Unfortunately, I was a bit side-tracked yesterday due to my love of all things Greek. If you haven’t been able to guess it yet, I am half Greek. Hence my love and touch with the culture. Maybe this blog is why we voted for Brexit? Who knows. Either way, it was enjoyable but now I want to get back to the original discussion. There are many amazing libraries in the world, and I wanted to create this blog to promote those same libraries and to share my love and enthusiasm for knowledge and wisdom. What do you know, the Greek in me wants us to learn!
I will be a little bit cheeky here and discuss an almost Greek library. However, this library is currently standing so I am not cheating too much here. I briefly discussed the Bibliotheca Alexandrina when discussing the Great Library of Alexandria, but the Bibliotheca is one of the most popular and famous libraries currently standing around the world. The library itself was only built 15 years ago, as the construction of the library had been completed in October of 2002. The reason I have decided to call it an almost Greek library is due to it being constructed after its namesake. The building is a major library and cultural centre built in Alexandria both in name and in the vein of the Library of Alexandria. It was built in remembrance of the great library.
There are a few reasons that the building and the design itself is so special for a library. When most people think of a library they think of a run-down building with books that are as old and decrepit as the building itself. However, the dimensions of this specific library are so large, that it could hold a total of eight million books on the shelves alone. This doesn’t even account for the number of books that could be stored. The actual main section of the library (the reading room) is 220,000 square feet, which is extreme on its own. Then you consider the fact that this main reading room has a grand total of eleven different levels to it.
The building was not only designed for the book space and the reading centre. The library itself becomes more of a complex when you consider the conference centre that it also homes. There are also 6 different specialised libraries built into the library itself, with four different art galleries to house temporary exhibitions for famous and local artists. There is also a section of the library built to assist disabled people such as the visually impaired and blind. There is a section created specifically for children with maps and multimedia. The library itself also has 4 separate museums and even has a planetarium built into the complex. Finally, the library has a grand total of 15 different galleries built into the complex for 15 separate permanent fixtures.
The architecture of the building itself is as impressive as the inside contents. One example is the roof that is inaccessible for most. There is a 32-meter glass panelled roof that you can see from the inside at the main reading centre for natural light. Apparently, the building had been constructed to point towards the Mediterranean coast, and to act the same was as a sundial simultaneously.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post, and tomorrow I want to discuss the British Library. There are many builders Manchester based companies lent to help construction of the British Library, and made us all proud to take part in. One such company was: