7 Of The World’s Coolest Libraries


Libraries are magical places full of stories and knowledge. Many of us visit our local libraries on a regular basis. However, some libraries stand above the rest whether with content, architecture, or even lack thereof. Here are 7 of the coolest libraries you have probably never heard of!

Started by Luis Soriano, Biblioburro is a mobile library carried on the backs of donkeys. Soriano is a school teacher in Colombia who takes packs loaded with books and uses his donkeys to tote them to rural Colombian villages to children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to books. However, Biblioburro isn’t the only small mobile library around. Libraries across the globe are taken from place to place by mules, camels, motorcycles, horses, and even elephants.

Soneva Kiri Resort Library
On a rocky, seaside slope in Thailand rests the library of the Soneva Kiri six star hotel. Shaped to resemble a manta ray, this structure is made of Thai bamboo and local River Red Gum. The structure is not only a library but also includes a sleeping pod, cooking cave, and vegetable garden. Built in 2007, it was designed to shade and protect from the tropical climate as well as utilizing natural light to illuminate the interior.



Gladstone’s Library
Paying tribute to William Gladstone, Gladstone’s Library is Britain’s finest residential library and its only Prime Ministerial Library. Founded in the Victorian Era by Gladstone himself, the library was a crowning achievement of his later life. In addition to the fantastic architecture and the over 150,000 printed items the library possesses, visitors can also pay £66 a night to stay at the library which has bed and breakfast amenities.

Library of Muyinga
In Muyinga, an area in northern Burundi, a library was built for local deaf children. The library was designed by the Belgian practice BC Architects. The structure is made of local materials such as pressed earth bricks that were made on site, and it was specially made to naturally ventilate and guide the hot humid air of the Burundi climate. The space has maneuverable wooden screens, ample exposure to natural light, and a custom-made hammock hanging over reading areas.
Kansas City Central Library
This Missouri library is decorated in a very peculiar way. 22 colossal facades made of mylar and concrete were fashioned in the style of popular books such as Catch-22, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Charlotte’s Web. In addition to the monolithic titles on the outer walls, the library contains several special collections including the local history of Kansas City and an extensive collections on African-American history and culture.


Trinity College
In Dublin, a library that has been open for over 400 years and contains over 6 million printed volumes sits still in use. The library of Trinity College is the largest library in Ireland. In addition to its vast number of volumes, the library contains some incredibly rare books and manuscripts including the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow. The space known as the Long Room is where many of their books are kept. It is a two-story room with an arched ceiling and it is the most recognizable part of the library. 


Brooklyn Art Library
Started in 2006, the Brooklyn Art Library is a place that seems unassuming at first glance, but the shelves hold something very different. The library holds the world’s largest collection of sketchbooks, and they also maintain a digital library with images scanned from many of the books. The library holds almost 40,000 sketchbooks on site with around 20,000 of them scanned into the digital library. The library was crowd-sourced from locations all over the world with artists from countries all over submitting their books to the project. Since its opening, there have been over 260,000 sketchbook checkouts.



How To Request A Book Through Interlibrary Loan

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It happens to the best of us: you’ve found a great book by searching our catalog, but it’s not available at our library! What can you do?

One option is to request the book through our Interlibrary Loan system.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service provided to obtain materials that are not available at Union University and to loan materials found in The Logos to other libraries. Two ILL systems are used by Union – OCLC and Docline. OCLC is a nationwide interlibrary loan system used by libraries of all types. Docline is a nationwide system used primarily by health sciences libraries.

Current Union faculty members, staff and students may request library materials not available in The Logos, within guidelines. Guests do not have access to ILL.

What does the ILL process look like for you?

  1. By filling out an ILL request form, available on the library website, you can request to have the book delivered to our library.
  2. Then, the book will arrive through “snail mail,” which can take 1-2 weeks.
  3. The book will have an “ILL cover” on it, which indicates its due date.
  4. When you’ve finished the book, you will return it to the library’s Circulation desk.
  5. The book will be mailed back to the library from which it was borrowed.


For questions about ILL, check out the library’s Interlibrary loan policies.

Featured Book: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition”


For Harry Potter fans, nothing’s better than more Harry Potter books and movies! The library has just acquired the beautifully illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay. This new version of the 1997 classic features colorful, entertaining depictions of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and friends.

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For fans of the original book, the library has the non-illustrated copy and an audiobook version as well. We also have the Harry Potter films!


Amazing Women In History



Throughout history women have done amazing things. Unfortunately, many of those things are ignored or even deliberately erased. However, there are still many examples of the astounding things that women have done and the contributions that they have made to society. Whether it comes to writing novels, commanding politics, or curing diseases, we know the ladies can do it. We at the Union University Library have put together a list of seven of the coolest ladies to hit the history books!


