28 World’s Coolest Libraries

Any avid reader will tell you that it is a dream of theirs to have a private library at home. To be able to store and access our favorite books and novels and read in solitude is one of the many ways book lovers chill out and destress.

In a time where ebooks are fast becoming the norm and paper books are getting phased out, one might wonder about the relevance of libraries. It will be such a loss to the public if we had these beautiful reading sanctuaries taken from us. Luckily though, many are still standing in grandeur in city capitals and universities. And boy, are they breathtakingly gorgeous!

I have gathered 28 of the most elegant libraries in the world, and I’m sure that the bookworm inside you will want to visit each of them!

Study Hall, National Library of China

This is the National Library of China, which sits at the heart of Haidan, Beijing’s educational district. You can easily get lost in the grand architecture that is filled with bookshelves and the studious.

IMAGE: Tian-yu Xiong, National Geographic

Klemetinum Library, Prague, Czech Republic

The Clementinum (spelled Klemetinum in Czech) Library gives off a monastic feeling with its wooden floor and two-story high ceiling. It’s a library with great historical significance, located in Prague.

IMAGE: Avaxnews

Morgan Library, New York City, US

Started back in 1906 as a private library in the house of J. P. Morgan, this library now contains a lot of historical manuscripts, early printed books and prints, and old master drawings. It also includes a museum.

IMAGE: Rob Shenk

Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm Zentrum, Humbolt University

This hall of knowledge in Berlin, Germany, captures both retro and modernistic approaches in architecture. The bookshelves sit quietly on the sidelines while the study hall lies in the open, in a terraced arrangement.

IMAGE: Andreas Levers

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University

This library acts as a literary archive of the Yale University Library and and is home to rare books and manuscripts.

IMAGE: Serenade Rabbitnest

Stuttgart City Library, Germany

This is a 9-story building that was completed in 2011. This library has 4 stories in a four-sided design, and 5 upper storeys that forms the shape of a pyramid. The structure has a glass ceiling.

IMAGE: Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart

New York Public Library, US

The ever popular New York library is considered to be the second biggest public library in the United States. Aside from a diverse set of books and materials, it also features beautiful paintings on its ceilings.


National Art Library, UK

A public reference library for the fine and decorative arts, it serves as a big reference center with over 70,000 entries from all over the world and offers a space that is both calming and serene for book and art lovers.

IMAGE: Creative Houses

Chetham’s Library, UK

Considered to be the oldest free public library in the UK, Chetham’s Library is home to more than 100,000 volumes of old printed books, 60% of which were published before 1851.

IMAGE: Michael D Beckwith

George Peabody Library, Baltimore, US

Formerly known as the Library of the Peabody Institute, the George Peabod Library is probably one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

IMAGE: Matthew Petroff

Admont Abbey Library, Austria

This looks more like a chapel than it does a library. Not only is the flooring and ceiling beautifully decorated, when you are inside this place it’s as though you’ve taken a trip back in time.

IMAGE: Jorge Royan

Odenplan Library, Stockholm, Sweden

Know for it’s enormous central hall, the Stockholm Public Library in Sweden is used both as a library as well as the municipal library system of Stockholm.

IMAGE: Jorge Royan

The Leeds Library, UK

The Leeds Library is a two-storey building that was made in 1768 and is the oldest subscription library in UK.

IMAGE: Michael D Beckwith

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, Vermont, US

The St. Johnsbury Anthenaeum in Vermont not only serves as a public library holds an art gallery. This building looks beautiful from the inside out with a wooden interior that emanates that classic feel.

IMAGE: Don Shall

Nova Scotia Legislative Library, Canada

The Nova Scotia Library serves to bring the information needs of the Legislative assembly. It was originally the home of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia as well, thus explaining the paintings of Commanders on the walls and shelves.

IMAGE: Charles Hoffman

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

This is the very definition of grand and epic, all in one place. Ain’t that a sight to behold?

IMAGE: Irish Welcome Tours

Rand Club Reading Room, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Rand club’s dedicated library holds around 10,000 irreplaceable “treasures” with comfortable chairs for reading. Unfortunately it has member-restricted access.

IMAGE: Andrew Moore

Lincoln’s Inn Library, London, UK

This library is located in Lincoln’s Inn, London and contains a large collection of rare books. You can only stay and read here as borrowing is prohibited. Some sections are dedicated to rare books and manuscripts.

IMAGE: Mariusz Kluzniak

Strahov Monastery Library, Prague, Czech Republic

A beautiful library that was converted from a monastery. It gives off a vibe of age-old wisdom with its beautiful wooden shelves, coupled with the beautiful ceiling art.

IMAGE: Leah L.

Picton Reading Room & Hornby Library, England

Located in Liverpool England, the Picton Reading room and Hornby Library holds a vast collection of books.

IMAGE: Terry Kearney

Lappia Hall Library, Rovaniemi, Ireland

Here’s another view of the Picton Reading Room & Library. You can barely tell that they are the same facility.

IMAGE: Adrian Perez

British Museum Library, UK

This beautiful library used to be the “main reading room” of the British Library and was recently restored and reopened back in 2000.

IMAGE: Lars Kristian Flem

Adelaide City Library, Australia

The city library of Adelaide is known as a “place of possibility” and offers a dedicated section for “learning, challenging and conventional thinking”. You’ll be amazed with the glass ceiling that covers the middle of the roof.

IMAGE: Jon Westra

Concord Public Library, US

Described as an “invaluable” resource, the Concord public library looks breath-taking from the inside. The beatuiful windows let light into the building.

IMAGE: Liz West

Poetry Foundation Library, Chicago, US

A library dedicated exclusively to poetry, it aims to present the best poetry in English or in translation.

IMAGE: Steven Vance

Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia

The first private university in Malaysia has a highly innovative, enviable, modern library. It is a place of academic research, professional services, networking, and many more.

IMAGE: QS News2 Wow U

Mitchell Library, Glasgow, Scotland

One of Europe’s largest public libraries, the Mitchell library in Scotland is the center of the public library system in Glasgow.

IMAGE: Littleyiye

State Capitol Library, Iowa, US

Located in the capitol building of Iowa State, this library is often visited by government employees and the legal community for its collection of legal materials. It looks like a painting!


There are thousands of beautiful libraries out there waiting to be featured, so if your favorite library is not on the list, be sure to comment it below