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Hanging out in the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries can be addictive. The open shelves are loaded with luxe art books, the magazines stacked in dizzying profusion and delectable diversity, there's the soothing décor and the hush… not the "hush!" of a cartoon librarian, but the natural quiet of a library. It's a refuge from the cacophony of the outside world, and if you need to look that word up, there's a handy dictionary nearby.

It's one of the treasures of the museum. Books in the Burnham Library, papers and photos in the Ryerson Archives; it's enough to make your mouth water. And more and more of it is available online: you can browse the Digital Collections here.

The libraries are also a favorite hangout for some of the most committed bibliophiles (booklovers) in town. The Friends of the Ryerson & Burnham offers special programs on rare books, photographs and ephemera from the archives, author talks and conservation topics. Check the Member Magazine for upcoming programs, or get between the covers by joining Friends here.

Tags: Education