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Janet Guthrie was the first woman to drive in the Indy 500.
Janet Guthrie was an aerospace engineer cut from the space program due to her not having a PhD. So instead of becoming an astronaut, she decided to burn rubber instead. She became the first woman to qualify for the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Difficulties with machinery kept her out of the 1977 Indy, but the next year she finished in 9th place even though her wrist was broken. I mean, I don’t know about you but I can barely even wash my hands when I have a paper cut, let alone finish a race with a broken appendage.
Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman on the supreme court.
Nominated by Ronald Reagan, O’Connor was confirmed the September of 1981. She had only been a judge for a few short years, but that didn’t stop her. Even though she had never before served on a federal court, she became known as a thoughtful centrist. After a successful career she retired in 2006.
Madeleine Albright was the first female Secretary of State.
During the good old days of the 90s, Madeleine K. Albright became the first woman to hold the office of secretary of state. At that time, she was the highest ranking female official in United States History. Even before she was asked to be apart of President Bill Clinton’s Cabinet, she had served as America’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States.
Elizabeth Blackwell was a determined, intelligent, abolitionist woman. She was born in Bristol, England, and later moved to the United States with her family. Wanting to become a licensed medical practitioner, she applied to many schools, but due to the prejudices at the time, she was almost unanimously turned down. She was accepted into Geneva Medical College almost on accident. She persevered through and earned her degree. Her sister, Emily, was the third woman in the United States to earn a medical degree.
Chien-Shiung Wu worked on the Manhattan Project.
Instrumental in the development of nuclear weapons, Chien-Shiung Wu is often referred to as the first lady of physics. She was noticed by the U.S. government for her work in nuclear fission. She was invited to work on the project at Columbia University, and she helped create a process that allows us to extract large enough quantities of uranium to fuel the bombs.
Gertrude B. Elion found treatments for diseases using chemistry.
After losing her grandfather to cancer, Gertrude Elion decided that she would be the one to find a cure. However, after earning her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, she found she was running up against a brick wall. Because she was a woman, no one was taking her seriously within the field of chemistry. Nevertheless, she persisted through it and earned her Master’s degree at a good time. Because many of the men of the United States were off fighting in World War Two, employers were forced to take women more seriously. Eventually hired by Burroughs Wellcome Laboratory, Elion found chemicals that aided in the treatment of AIDS, childhood and adult leukemia, kidney transplant rejection, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, malaria, urinary tract infections, gout, kidney stones, herpes, shingles, etc.. She received the Nobel prize for Physiology or Medicine during 1988, was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1991, became the first woman inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame, was chosen as a foreign member of the Royal Society in the UK, became a professor, and earned several honorary doctorates all without a formal PhD.
Murasaki Shikibu wrote the world’s first novel.
During Japan’s Heian Period, the work commonly considered the world’s first novel was written by Lady Murasaki. Lady Murasaki’s work, The Tale of Genji, was written during a time where it was common for court women to write poetry, fiction, and diaries. These women are attributed to developing a Japanese script suitable for the language while their male contemporaries continued to write in an awkward, scholarly for of Chinese. Scholars believe that Lady Murasaki began to write The Tale of Genji either shortly before or after the death of her husband. She was described as being fond of her stories. In addition to her diary and The Tale of Genji, she is also the author of an anthology of 128 poems. Many scholars believe that she died at the age of 41 during 1014.

Student Assistant Appreciation!

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April 8th-14th is National Library Week! Today, we’re taking time to recognize our student assistants.

We love our student assistants here at the library! They shelve books, help patrons with printing & finding resources, give directions & tours, work on library projects, & so much more! If you interact with a student assistant today, thank them for all they do.


*listed above are the Circulation student workers, but we have student workers in other departments as well! They will be featured in another thank you post soon!

National Library Week


Did you know that April 8th-14th is National Library Week? This year, the theme is “Libraries Lead.”

Here’s a little history about how this celebration started, courtesy of the American Library Association’s website:

The National Library Week 2018 celebration will mark the 60th anniversary of the first event, sponsored in 1958.

In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. The committee’s goals were ambitious.  They ranged from “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time” to “improving incomes and health” and “developing strong and happy family life.”

In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme “Wake Up and Read!”

Come by our  library this week & catch up on your reading! Or visit the public library in Jackson to celebrate our local community. Libraries lead in literacy, information sharing, and free resources!

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Our library will be offering free baked goods in celebration this Thursday. Grab a cookie or two before they run out!

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Myth-Shattering Fun Facts


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Human beings pride themselves on their extensive and diverse knowledge of the world, but sometimes information gets confused along the way. Misunderstandings, urban legends, and flat out lies can infiltrate what we believe is common knowledge. We at the Union University Library have put together some of the most myth shattering facts to bring to you. Prepare to find out that everything you thought you knew is wrong!


