Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): King of Lullaby by Eiffel 65.
It's hard to say how I feel about libraries. They are a very real and integral part of me. So please excuse my self indulgence because this is a random amalgamation of links dedicated just to them. :)
First, from Finding Dulcinea, the World's Greatest Libraries, past and present. There is of course the great library of Alexandria, but there is also the Yuju Temple library of 7th century China and the Pergamum.
About a hundred years after the great Library of Alexandra was formed, another great library was established. After the ruler of Egypt banned the export of papyrus (the plant used to make paper) it is thought that parchment was developed in the city of Pergamum—in modern-day Turkey—which made possible the copying of books outside of Egypt, and the development of the Library at Pergamum. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, eventually the library, along with the entire city, was turned over to Rome, and some think that its collection was given to Cleopatra to become part of the Library of Alexandria.
It also covers modern libraries like the Library of Congress and the Queen's Library. Click here to read the rest of the article.
Here is a Wikipedia link to a list of larger libraries in the ancient world.
And here is something that made my heart melt into a puddle of joy and giddiness on the floor. 20 of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the World from Oddee.com. What I would give to spend a night in one of these. More body parts than I'd care to admit. Just looking at these makes me want to put a library scene in one of my books. Or all of them.
And included in this list is one of the most gorgeous private libraries--I personally believe--in existence. I saw an article on it years ago that had my jaw hanging open and my heart pining. I. Want. This. Library. I want to walk into this library. I want to touch the doorknob to this library. I would die happy. It is Jay Walker's private library.
Nothing quite prepares you for the culture shock of Jay Walker's library. You exit the austere parlor of his New England home and pass through a hallway into the bibliographic equivalent of a Disney ride. Stuffed with landmark tomes and eye-grabbing historical objects—on the walls, on tables, standing on the floor—the room occupies about 3,600 square feet on three mazelike levels. Is that a Sputnik? (Yes.) Hey, those books appear to be bound in rubies. (They are.) That edition of Chaucer ... is it a Kelmscott? (Natch.) Gee, that chandelier looks like the one in the James Bond flick Die Another Day. (Because it is.) No matter where you turn in this ziggurat, another treasure beckons you—a 1665 Bills of Mortality chronicle of London (you can track plague fatalities by week), the instruction manual for the Saturn V rocket (which launched the Apollo 11 capsule to the moon), a framed napkin from 1943 on which Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined his plan to win World War II. In no time, your mind is stretched like hot taffy.
From Wired.com in an exclusive look inside. Click here to read the rest (this is one article you don't want to miss).
And I must end on a personal note. I had the opportunity to go through the Library of Congress once. It is an incredible building. Here is a picture from a highly decorated panel waaaaay up on the ceiling. Yes, that is indeed a bunch of naked guys playing baseball. If you ever get the chance, ask them to tell you the story of why it is up there. It made me smile.