A "Lonely Planet" for Libraries

A new website is crowdsourcing information on libraries around the world for travelers to visit.


Traveling library lovers, the website of your dreams has arrived.

Christian Lauersen and Marie Engberg Eiriksson launched Library Planet, “a crowdsourced Lonely Planet for libraries,” in early December. The two librarians from Denmark both love to visit libraries when they travel and had talked about how they could share they experience with other people. They also shared a frustration: travel books often only include libraries if they are flagship or historical libraries, Engberg Eiriksson wrote in an email.

Christian Lauersen (left) and Marie Engberg Eiriksson started Library Planet.

“Sometime during that conversation, one of us just blurted out ‘What we need is a lonely planet for libraries.’ Christian tweeted the idea and so many people loved it,” Engberg Eiriksson wrote.

“A few days later we created the blog, and the submissions have been coming in a steady flow ever since.”

The website is as visual as it is informative, already full of beautiful travel photography centered on the library with submissions about the “beautiful and cool libraries.”

In addition to learning about the spaces themselves, people are writing in about why they love their local library, why they want to visit libraries when they travel, and even go off on library-related tangents about funding and other issues.

From the left: Shanghai Library (photo courtesy of Library Planet); Hvalsoe public library

“All the emails are full of love and appreciation for libraries, and it makes us so happy every time,” wrote Eiriksson. “All in all, we just feel like we put a few more libraries and a little more library love on the map.”

The updating map on the website shows that the majority of libraries are in Europe and Asia. The only North American entry is the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in LaJolla, CA.

“We would love to have some contributions from the U.S. and Canada, but also, South America and Africa are very high on our wish list,” Lauersen wrote. “We are looking for posts about all types of libraries. National libraries, special libraries, public libraries, and school libraries. From the fantastic, grand, impressive kind to the small, personal, community hub.”

Those who want to contribute should remember that Library Planet is a travel blog seeking to share the reason that a library would be a “cool destination” and why, not an exhaustive walk through every feature of a facility.

The two suggest library lovers consider these questions like these when writing a submission: What is it like to walk in there? Does it support its community in special ways? Does is have any special features, odd collections, or cozy nooks? Is the coffee any good? What about the view? Is there a very good gin bar around the corner?

And they  includes a very important reminder: Don’t forget the pictures!

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Kara Yorio

Kara Yorio (kyorio@mediasourceinc.com, @karayorio) is news editor at School Library Journal.

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