside world when it can feel like you’ve been hunkered down in a studying session for far too long. This library could probably rival some college libraries.

Gale Memorial Library — Laconia, NH

an aerial shot–here you can see the original side (left) and the renovation (right)
front of the building facing Main Street during winter
an inside shot with the circulation desk to the left

Next, we’re traveling North and stopping in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. The Gale Memorial Library is located in downtown Laconia, but first opened in 1879 in a rented room in The Folsom Block. The main building was constructed in 1903, and a children’s wing was added in the late 1950s. This wing was updated in 2007 and now looks more in line with the original design.

On this page, the architects discuss the most recent renovations. Although on the smaller size, this library is the epitome of cozy and everything I could ever dream of in a town library.

Dimond Library, University of New Hampshire — Durham, NH

front of the building
a reading room before opening on a snowy Saturday
a shot of my desk while hard at work on my senior capstone, feat. a coffee from Zeke’s Cafe

And now to the Seacoast of NH… If you couldn’t guess, I attended UNH, and spent the better part of four years in this very library. When I wasn’t studying, finishing a paper, or grabbing a coffee from the in-house cafe, I was working. That’s right, I had a work-study position in which I helped fearful freshman, hurried professors, and wandering patrons with anything they needed.

I love Dimond Library because of its expansive collection, numerous–and I mean numerous–studying spots, and the large windows that bring in wonderful natural light, which sometimes you forget about when studying for exams for hours on end. In case you’re wondering, my favorite reading room was on the fifth floor–it’s not as large as the ones on the third floor and just seems cozier. I also love that this library offers a great multimedia collection with some classic movies and musics. Honestly, you could spend days or even a week just sifting through the music collection.

Do you have a favorite library?


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