playlist

A love letter to libraries

Libraries are a magical place full of life and endless stories — both real and imagined. We're delighted to share these TED Talks as a love letter to libraries, librarians and the community they build.

  1. 13:53
    Dawn Wacek A librarian's case against overdue book fines

    Libraries have the power to create a better world; they connect communities, promote literacy and spark lifelong learners. But there's one thing that keeps people away: the fear of overdue book fines. In this thought-provoking talk, librarian Dawn Wacek makes the case that fines don't actually do what we think they do. What if your library just ... stopped asking for them altogether?

  2. 12:26
    Michael Bierut How to design a library that makes kids want to read

    When Michael Bierut was tapped to design a logo for public school libraries, he had no idea that he was embarking on a years-long passion project. In this often hilarious talk, he recalls his obsessive quest to bring energy, learning, art and graphics into these magical spaces where school librarians can inspire new generations of readers and thinkers.

  3. 6:16
    Lisa Bu How books can open your mind

    What happens when a dream you've held since childhood ... doesn't come true? As Lisa Bu adjusted to a new life in the United States, she turned to books to expand her mind and create a new path for herself. She shares her unique approach to reading in this lovely, personal talk about the magic of books.

  4. 12:01
    Chera Kowalski The critical role librarians play in the opioid crisis

    Public libraries have always been about more than just books — and their mission of community support has taken on new urgency during the current opioid epidemic. After witnessing overdoses at her library in Philadelphia, Chera Kowalski learned how to administer naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of narcotics, and she's put it to use to save patrons' lives. In this personal talk, she shares the day-to-day reality of life on the frontline of the opioid crisis and advocates for each of us to find new ways to keep our communities safe and healthy.

  5. 12:03
    Ann Morgan My year reading a book from every country in the world

    Ann Morgan considered herself well read — until she discovered the "massive blindspot" on her bookshelf. Amid a multitude of English and American authors, there were very few books from beyond the English-speaking world. So she set an ambitious goal: to read one book from every country in the world over the course of a year. Now she's urging other Anglophiles to read translated works so that publishers will work harder to bring foreign literary gems back to their shores. Explore interactive maps of her reading journey here: go.ted.com/readtheworld

  6. 19:58
    Joshua Prince-Ramus Behind the design of Seattle's library

    Architect Joshua Prince-Ramus takes the audience on dazzling, dizzying virtual tours of three recent projects: the Central Library in Seattle, the Museum Plaza in Louisville and the Charles Wyly Theater in Dallas.

  7. 17:16
    Chip Kidd Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.

    Chip Kidd doesn't judge books by their cover, he creates covers that embody the book — and he does it with a wicked sense of humor. In this deeply felt (and deeply hilarious) talk, he shares the art and the philosophy behind his cover designs. (This talk is from The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)