10 Unconventional Libraries to Visit After the Pandemic

Many of us associate libraries with serenity. A sense of coziness brews as the smell of hot drinks transpire in the air. The sight of other people working reminds us that we are not alone to have responsibilities. As tranquil as it may sound, some of us might feel deep unease when the night is crawling in, when everyone starts leaving and we are left with only ourselves in the midst of endless of towering bookshelves. To make things worse, we at Daastan thought it would be appropriate to present to you 10 Unconventional Libraries you should visit once the pandemic is over.

10 Unconventional Libraries

1. Albena Beach Library

We will start off light and easy by introducing you to Albena’s Beach Library. Yup, you heard us correctly – it is a beach library established on the Black Sea resort in northeastern Bulgaria. A trip to this library is surely the perfect getaway trip for any bookworm. Buy yourself a sparkling mojito and lay down next to the crystal clear water as you dive deep into your chosen book. However, for your own safety you shall not get too comfortable. If Mother Nature is having a bad day she might summon a gigantic ocean wave that will swoop you off shore in a heartbeat. It is scary after all, isn’t it?

2. Sallie Trout’s Home-based Library

“Sallie Trout’s Home Library” probably sounds a bit creepy if you read it out loud with an eerie tone – but it is not a ghost story. In fact, Sallie Trout is a designer who is described as “whimsy” and “sophisticated“, as “bold” and “iconoclastic“. She certainly fits these adjectives seeing that she built her very own private library in her house in Austin, Texas. To add to the whimsicality aspect: the library is 40ft high and no ladders can be sighted in place, ever. The only way to reach the upper top books is to use the bosun’s chair. Once seated in this chair, your life will literally be hanging by a thread(s). Super scary.

3. Human Books at Human Libraries

We are all humans and there is perhaps nothing scary about that at all, right? This train of thought takes another turn when we are crashed by the idea of “human books” walking around at a “human library“. Yes, we know, it sounds oddly horrifying… But please, do not worry. Human Library is a non-profit global organization fighting against prejudice, and what was first established in Denmark has now reached 85 countries and counting.

The concept behind a Human Library event is to simply exhibit real-life humans instead of books. Readers loan real people who have stories they want to share about themselves, stories that society is still stigmatizing and discriminating against. The goal is to stop judging books by its covers and this can be done by enabling people asking difficult, but necessary questions for new insights to be gained. People from different cultures, with varying disabilities, and different conditions may volunteer as open books – and it is always most lovely to hear another person’s story live. Many more Unconventional Libraries like this are needed.

4. A Haunted Library in Disney’s Haunted Mansion

The moment you have been waiting for is here, we have finally arrived at a haunted library. Haunted mansion can be found in most of Disneyland’s parks and resorts around the world, but we are specifically going to be pointing fingers at the ones located in Walt Disney World Resort (Lake Buena Vista, Florida) and Tokyo Disneyland. Each mansion features a haunted library stocked with premium ghost stories ready to be picked up by the spirits that roam freely and heavenly. A ride through these haunted libraries is safely said going to be a spOOOOky ride.

5. La Tête Carrée Library – Nice, France

Before we get started on this one, we must warn you that the inside of Tête Carrée cannot be visited. Although we do think this is a blessing and not a curse. Tête Carrée library is essentially a 28m tall human blockhead sculpture. The scary part is that we do not know what this extremely still stone-head is thinking inside his box. Therefore, at any moment it can come to life and crush you. Donut say we didn’t warn ya!

6. Willard Library

Willard Library is situated in small-town Evansville in Indiana. It may seem calm and dandy at first glance, but it is not. Everyone in Evansville knows about the The Grey Lady ghost who was first sighted in the library back in the 1930s. Ghost cams have been set up in the library since 1999 to enable visitors monitor the rooms in the building for safety reasons. The haunting of Willard Library must be experienced during mid-October when ghost tours are offered for free to those who are brave enough to step foot in this terrifying building.

7. Biblioteca Vasconcelos – Mexico City

Are you scared of the Matrix movies? Wait, maybe you are scared of heights? Or perhaps you are scared of whales more than you are scared of heights? If you internally said yes to any of these questions then consider yourself lucky! You have just found yourself a library that will meet with all of those fears. Biblioteca Vasconcelos is a Matrix-like Megabiblioteca (mega library) that offers 38,000 square metres of space for its visitors to explore. Anything can happen in this enormous construction. However, we think the creepiest element has to be the sculpture of the dinosaur-like skeleton whale that is firmly placed in the middle of the building. Kind of reminds us of Jurassic Park too…

8. Alaska Resources Library & Information Services

Speaking of Unconventional Libraries, there are animals in this library! Cute, don’t you think? But guess what – they are dead animals. In Alaska Resources Library & Information Services animal taxidermy collectables can be loaned and studied by those who are interested. And if these type of things fall outside your realm of interest, then chances are high you will get very distressed when you suddenly find yourself situated right next to a zombie bear.

9. Pattee and Paterno Library

No one is prepared for this daunting but very tragic story of Pennsylvania State University’s library. On a late afternoon in November, 1969, college student Betsy Aardsma was brutally murdered in the library’s basement. Autopsy reports reveal that Aardsma died instantly as a result of stab wound to the chest. Although Aardsma’s body was found almost immediately, nothing could have been done to save her fatal injuries. Her killer was never caught and is still to this day on the loose. Over 50 years have passed since this unsolved mystery case occurred and Pattee’s library is now a transformed safe space for its students. Despite this, we cannot help but feel anxious of the thought of conducting late-night study sessions at this library.

10. Kenya’s Camel Libraries

To end this list, we present to you Kenya’s camel libraries. This one does not need any explanation. It just cannot get any scarier than camels running around with books and magazines. If you are currently booking your flight tickets to visit Kenya, then make sure to pack a suitcase filled with wheat. It will come in handy when you feed the camels – or else your favorite books will be eaten up for dinner by them!

Congratulations, you have made it through our list of 10 Unconventional Libraries to visit post-pandemic. Hopefully this helped you arrange your future travel plans! For now, however, keep exploring Daastan and check out our other recommendation blogs here.

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