Sunday, October 10, 2010

Librarians on vacation

I often visit libraries when we travel. All public libraries have much the same mission, but how they carry it out varies a lot. I know I'm not the only librarian who does this, and since we love to share ideas, it's usually possible to get a behind the scenes tour if you want. Or just stroll around anonymously.

This August I went on a a family vacation that was truly amazing. We toured Istanbul, a few Greek islands, and Athens. I saw the library at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul (no books there anymore), the remains of the library in Ephesus, and the site of Hadrian's Library in Athens. My niece is a librarian, too, and she and I made sure we took photos to commemorate our visit.

I like thinking about the long history of libraries. Whether they were built to demonstrate a particular ruler's importance or from a sense of civic pride, libraries have been one way cities and countries demonstrate a commitment to their citizens and to the future.

The photo here is of the library in Ephesus.

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