Being a teenager I was not terribly enthused to go to a library. I mean, I like books, but I thought this building would just be, well, a very large and very secure library. Which it is. However, it is also one of the most impressive, well-decorated, and stunning buildings that I've ever seen. Keep in mind that I saw the National Cathedral the day before we went here and that statement gains a little more weight.
If you only have 15 minutes, I would suggest just looking around to see the opulence and beauty of the building. You must, MUST, see the Main Reading Room. The size and splendor of it is breathtaking. The ceilings are also very interesting in general. According to our tour guide when they were building the library they realized the government had given them more than enough money to construct the building, so they basically let a bunch of artists loose and told them to make the building beautiful. They succeeded, let me tell you.
Also interesting is the sheer wealth of information that can be scene in the decorations. There are quotes on the ceiling in some spots, there are hallways devoted to different disciplines (science, arts, etc.), there are statues in the Main Reading Room of important individuals (Homer, Shakespeare, etc.), and there are even babies on staircases representing the professions from when the building was built.
My last piece of advice is to take a tour. While the tour wasn't the most revealing, interesting tour I've ever been on, our guide did show us a lot of things that I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't been shown them.
Overall, I would make this a stop just to see the splendor and magnificence of this building. It really is something.
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