Aside from exploring museums and nearby tourist attractions, an increasingly popular holiday activity is visiting libraries. According to a recent report, library tourism is quickly becoming a travel genre of its own, attracting thousands of book lovers from around the world to remarkable locations.
The new trend is good for libraries too. Until very recently, many believe libraries were going to be replaced by the internet. In reality, libraries took the necessary steps to reposition themselves as more than just a place to read books. There are now more reasons than ever to visit libraries on your next trip.
The shift towards modern libraries began with some of the best libraries around the world making big changes to the exterior of the facilities. We now have amazing libraries that are beautiful and functional at the same time.
My personal favorite is the Library of Birmingham in the UK. The place is noted as Europe’s biggest library and is now one of the most beautiful buildings in the area. The exterior is wrapped in steel ornaments that mimic the classic toy, Slinky. Step inside and you will be able to access a majestic, panoramic view of Birmingham.
The place functions as the center of the city too. It has a gallery, performance stages, and multimedia corners. The latter features movies and films, so you can enjoy so much more during your visit to the library.
A Lot of Free Resources
There are also plenty of free resources you can access while visiting modern libraries. Naturally, you can read books – and digital copies – for free, even when you are not a library member. You can also download free eBooks and audiobooks from these libraries.
It doesn’t stop there either. There is usually free Wi-Fi with a high-speed internet connection. If you need to research the city, find more holiday activities to do, or simply send pictures to the cloud for friends and colleagues back home to see, then the free and fast internet connection is perfect.
Don’t have your laptop with you? Worry not, because modern libraries are also equipped with internet corners. You can borrow an on-site computer to access the internet. Just don’t forget to log out of your online accounts once you are done.
It is also worth noting that modern libraries are manned by trained librarians. Library science courses from universities such as the University of Southern California are designed to better prepare students for the challenges and needs of modern libraries. This is why the best online MMLIS programs now have updated curriculums. Students graduating with a library science degree are also more capable in helping library visitors.
You can learn a lot and get the assistance you need by visiting the local library at a destination city. You can ask about the best restaurants to try or the local attractions to visit. Since the librarians will be more familiar with the city, you can also get some interesting insights that travel sites don’t always provide. A visit to the local library can make the entire trip even more memorable.