Case Studies of Overseas Libraries
Located on Fifth Avenue, the busiest artery in Manhattan, the New York Public Library served as the backdrop for the movie The Day After Tomorrow. In addition to providing reading services, the Library holds a great number of free activities every year, including activities for children, young people and the elderly.
Year of Completion ：1911
Library Website ：https://www.nypl.org/
Located in a prime area of Seattle, on Fourth Avenue, the Seattle Public Library was listed by the American Institute of Architects as one of Americans’ 150 favourite structures. In addition to serving a local population of approximately 650,000, the Library also attracts visitors from all over the world.
Year of Completion : 2004
Library Website : https://www.spl.org/
The Library Square, located in downtown Vancouver, occupies an entire block in the city centre. The Vancouver Central Library includes a café, a souvenir shop and a convenience store, while the square outside the Library serves as a meeting place for residents.
Year of Completion : 1995
Library Website : http://www.vpl.ca/branches/details/central_library
Located in downtown Birmingham, the Library of Birmingham is currently the largest public library in Europe. Nowadays, it is a social centre combining study, information and culture in a single complex. The Library’s renovation received great support from local citizens and the local government and is also known as the “People’s Palace”.
Year of Completion : 2013
Library Website : http://www.libraryofbirmingham.com/
With a population of less than 500,000, Liverpool boasts one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, established in an old renovated building: the Liverpool Library. This library preserves the original outer spaces, with stairs that run through the large span extending from the atrium to the top floor - the most distinctive mark of the library - providing a direct connection to all floors, bookshelves and reading areas. The 13th century rare book special collection (with 15,000 volumes) is stored in the original library (Hornby Library and Oak Room) and a local document archive is also available, with a collection of books dedicated to Liverpool, including local celebrities, events and districts.
Year of Completion : 2013
Library Website : http://liverpool.gov.uk/libraries/find-a-library/central-library/
The Stuttgart City Library won the Library of the Year Award in 2013. Its fully open design allows readers to climb directly onto the terrace to enjoy a beautiful view of the city. The building is particularly distinctive for presenting a large cubic structure and the library corridors are open to allow access to all bookshelves and reading rooms. The library also includes a “Library for Insomniacs”, allowing the 600,000 inhabitants of the city to rent movies and CDs 24 hours a day.
Year of Completion : 2011
Library Website : http://www1.stuttgart.de/stadtbibliothek/
Located east of Amsterdam Central, the Amsterdam Central Library is the largest public library in the Netherlands and is very conveniently located: it is a 5-minute walk from the train station and it is directly reachable by metro, tram and bus.
Year of Completion : 2007
Library Website : http://www.oba.nl/
Located in downtown Helsinki, with easy access to the city’s excellent transport system, the future Helsinki Central Library will offer everyone a public space, becoming a window for this creative city.
Estimated Year of Completion : 2018
Library Website : http://keskustakirjasto.fi/en/
This library consists of a large open space with no walls. Architect Toyo Ito drew inspiration from the concept of Minna no Mori (“Everyone’s Forest”) to design and offer the 410,000 inhabitants of Gifu the most beautiful library. Eleven 8-14m wide giant lampshades cover the different functional areas, allowing readers of different ages and cultural contexts to find their own reading space.
Year of Completion : 2015
Library Website : https://g-mediacosmos.jp/lib/
Located in the centre of Causeway Bay, it is the largest public library with the widest variety of services and the largest collection within the public library system in Hong Kong. It is the main hub and information centre of Hong Kong Public Libraries.
Year of Completion : 2001
Library Website : https://www.hkpl.gov.hk/tc/hkcl/home/index.html