18 Aug 2014

Bats In The Libraries

In the series World's Most Beautiful Libraries, which I started to run in this blog,  I once mentioned Marfa Palace Library. The library is famous not only for its beauty, but also for the little creatures that inhabit its dark corners, hunt insects at night, and are, apparently, book-friendly.

I'm talking about bats.

In a book The Library: A World History, its author James Campbell notices two libraries, Marfa Palace Library and Biblioteca Joanina (both, oddly, located in Portugal), that have been a welcoming home for books and bats since 18th century. During the day, these bats, less than 2.5 cm long, hide behind the "elaborate rococo bookcases" that they leave at night to kill insects, which would otherwise feast on the libraries' books.

However, the service for such pest control has its drawbacks, too: the bats, as Campbell informed The Boston Globe, "leave a thin layes of dropping over everything. So each morning the floors have to be thoroughly cleaned... and the furniture has to be covered at night."

I guess another drawback would be those poor, scarred to death humans, attacked by a colony of bats that suddenly got confused between book worms and bookworms.

Be careful in a library - it's more dangerous than you think!

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