Prior to modern gadgets which are available these days where you can store everything including photographs, videos, and even books, there is a traditional place that most of the students and other people visit in order to have a quick reference of specific topic and for further information. Library is actually derived from a French word librarie and a Latin word liber which means book. The month of September celebrates the Library Card Sign-Up Month which actually falls on September 25, 2012. This is not just for students in all schools, but families are invited to come and register. It’s one way of supporting all school to keep students active, studios, and participative in all their academic activities. It’s a common knowledge that because of the contemporary tools available online, the essence of studying religiously is being forgotten because of the inconvenience that it actually gives to the students. There are different advantages that most of the educators and teachers have observed when it comes to traditional library against the technology-bound avenue through tablets using eBook applications and other websites that you can download or read specific book in the comforts of your home, or any place you go. Nonetheless, most of the libraries today have already adapted the influence of breakthrough by making internet access available when you sign-up or register to their library and obtain a library card. Its purpose is to allow other students to use the facility even they don’t have internet access at home, they can still take advantage of this privilege that can only be found in library in school or other public libraries in the metro, area, or city that you live nearby. Since we are in the month where everyone is being encouraged to get their own library card, you could thumb up on this list, and check the top 10 biggest libraries in the world, and know their capacity, size, and what to expect from them.
10. Institute for Scientific Information Russian Academy of Sciences (13.5 million books)
This library was established in 1724 and located at Leninsky Prospekt 14 in Moskow, Russia, which is being presided by Yury Sergeevich Osipov. It was founded for to support the Russian scholars when it comes to their research work through free access to their facilities, and to continuously collect scientific and manufacturing publication that can be used by the general public. It’s being maintained and governed under the Russian Federation. Nonetheless, just like any other regular and even small libraries that you know, you have to file personal requirements to get a library card which is part of their membership policy. It has a total of 13.5 million collections of books which includes gene biology, nuclear, and other findings which are all compiled in this library.
9. New York Public Library (14,685,192 books)
This is not just part of the top 10 biggest libraries in the world; it also assumed or secured its second spot for the largest libraries found in the United States. Of course, you can see this building in the busiest city of America, New York which is also behind the largest library in the world, the Library of Congress. You could find 53 million items, and giving an approximation of almost 15 million types of books inside. It is very systematic since they have different branches in order to serve well the individual needs for research purposes. It’s not being governed by any political leaders or parties since it’s a private ownership which is open to the public.
8. Harvard University Library (16,000,000 books)
It was established to support the studies, and research of their students who are enrolled and attending in their university. It’s operating under the administration of the central university where one could have access and privileges such as digital acquisitions, access through information technology, and other services that they have enlisted to provide primarily to their students. It was founded in 1638 and its size is about 16.6 M and its director is Helen Shenton. It has 73 branches and a total of 122 staff for its daily operation. The library itself contains around 90 libraries that have a total of 16 million books. It ranked number four as the largest library founded in the United States.
7. Russian State Library (More than 17 million books)
Its construction began in 1784, but it has formally opened to the public in 1786. It could be observed that two years were given for this library to be built. It has scheduled hours where it can be visited from Monday to Sunday that can be checked on their site. It’s exactly in 3 Moscow in Russia. Nonetheless, its foundation actually took place in 1862, and it’s considered the largest library in Russia, where you could find more than 275 km of shelves that consists of more than 43 million items which includes the 17 million books that they are maintaining and keeping. In fact, you could find around 247 languages of books which are carefully grouped based on their language to allow other foreigners to come, visit, study, and make research in this library.
6. The Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences. (20 million books)
This is another library found in Russia specifically in Saint Petersburgh which was founded in 1714. Its size is about 20.5 million which is their central collection. Hence, the purpose why it was established is to serve the scholars of the country and its employees. Its current director is Valery Leonov. Despite of the tragic fire that it did experience on February 15, 1988 that left major damage in most of their collections, they were able to retrieve some of the important documents. In fact, it has been restored gradually after that devastated incident, and it carries or maintains around 20 million books on their end.
5. The British Library (23,500,000 books)
This library is continuously growing when it comes to accommodating and collecting books in an up-to-date manner since they have a policy that whenever a new book in the United Kingdom is published, they would automatically receive a copy of it and it would be included in their daily and total collections which are already in archive. This is the reason why this library is growing because it does not only collect outdated books, but it accommodates new publications. In fact, they have the largest collection of items in the world that has reached 150 million items wherein 23,500,000 of which are books. Their oldest collection is dated back to 2,000 B.C. giving the reputation that it was established in 1753 which also includes legal deposit, volumes, and other titles. It’s being managed under the direction of Dame Lynne Brindley which is also the Chief Executive and Director of the British Library.
4. Deutsche Bibliothek (24,487,010 books)
It is considered national library in Germany which was founded in 1912. Unlike other libraries on this list, its main purpose why it was established is to make continuous collection of official German publications of documents and books. Moreover, it also includes other publications in other languages, but their main focus is books written in German language. It is situated in Frankfurt am Main, Leipzig in Germany, and the total items that they have already collected is 25.4 million items which includes the 24, 487, 010 books. They also have legal deposit since 1935, and they are requiring individuals or citizens from Germany to present a library card, but books can only be read in their reading rooms and cannot be taken home. Moreover, they also allow foreign visitors to read books provided that they will present their valid passport and they must be of legal age which is 18 years old.
3. National Library Canada (26,006,054 books)
This is actually one of the tourist attractions in Canada which is found at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa Ontario and this is open all-year round. Some of pieces of information that you have to know are the following such as it has more than 10 million publications in their library wherein some are published abroad, and majority are written and published in Canada. You could also make a reference of specific books from their library if you are working on specific thesis for school. They also hold Canadian music collection which is rare in any library established in the world. Some of their collections consist of tapes, sound recordings, records, personal papers, and music sheets. Moreover, they also have more than 26 million collections of books which include children’s literature, official publications, Canadian theses, and other rare books. This is open to all whether you are a student, public servant, an employee, researchers, and professors, and they are also holding musical and literary events in the entire year.
2. National Library of China (28,980,777 books)
It was officially established in 1909, but there were series of renovation made from the old building in 1987. Nonetheless, it does not depict the purpose that they have and that is to make preservations of Chinese documents and literature for the succeeding generations of Chinese people. It’s actually located in Beijing, China, and its size is about 26, 310,000 volumes, but it has a total of 28, 980, 777 books preserved, and compiled in the library. It is considered to be the largest library in Asia, and the only library cited or included on this list. They also created a website that can be accessed by citizens of china. It was actually formed under the Qing Government, but it was officially opened to the public for its first operation in 1909. They are also keeping other manuscripts, and other foreign practice books which are published in 115 languages.
1. Library of Congress (33,012, 750 books)
It still holds the title of the largest library ever built in the world. It is found in Washington, D.C. in America which was built in 1800. It has 151, 785, 778 items which includes the 33,012, 750 books. Its current director is James H. Billington, and it has a total staff of 3,597 to cater to the needs of their visitors, and members. If you have watched the National Treasure 2 movie which was star by Nicholas Cage, it was the same library where hidden book is located. This library aims to provide information about science, history, culture, and philosophy. Hence, it’s only open to the public, but with limitation to the Congress, and other high ranking officials in America. However, it also serves as one of the tourist attraction where they can also visit for academic research. It is also the oldest library that you can see in the United States.