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Libraries through a lens: Biblioteca Vasconcelos

Biblioteca Vasconcelos

Libraries through a lens: Biblioteca Vasconcelos

TORONTO-based librarian Thomas Guignard combines his passions for travel, photography and architecture by snapping pictures of libraries from around the world. He posts the results on his Instagram feed – @concretelibraries – and has now agreed to share some of his favourites with Information Professional readers. Working with Thomas, we will bring you some of the best examples of library design, both old and new, from around the world.

Thomas recently completed a Masters in Management of Library and Information Services through Aberystwyth University’s distance learning programme. In the first of the series, Thomas has chosen the Biblioteca Vasconcelos in Mexico City – the largest public library in the country, designed by Mexican architect Alberto Kalach. Officially inaugurated in 2006, it did not open to the public until 2008.

Thomas said: “I think the first time I became aware of this building was in 2010, and I remember wondering if the images I was seeing were renderings rather than actual photographs, so ­unreal did it look. The stacks piled high on either side of the vertiginous central atrium look designed for a world no longer constrained by the forces of gravity, where readers are able to float freely up, down and across the seven levels of shelves! I finally got a chance to visit it this spring and I can attest that it is indeed a real place, and that it is every bit as wonderful as I imagined it to be.”

The library hosts around 2,000 events each year, including book clubs, concerts, classes and workshops. Thomas adds: “If you ever find yourself in Mexico City, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Vasconcelos (but don’t forget your anti-gravity device)!”



Published: 21 June 2018

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