Now, I love libraries. I mean, love them. And I thought I knew what was in libraries. Books, magazines, newspapers, microfiche, movies, music, and audio books come to mind without giving it much thought.
But when my mom visited me last month, we heard about a tour of the State Library of New South Wales and decided – why not? There must be something interesting in there if they offer tours.
Well, that's the understatement of the year.
They have several billion dollars' worth of cool stuff in there. Old letters and journals. Paintings. A skull. A lock of hair from Mary Shelley. Jewelry. Original handwritten manuscripts. A copy of every book published by an Australian writer. And so much more. Wow.
The tour took us up and down, around and behind. We saw tons of things the common patron doesn't see. And we found out that people from all over the world come there to do research. If there's something you want to see, you can just make an appointment to see it. How cool!
One room that is open to the public regularly without an appointment is the Shakespeare Room. It is so beautiful. All carved wood and stained glass windows and floor-to-ceiling bookcases filled with new and old copies of Shakespeare's works and books about Shakespeare.
And a window seat. Ahh, I'm in love. I asked if I could come in and just sit and read there. The tour guide said, “Please do!” Oh, Happy Kitty!
If you haven't checked to see if you have some kind of cool state library somewhere close by, do it. You might find they have something really awesome there!