7 Best Public Libraries in the U.S.

Whether you’re looking to educate yourself about PCB finishes or just want a nice, relaxing picture book about puppies, the library is the place to go. If you’re in the U.S., you have access to some unique and beautiful libraries. Here’s our list of the seven best public libraries in the U.S:

New York Public Library

If you don’t know it by name, you’ve surely seen a picture of this gorgeous library. While the most famous parts are the two stone lions that guard its entrance, the interior is equally enthralling. Completed in 1911, the library has marble walls, grand chandeliers, and over 75 miles of shelves.

Geisel San Diego Library

The architecture of the Geisel San Diego library resembles a futuristic hand cradling a stack of books—indeed, that was the intention of designer William Pereira. The building is named after one of the most famous residents of San Diego, Theodor Seuss Geisel.

Crested Butte Library

This library was crafted from sandstone in 1883 in Crested Butte, Colorado. It’s among the oldest buildings in town, and one of the oldest standing libraries in the U.S.

Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library

The style of this beautiful library is gothic, and with its stained-glass windows it resembles a church. The entire building is carved from limestone and Germantown granite and looks majestic. Inside, everything is made from a dark wood and intricately carved. Several college seals are carved into the walls of the library: those of Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, Yale, Smith, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr, and Vassar.

Harold Washington Library

The Chicago Public Library is a favorite place for young students to study because of the Winter Garden’s glass roof, which offers abundant natural light all year long. The exterior of the library is made of red brick, joined by the glass rooftop and massive aluminum adornments. The result is a classical vintage building with a modern finish.

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

This library, located on Yale’s campus, expressly focuses on housing rare manuscripts and books. From the outside, it’s a plain and windowless stone edifice—but within, you’ll find a marble cave, constructed from many repeating marble cubes. Without windows and doors, the interior seems vast and contains within it a central tower of books that dwarfs the individuals inside.

Library of Congress

This library is a National Historic Landmark. When it was finally finished in 1897 after 11 years of construction, it was a work of art containing pieces from some of the most talented American sculptors and painters. You can only access this library if you’re a government-approved researcher, but you anyone can admire its marbled columns and the beautiful staircase.

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Written by Emma Radebaugh

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