Reflecting on the April A to Z Challenge 2015

A-to-Z Reflection [2015]

A-to-Z Reflection [2015]

A Big Thank You!

Woohoo! I actually finished the A to Z Challenge on time this year. Last year I had some trouble and ended posting late but this April was an actual success. Well, mostly. I was super busy this month with classes, blog posting, and trying to keep my life together.

But I loved visiting all the new and wonderful blogs I discovered during the challenge. Even though I fell behind on commenting towards the end, I greatly appreciate all of the fantastic people who stopped by my blog.

This Year’s Theme

My theme for this year’s challenge was blogging about the most beautiful libraries from around the world. And I had an amazing time researching and sharing all of those gorgeous locations. I was really surprised by all of the breathtaking architecture and lovely book nooks from each library I was able to share.

Some of my favorites were, well, all of them. I really liked this year’s roundup even more than last year’s. You can check out all of my favorites here.

The League of Legendary Ladies

League of Extraordinary LadiesI also want to give a shout out to the awesome A to Z Team the League of Legendary Ladies:

I was an A to Z minion on the team and tasked with my, you know, miniony duties during the challenge. We all had a lot of fun.

What’s To Come?

Next year, I’m starting with an entirely new theme for the A to Z Challenge. It’ll be something bookish that’s for sure, and I hope you’ll join me again. In the meantime, I’ll be catching up on all the blogs I may have missed in April.

And I’m starting on catching up with the A to Z Challenge Reflections Linky List. If you haven’t already joined the list, you can still signup until May 10th. And be sure to check out the other bloggers’ reflections.

So what did you think of the A to Z Challenge?

Z is for France’s Bibliothèque Mazarine

Bibliothèque Mazarine

letter zOk, so I’ve had to play around with a lot of the letters towards the end of the A to Z Challenge. I admit it. There just aren’t that many libraries, cities, states, or countries that begin with the letters X, Y, and especially Z. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are next to none.

So I’m going out on a limb here and sharing the Bibliothèque Mazarine in Paris, France. At least I found a Z in there somewhere. The Bibliothèque Mazarine is the oldest public library in France.

It was first established as the personal reading paradise of Cardinal Mazarin and later became a part of the Palais de l’Institut de France in 1682. As you can see from the the photos below, the reading room of the Bibliothèque Mazarine is marvelous.

France’s Bibliothèque Mazarine

Exterior of the Bibliothèque Mazarine
Source: Flickr
Bibliothèque Mazarine
Source: Flickr
Salle de lecture Bibliothèque Mazarine
Source: Wikipedia
Bibliothèque Mazarine
Source: Andrei.s.free.fr
Bookselves Mazarine Bibliothèque
Source: Flickr
Bookselves Mazarine Bibliothèque
Source: Flickr
Mazarine Bibliothèque
Source: Flickr
Mazarine Bibliothèque
Source: Flickr

Thanks for visiting me during the A to Z Challenge. Did you miss any of the amazing libraries I’ve shared along the way? You can catch up on my entire A to Z Challenge here.

And be sure to check out the other awesome bloggers at the Blogging from A to Z sign up list.

Y is for the New York Public Library

New York Public Library

letter yToday we’re visiting one of the most iconic libraries in the world. The New York Public Library in New York, New York is truly magnificent. And I’m sure many of us are familiar with the pair of lion statues that guard the library’s entrance. The lions are called Patience and Fortitude and they’ve been on guard ever since the library opened its doors in 1911.

The New York Public Library is also known as the Main Branch and is considered a historic landmark in Midtown Manhattan. Many of the photos below are of the library’s famous Rose Main Reading Room, which houses grand chandeliers, brass lamps, and gorgeous bookshelves lining the walls.

New York’s Public Library

New York Library Lion
Source: Rainy Day Magazine
New York Public Library
Source: Flickr
New York Public Library
Source: Flickr
New York Library
Source: Flickr
New York Library
Source: Flickr
New York Public Library
Source: Flickr

Like with yesterday’s post for the letter X, I had to get creative again for today’s featured library. There’s a Y in New York, so let’s just say that counts. 😉

I’ll see you tomorrow for the letter Z as the A to Z Challenge comes to an end.

X is for Mexico’s Unam Central Library

Unam Central Library

letter xHow cool. I get to share another library that I missed in last year’s A to Z Challenge. The Unam Central Library in Mexico City, known as the UNAM Biblioteca Central, is the main library for the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

This gorgeous library is also a World Heritage site and was established in 1950. The library’s current collection is over 40,000 books. And as you can see, the building’s exterior is covered in fantastic murals representing the ancient past of Mexican culture.

Mexico’s Unam Central Library

Unam Central Library
Source: Open Buildings
Unam Library
Source: Flickr
Unam Library
Source: Flickr
Unam Library
Source: Flickr
Unam Central Library
Source: Flickr

By the way, there is an X in Mexico and that’s the closest I could come to posting a library that’s relevant to today’s letter, lol. See you tomorrow for the letter Y.

W is for the Wiblingen Monastery Library

Wiblingen Monastery Library

letter wWelcome back to the last week of the A to Z Challenge. There are still three letters to go before the challenge ends, so let’s get to today’s featured library. The Wiblingen Monastery Library in Ulm, Germany looks more like a palace than a center for books.

