The Latvian National Library (LNB) was established on August 29, 1919. Its first director was the father of scholarly bibliography in Latvia, the librarian Jānis Misiņš. During its century, the library has moved house five times until finally getting to its own building in 2014. Discussions about a new centre for the library began in 1928, but it was only in 1988 that the American Latvian architect Gunārs Birkerts came up with a design for a new building on the Left Bank of the Daugava River. Mr Birkerts borrowed an image from Rainis' play "Zelta Zirgs" (the Golden Horse) for his design -- a hill of class which naïve little Antiņš managed to scale so that he could awaken his princess, Saulcerīte. The new library is known as the Castle of Light -- a phrase which was first used by the Latvian poet Auseklis to describe a collection of wisdom and knowledge. In 2017, the BBC Culture and Architecture Division named the LNB building as one of the ten most beautiful library buildings in the world in the 21st century. The library has a collection of more than four million units. Since 2006, it has been establishing a national digital library, "Letonica." Since 1920, it has been mandatory for publishers in Latvia to send one copy of each book that they publish to the LNB. Print works that have suffered during the ravages of time have been treated gently by the Restoration Division, which was established in 1988. The LNB facilitates not just spiritual, but also physical development. Its stairs and ramps are beloved among fans of extreme sports. The library is tolerant about this. One programme that it began in 2014 is called "My Library is Also My Skating Park."
See a video here.