Bibliotheque publique d’information

June 14, 2010 at 11:31 pm 2 comments

The Paris library Bibliotheque publique d’information is a big fish.  A big, big, fish.  I have never seen anything like it.  As it has become my custom to visit a library nearly everywhere I travel, regardless of whether I can actually speak the language and read the books, my cousin Jaleesa and I braved the crowds at the bibliotheque.

The wait line to get into this place was rumored to be up to two hours long –and we saw evidence of this, which is why we came back during the off hours. Once inside, I marveled at how HUGE the place is, but more so at how popular.  Patrons were everywhere –every table (not too many free seats), the listening stations, computer stations, lounge chairs, televisions, even the stairwell was teaming with people old, young, and in-between.  I think the best evidence of excessive use/popularity was the vending machine off the café that sold colorful earplugs.

Jaleesa and I didn’t stay long because, face it, the place wasn’t all that relaxing –particularly with the sizable fire hose stations (with buckets!) placed at regular intervals along the walls as though any minute a trash can fire might erupt.  I really wanted to take a picture of those, but the room we were in stated clearly, no photography.

The bibliotheque building, which joins library with museum, is a bizarre marvel that includes what appears to be stick houses belonging to the Three Little Pigs precariously attached in random places high above the ground.  We visited one of the two (!) bookshops and bought postcards from the largest postcard collection I’ve seen anywhere, ever, and then escaped into the night.  On our way to the metro, we passed crowds of folks hanging out in an (again) enormous brick plaza, including two young men smooching it up.  Nice to see that everyone feels comfortable around the bibliotheque.


Entry filed under: Abroad.

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