The Most Iconic Libraries from Film and TV

From hit TV shows to blockbuster movies, libraries often find themselves at the centre of the action. Whether our favourite characters are quietly pursuing the answer to their problems through literature, or causing absolute mayhem between the bookshelves, they've served as a base for many a story.

To help you get your head around some of modern media's most famous libraries, we've dissected five of our favourites by studying their on-screen appearances. So, whether you're looking for some inspiration or simply want to get to know Sunnydale High a little better, explore our analysis below.

The Citadel

Game of Thrones

As the centre for all scientific, medical and historical knowledge in the Seven Kingdoms, it's no surprise the Citadel's library is grand and imposing. Set around an ornate, octagonal room; a variety of ancient architectural styles are on show - including Roman, Egyptian, Mayan, Moorish, Greek, Germanic and Indian features. Staircases wind their way up as many as thirteen stories of bookshelves, separated by Roman arches, while stained-glass windows let in a low, atmospheric light from each corner.

However, it's in the centre of this cavernous space that we find its most impressive feature. A huge astrolabe is suspended in mid-air, mechanically mirroring the axis, rotation and position of the show's fictional planet relative to its sun. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice it looks remarkably similar to the mechanical structure we see in the show's opening titles.

The Beast's Library

Beauty and the Beast

A triple-cube library built in the baroque style, this spectacular and elegant space was given as a gift to Belle by The Beast. The recent live-action remake sought the Biblioteca Joanina in Coimbra, Portugal as its inspiration, reflecting its segmented design and decorative arches.

Two-storey shelves adorn all of the walls, crafted from painted exotic woods, while a writing desk lies in each of the three rooms. Its most impressive feature might just be its complex marble floor, with carefully structured cream and brown patterns adding a touch of magic. Finishing pieces include a chessboard, as well as gold-plated globes and astrolabes.

Sunnydale High School Library

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The otherwise-unassuming Sunnydale School Library ended up becoming the Scooby Gang's base, with the help of its librarian Rupert Giles. He regularly brought supernatural texts and medieval weapons for the group to swat-up on and practice with, and the versatile space doubled up as Buffy's slaying training facility outside of School hours. As it happens, it was also sat directly above the town's hellmouth.

The library centres around an octagonal space, with a table at its middle being the focus of the action, gently lit by a skylight. A balcony follows the back half of the octagon, separated by mahogany balustrades, with tall dark-brown bookshelves lying behind. Set high above, hemispherical windows provide eerie and atmospheric lighting.

Hogwarts Library

Harry Potter

Located off a corridor on the first-floor of Hogwarts School, this library is at the centre of the action right throughout the Harry Potter film series. It's where Harry, Hermione and Ron turn to for information on how to get themselves out of - or into - trouble; often sneaking into the restricted section by various means.

Its orderly layout is unlike the often-chaotic nature of Hogwarts Castle, though it does display the English gothic style typical of the building; through pointed arches, vaulted ceilings, buttresses and large windows. It's home to tens of thousands of books across thousands of shelves, which are stacked in rows along the length of the room. Desks lie at the base of each, with further study spaces provided for students in the centre aisle of the room. All of this is complemented by deep-brown arched beams, supporting a beautiful and ornate ceiling.

Shermer High School Library

The Breakfast Club

The thoroughly-modern Shermer School Library is where the five protagonists of 80s coming-of-age film 'The Breakfast Club' are asked to report for detention at 7am, one Saturday morning. Despite the five hailing from very different cliques, what follows is a morning of self-discovery and new-found friendship, all from inside the library's four walls.

At the centre of the room, we see six oak tables, organised into three rows. Behind this stands an abstract but vaguely-human sculpture, while staircases to an upper tier lie at either side. Light oak finishes, neon lighting and exposed concrete walls give the space a contemporary feel throughout. The room's styling reflects its 80s setting wonderfully.