July 3, 2010

Help me compile a list of quirky libraries

I am working on a list of quirky libraries. The criteria are as follows:

  1. Exists for a quirky, artistic, or demonstrative purpose – in other words, not a normal library intended mainly for study, even if it is about a quirky topic (like medical history)
  2. Not too serious or ambitious in intention or realization
  3. If serious, then about something small in scope
  4. Not considered too important
  5. Identifiable as a library in some way
  6. Must have either a physical location or a real-world exhibition series or other ongoing physical manifestation of some kind (otherwise too many things could qualify)

Emily Drabinski helped me gets started, and we came up with these:

Please comment to add your ideas, and share with art librarians who may be interested.


  1. First thought – the Prelinger Library in SF: http://home.earthlink.net/~alysons/library.html

    Fun idea!

    Comment by Elisabeth — July 3, 2010 @ 11:25 am

  2. Yeah, that was one of the first ones I thought of too, but I decided it’s too huge and institutional. I know Rick would not like to hear that, but the collection is pretty gigantic, and it has institutional support and practical aims. Dunno, I guess it’s rather borderline.

    Comment by Rory Litwin — July 3, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

  3. How about:

    Chicago Underground Library

    The Brautigan Library:

    Comment by Adam — July 4, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

  4. how about textfiles.com?

    the print archives are available by appointment, i think


    Comment by caleb — July 7, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

  5. I think I accidentally deleted a comment here. Something about clowns? The word clowns made it seem like spam. Please post again if legit.

    Comment by Rory Litwin — July 21, 2010 @ 4:38 pm

  6. It was me who make the post upon clowns.

    Here is the info once again.

    The Clowns Gallery is attached to the Holy Trinity Church on Beechwood Road
    in Dalston (East London).

    Within the building is kept the egg register:
    ‘This shows the make-up (known as “slap”) used by clowns both past and present. It is an unwritten rule that a clown never copies the make-up of another clown – each one is unique and is designed to suit the individual’s face.’

    For more info on the church,
    the gallery & it’s archive,
    plus the annual clowns service which takes place there see:


    Comment by Martyn Lowe — August 1, 2010 @ 12:09 am

  7. Kramer auto Pingback[…] to educate kids on library use. (Also available for purchase!) If you know a quirky library, send it in to Library Juice; they're compiling a list. (Incidentally, the Reanimation Library is having a book sale this […]

    Pingback by Folderol - a Spooky Librarians Production — March 31, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

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