This monastery was founded in 1093 and then remodeled in the 18th century. Today the library displays a beautiful fresco ceiling and the loveliest bookshelves I’ve ever seen.

The Wiblingen Monastery Library

Wiblingen Monastery Library
Source: Flickr
Wiblingen Monaster
Source: Flickr
Wiblingen Germany Library
Source: Flickr
Wiblingen Library
Source: Flickr
Wiblingen Monastery Library
Source: Flickr
Wiblingen
Source: Flickr

See you tomorrow for the letter X.

V is for the Vennesla Library and Culture House

Vennesla Library and Culture House

letter vToday’s post features another one of my favorite libraries from around the world. The Vennesla Library and Culture House in Norway is gorgeously modern inside and out. Completed in 2011, this library serves as a book haven, a learning center, and a house of culture.

Don’t you just love this library’s space-aged interior and all those lovely little book nooks? Not to mention that ceiling. Wow! Surprisingly, not everyone loves this library. Some have complained that while the building is modern and looks great, its functionality as a library is, well, not so great. One Norwegian newspaper even said that the building was inconvenient for normal library use. Now isn’t that interesting?

The Vennesla Library and Culture House

Vennesla Library and Culture House
Source: Flickr
Library and Cultural Center in Vennesla
Source: Flickr
Library and Cultural Center in Vennesla
Source: Flickr
Vennesla Library and Cultural House
Source: Flickr
Cultural Center Library
Source: Flickr
Vennesla Library and Culture House
Source: Flickr
Vennesla Library and Culture House
Source: Flickr

See you soon for the letter W.

U is for the United Kingdom’s Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

letter uToday’s feature for the letter U reminds me of a library from last year’s A to Z Challenge. The United Kingdom’s Sir Duncan Rice Library at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland kinda resembles the Zurich University Law Library in Switzerland, wouldn’t you say?

The Sir Duncan Rice Library opened its doors in 2012 with a fairly modern design. The building contains 7 floors and houses a modern collection of learning and research materials along with some rare books and manuscripts. The library is open to students and the general Aberdeen area.

The United Kingdom’s Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library
Source: Flickr
Sir Duncan Rice Library
Source: Slate
TSDR Library
Source: Flickr
TSDR Library
Source: Flickr
Sir Duncan Rice hall
Source: Flickr
UK Library
Source: Flickr
TSDR books
Source: Flickr

See you tomorrow for the letter V.

T is for the Texas Armstrong Browning Library

Texas Armstrong Browning Library

letter tWe’re nearing the end of the A to Z Challenge and our quest for the most beautiful libraries from around the world. Today’s search lands us at the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

This library holds the largest collections of poetry from authors Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. According to Wikipedia, the library is also believed to house the largest collection of secular stained glass in the world. And this is another library location that’s often used for weddings.

The Texas Armstrong Browning Library

Texas Armstrong Browning Library
Source: Flickr
Texas Library
Source: Flickr
Texas Library
Source: Flickr
Texas Armstrong Browning Library
Source: Flickr
Texas Browning
Source: Flickr
Texas Armstrong Browning
Source: Flickr
Texas Browning Library
Source: Flickr

See you tomorrow for the letter U.

S is for San Simeon’s Hearst Castle Gothic Study

Hearst Castle Gothic Study

letter sWell, today happens to be Earth Day and it’s also my birthday. Oh joy. I’m getting older… Anyway, today we’re visiting a fairly old treasure on the west coast of the United States. It’s Hearst Castle’s Gothic Study in San Simeon, California.

Hearst Castle was built for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst in 1919, and the castle is now considered a National and California Historical Landmark. Of course, we’re interested in books and Hearst Castle’s Gothic Study has a magnificent collection of rare texts. Hearst’s private libraries reside on the castle’s third floor. The Gothic Study was where Hearst worked in a cathedral-like atmosphere.

San Simeon’s Hearst Castle Gothic Study

Hearst Castle
Source: Flickr
Hearst Castle Gothic Study
Source: Flickr
Gothic Study
Source: Flickr
Hearst Castle
Source: Flickr
Hearst Castle Library
Source: Flickr
Hearst Castle Gothic Study
Source: Flickr

I’ll see you tomorrow for the letter T.

R is for Ridgefield’s Jay Walker Private Library

Jay Walker Personal Library

letter rUnlike yesterday’s post in the A to Z Challenge, I actually have a library that matches today’s letter. It’s the Jay Walker Private Library in Ridgefield, Connecticut. This library is also known as the “Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination,” and it’s certainly full of imagination.

Sadly, this library is not open to the public. However, it serves as the personal reading space of American inventor and entrepreneur Jay Scott Walker. This 3,600 sq. ft. library holds over 50,000 volumes and has a maze-like design with artwork inspired by artist M. C. Escher.

Ridgefield’s Jay Walker Private Library

Jay Walker Personal Library
Source: The Roosevelts
Jay Walker Personal Library
Source: Cetra Pro
Jay Walker Private Library
Source: Mental Floss
Jay Walker Library
Source: Wired
Jay Walker Library
Source: Wired

See you tomorrow for the letter S.