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Urban Revitalization Through Libraries

Cities across the world are investing in their libraries as opportunities to create world-class architecture and tourist attractions.

"Though long overdue, libraries are finally starting to get the respect they deserve. Despite reports of their demise, they have not only survived the onslaught of civic poverty and computerized knowledge, they have thrived."

"Cities around the world are investing in libraries as never before. In some instances, new libraries have created their own "Bilbao effect," changing the very image and perception of a community. The most celebrated example is that of Seattle, which famously hired Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas to design its new main branch. The result is one of the most original buildings of the 21st century. Most remarkable, it isn't just another pretty face; it actually functions."

"Even more interesting in some respects was the 2002 "reconstruction" of the legendary Alexandria Library in Egypt. Destroyed in antiquity, it has been now been dramatically replaced by the Norwegian architectural firm, Snohetta."

Full Story: Librarians at the gate

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