Library quiz

Welcome to my library quiz! It’s packed full of fun library facts from my book A Library Miscellany, do have a go and let me know how you get on. Answers in a separate post here (no cheating!).

1. Which is the biggest library in the world by number of items in its collection?

a) National Library of Russia

b) The British Library

c) Library of Congress

d) New York Public Library


2. Which library, which opened in 1909, was designed in art nouveau style by Charles Rennie Mackintosh?


3. Which popular 1990s TV show included the fictional library Sunnydale High Library?


4. Which is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world?

a) The Bodleian Library, Oxford

b) New York Public Library, New York

c) The Wren Library, Cambridge

d) Chetham’s Library, Manchester


5. In the first decade of the noughties (2000–2010) who was the most borrowed author in UK libraries?

a) Jacqueline Wilson

b) Catherine Cookson

c) Roald Dahl

d) James Patterson


6. Name any three of the six legal deposit libraries in the United Kingdom (bonus points if you can name all six).


7. The Osmotheque is a unique library in Versailles, France. But what does it preserve there?

a) Poisons

b) Pornographic books

c) Gems

d) Perfumes


8.  Which celebrated author was said to have published a book in all of the ten main subject groupings of the Dewey Decimal Classification System except ‘100 philosophy’?

a) Isaac Asimov

b) J R R Tolkien

c) Mark Twain

d) Barbra Cartland


9. The American Library Association keeps a record of all books that are challenged or banned in libraries across the USA. Which book was the most ‘challenged’ book in America 2000–2010?

a) Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

b) The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

c) His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

d) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky


10. Match the writer’s archive to the library which holds it:

Virginia Woolf                                                  New York Public Library

George Orwell                                                  British Library

George Eliot                                                       Lilly Library, Indiana University

Sylvia Plath                                                         University College London Library


11. Over the years many famous people have worked as librarians, but who is the odd one out in this list and the only person who was never a librarian?

Mao Zedong      J. Edgar Hoover                 Andy Warhol      Marcel Duchamp              Giacomo Casanova


12. What do L’Enfer in Biblioteque Nationale de France, the Phi collection in the Bodleian, the triple-star collection in New York Public Library and the XR collection in Harvard’s Widener Library all have in common?


13. Which American luminary borrowed a book from the New York Society Library in 1789 which was not returned until 2010? (Bonus point if you can name the book!)

a) Alexander Hamilton

b) George Washington

c) Paul Revere

d) John James Audubon


14. The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library at Harvard was established by Eleanor Elkins Widener in memory of her son after he died in which disaster?

a) World War I

b) The Hindenburg disaster

c) The sinking of the Titanic

d) The Great Boston Molasses Flood


15. True or false: White gloves should always be worn when handling rare books.


Check your answers here!

If you enjoyed this quiz have a go at my museum quiz here.

For more library fun buy a copy of A Library Miscellany here.

Book cover for A Library Miscellany

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