A library is a mecca of knowledge. Although educational content has undergone a paradigm shift from books to online multimedia content, nothing can beat the utility of a library. It is also a place of social community gathering and an architectural marvel as well. If you look at the US itself, there are many libraries that have been there for centuries and have imparted knowledge to generations.
Making a list of the top 10 libraries in the US can fall under the category of being slightly biased as making a choice on various parameters can be a tad difficult. Nevertheless, the list goes as follows-
Best Libraries In The United States
San Diego Public Library
It might be a little surprising but San Diego Public Library has 36 branches sprawled all across the whole city of San Diego. They serve the purpose of many neighborhoods present around the place, with San Diego Central Library being at the core of it.
In 2013, the library got an architectural revamp and a new building was inaugurated. It has multiple purposes, like being a high school, a lab that provides free computer education for people, and even a space for people with disabilities.
The motto of the library is to inspire as many minds as possible through knowledge and education, and it has been the epitome of the same message for many years.
Kansas City Public Library
When a library gets a five-star rating from a body as prestigious as “Library Journal,” it is easy to believe that it is one of the best in the US. The parking garage which is designed like a giant bookshelf is a major attraction in itself. Other than being a conventional library, other activities like film screenings and hosting classes of ESL are commonly seen.
There is also a cafe inside for people to come and share their ideas. The library even goes one step further by arranging various programs for getting jobs, career advice, how to manage personal wealth, and taking forward a non-profit organization.
Thus, it is a self-sustaining ecosystem of knowledge in itself.
New York Public Library
The footfall that this library receives makes it comfortably one of the most-visited and popular libraries globally. It is a personification of how much a library can achieve. For example, the concept of Insta Novels, popularized by them, ensures that even the new generation develops a knack for reading.
You must have seen the backdrop or the architectural brilliance of the library in many movies and TV shows based in New York. In fact, you cannot give it a miss if you happen to visit the city. They have 88 branches and four labs exclusively for research with a sprawling campus. There is even something special for children who can come and enjoy their day here.
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District of Columbia Public Library
A famous library located in Washington DC is mainly famous for the high and precious volumes that are present in it. Also known as the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, has documents that are related to the black studies center.
The best part of the library is the Espresso Book Machine and a 3D printer. You can collect the content of your choice and get it converted into a book in a few minutes. Thus, you can customize your own book here.
There is also a program for engagement with the homeless population in Washington as a social worker interacts with them and tries to solve their issues. This has been made successful by the supporting organization of the public library itself.
Seattle Public Library
This is another public library that does just to its name by providing various services that are open and beneficial for the common man. The Central Library is the principal structure here and is made of steel and glass, which makes it a sight to behold.
There is also a Book Spiral which is a four-story staircase and has a number of non-fiction books. Any reader can actually access it without having to climb any of the stairs as such. The various services include providing passes for the kid’s storytime and the local museum for free and also organizing programs for writing as well as publishing. Anyone with an artistic mind will definitely love this place.
Free library of Philadelphia
The mission of this library is to guide literacy and inspire the learning and curiosity of the people, and it does pretty good justice to it. It scores high on the service to the community point as it has been known that it has been instrumental in teaching close to 25,000 people about how to read who in turn can help others to read.
They have quite a few centers that inspire a lot of people to communicate and share their ideas and engage in things that matter. Thus, it can be treated as a hub of knowledge and learning.
Boston Public Library
Although it ranks third in the US with respect to its size, it is one of the most influential libraries in the country, without a doubt, and is a book lover’s dream. The McKim Building, which is located in the Boston Central Library, has an aura about itself that can make anyone come sit with a book.
It boasts 24 centers which makes it a formidable unit of its own accord. The yearly programs are definitely an added bonus and include theatres, concerts, free plays for children, story times and dog therapies, to name a few.
Chicago Public Library
The fact that the headquarter of the American Library Association is situated in Chicago is proof of the fact that the city is full of avid readers. The central library center of the Chicago Public Library, called the Harold Washington Library Center, which is one of the 80 branches, is one of the most famous ones in the country.
There are multiple services that take place in the library throughout the year. This includes Music Programs, free lectures, and even help with homework for children for free. One big step that brought it to the limelight was the fact that they forgave all fines for any items that were overdue and cleared all the financial aspects in a jiffy to make the people of Chicago happy.
Hennepin County Library
This library consists of 41 branches, and they are characteristically known to have outreach centers, even in the suburbs, that reach out to the needy. One of their largest locations is the Minneapolis Central Library.
It houses a plethora of diversified options ranging from piano, gallery, technologically superior labs, roof garden, and special collections with a historical background. The Hennepin County Library has become a very good example of good library management for the whole of the US.
McAllen Public Library
It is one of the largest libraries in the US that is situated on a single floor. It has won multiple accolades for the services it provides, as it believes that information should be accessible freely to everyone from every community and sphere of life.
They have a very strong online presence and have received appreciation from many organizations. They have been known to have brought people together from different aspects of life and bound them through their love for books.
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