Dr. James Campbell, an architect and architectural historian at Cambridge University, spent five years researching libraries around the world for the “first complete history of library buildings.” The result is The Library: A World History, which includes many beautiful photographs by Will Pryce, who travelled with Dr. Campbell to over 80 libraries in 20 countries. Dr. Campbell notes that
“In contrast, the internet, the main threat to public libraries, is quite undemocratic because to access it you need a computer and a connection. …A lot of people think books are on their way out but interestingly there are more books being printed now than ever before. …Public libraries might be being closed in Europe but in other parts of the world like China they are being built. …In fact, one of the first things any country wanting to establish itself does is build a national library.”
The Telegraph has a great review of this 320-page book. You can read more and see some of the stunning libraries that are featured here and here.