Myth: Sugar Makes Kids Hyper

Fact: Sugar doesn’t actually make children hyper. Studies have found no discernible difference in hyperactivity dependent on sugar consumption.


Myth: The Chinese Invented Fortune Cookies

Fact: Fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco by Japanese Immigrant Suyeichi Okamura. They became associated with China when America entered WWII and Japanese people were shipped to internment camps. Businesses began making fortune cookies like Okamura did and shipped them to Chinese restaurants.


Myth: Cracking Knuckles Causes Arthritis

Fact: Since the cracking sound in one’s joints is only caused by gas bubbles, it’s not going to hurt your knuckles or cause Arthritis.


Myth: Twinkies Never Expire

Fact: They do expire, actually. Their shelf life is a minuscule 45 days, only 10 of which they spend on the shelf. It’s probably best for you doomsday preppers out there to nix this particular pastry from your end of the world food supply.


Myth: We Don’t Know How Bumblebees Can Fly

Fact: Sorry folks, the Bee Movie lied to you. The mechanics of bee flight are well understood from both biological and physics standpoints. The fuzzy little pollinators know what they’re doing.


Myth: You Have Swallowed Spiders In Your Sleep

Fact: No need to scream, you don’t actually ingest spiders in your sleep. People make too much noise and cause too many vibrations for spiders to want to be anywhere near your mouth.


Myth: Iron Maidens Were Used as Medieval Torture Devices

Fact: Iron maidens were not an invention of the Middle Ages, but rather a scam. They were pieced together in the 1700’s to sell tickets to them as an attraction.


Myth: Meteorites Are Very Hot After Entering The Atmosphere

Fact: While friction from entering the atmosphere can raise the temperature of a meteorite, they aren’t red hot. Many meteorites are, in fact, found with frost on them.


Myth: George Washington Had Wooden Teeth

Fact: While he did have dentures, they were not made of wood. They were made of animal teeth, hippopotamus ivory, lead, and even gold.


Myth: Ancient People Believed in a Flat Earth

Fact: Pythagoras proposed the idea of a spherical earth some time around 500 B.C.. This idea was commonly held by intellectuals such as Aristotle and Plato.


Myth: Chameleons Change Color to Blend in to Their Surroundings

Fact: While Chameleons do change color, it is as a response to temperature, communication, light, and even their mood. However, certain species of octopi use color changing to blend into their surroundings.


Myth: Napoleon Was Short

Fact: Napoleon was 5’7″, which was above average height during his time. He was, however, called le Petit Caporal as an endearing nickname.


Myth: Touching A Baby Bird Will Make Its Mother Abandon it

Fact: Most species of birds don’t have a great sense of smell so in all likelihood, they probably wouldn’t notice.


Myth: Bats Are Blind

Fact: While they are nocturnal, echolocators, and have small eyes, none of the species of bat are blind.


Myth: The Capital of Australia is Sydney

Fact: Australia’s capital is Canberra. Go ahead and pick your brain up off the floor.


*Post written by Ruth Duncan

National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month! When was the last time you read some lines from a favorite poet? Now is the time to dive back into poetry!


We have several famous poets in our library collection. Check out the list below if you’re looking for a good read:

  1. Pablo Neruda
  2. William Carlos Williams
  3. Anne Sexton
  4. Sylvia Plath
  5. Gwendolyn Brooks
  6. Robert Frost
  7. Christian Wiman
  8. Elizabeth Bishop
  9. T.S. Eliot
  10. Gary Snyder


Or maybe you’re a poet yourself! Check out our books on writing if you need any tips:

  1. The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
  2. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
  3. A Poetry Handbook
  4. Everybody Writes
  5. How To Write Everything


And finally, a poem for you to celebrate National Poetry Month: “Of Modern Poetry” by Wallace Stevens.

The poem of the mind in the act of finding
What will suffice. It has not always had
To find: the scene was set; it repeated what
Was in the script.
Then the theatre was changed
To something else. Its past was a souvenir.

It has to be living, to learn the speech of the place.
It has to face the men of the time and to meet
The women of the time. It has to think about war
And it has to find what will suffice. It has
To construct a new stage. It has to be on that stage,
And, like an insatiable actor, slowly and
With meditation, speak words that in the ear,
In the delicatest ear of the mind, repeat,
Exactly, that which it wants to hear, at the sound
Of which, an invisible audience listens,
Not to the play, but to itself, expressed
In an emotion as of two people, as of two
Emotions becoming one. The actor is
A metaphysician in the dark, twanging
An instrument, twanging a wiry string that gives
Sounds passing through sudden rightnesses, wholly
Containing the mind, below which it cannot descend,
Beyond which it has no will to rise.
It must
Be the finding of a satisfaction, and may
Be of a man skating, a woman dancing, a woman
Combing. The poem of the act of the mind.





Happy Easter!