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    The List

    5 novel libraries

    The James B. Hunt Jr. Library.
    Chuck Samuels/NCSU Libraries
    The James B. Hunt Jr. Library.

    1

    BALLARD BRANCH

    Seattle Public Library
    Washington

    The environment is key here, notably a green roof, recycled materials, covered porch,
    sloping angles for indirect light, and climate-controlled computer-generated artwork. www.spl.org/locations/ballard-branch

    2

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    JAMES B. HUNT JR. LIBRARY

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    North Carolina State
    University, Raleigh

    From its sleek exterior (pictured) to its contemporary, colorful furniture, this recently completed university library, open to the public, focuses on the future, including virtual shelves that rely on robots to deliver the reading material. www.lib.ncsu.edu/huntlibrary

    3

    SALT LAKE CITY MAIN LIBRARY

    Utah

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    Designed by Somerville-based architect Moshe Safdie, the light-filled, six-story soaring space invites the public to gather in its writing center, shops, and cafe, as well as take in the view from the rooftop garden. www.slcpl.org

    4

    GEISEL LIBRARY

    University of California
    San Diego

    Designed in the late 1960s and open to the public, the main library on campus remains a bold architectural landmark. Later renamed in honor of benefactors Audrey and Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, the building’s fantastical appearance seems prescient.
    www.libraries.ucsd.edu

    5

    CENTRAL LIBRARY

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    Denver Public Library
    Colorado

    Postmodern populist architect Michael Graves brought a new scale and sweep to the downtown Civic Center neighborhood with a modern design that includes pastel interiors and a series of rotundas. www.denverlibrary.org

    DIANE DANIEL