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"Minecraft:" Building a Library

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Dan K is an avid Minecraft player, who has enjoyed Mining, Crafting, Exploring, and turning NPC Villages into sprawling cities since 2011.

New Dank City Public Library

New Dank City Public Library

Knowledge Is Power

It's often said that "knowledge is power." This rings true in real life and in Minecraft as well. Knowing how to build farms, exploit villager trading, and obtain specific enchantments can make any Minecrafter a more powerful player. The question is, where does one go to gain such knowledge/power? Well, the Minecraft wiki and YouTube, of course! Question answered, article over, thanks for clicking!

What's that? I still have at least 1000 more words to fill? A-hem...

Of course, much like when seeking knowledge in real life, one would go to the library. When you're seeking power in Minecraft, you should seek out a librarian. These humble villagers can trade many powerful enchantments, including the Mending enchantment that can only be found rarely in chests, while fishing, or when trading with a librarian villager. It can take some time to get a librarian with a Mending trade, so when you finally do, it only makes sense to keep them safe for the future. That's why, in this article, we'll be building a library.

Shelby County Public Library - Shelbyville, IN

Shelby County Public Library - Shelbyville, IN

Choosing a Design

While preparing for this build, I looked up several examples of library building designs. I noticed that many Carnegie Public Libraries in the Midwest have a similar design. I have a deep appreciation for Gilded-Age, Neoclassical architecture, and many of these libraries have that beautiful, Romanesque structure that really catches my eye. One specific library really peaked my interest, with its saucer dome roof and simple, elegant design. This was the old Shelby County Carnegie Public Library in Shelbyville, Indiana. After using Google Maps to look at multiple angles of this library, I had a rough idea for a design in my mind and took to Minecraft to begin building.

minecraft-building-a-library

Laying the Foundation

Laying out the foundation of a build is the first step in the process, as this creates a floor plan that you can work from as you build up the exterior of the building. The foundation sets the shape of the build and provides a platform for the build to sit upon. Using multiple layers allows a builder to create depth in their build, providing room for detailing the exterior.

Librarian Villager

Librarian Villager

Before moving on to building the exterior, it may be helpful to get any villagers in place and prepare them for their life of trading in the library. While there are more material-efficient ways of trapping a villager by exploiting their poor path-finding AI, I chose to create a library front desk that the librarian cannot escape due to the spaces between desk and roof being only a block and a half high. I already had a mending villager to use, but if you're not so lucky, you can always break and replace the lectern blocks until you get the trades that you are looking for.

Library Exterior Front

Library Exterior Front

Building the Exterior

One of the biggest mistakes I see in many Minecraft builds is using a single layer for exterior walls. This results in a flat, lifeless, artificial-looking build. By using 2 or 3 layers of depth, you can better detail the build using partial blocks such as slabs, stairs, trapdoors, and walls. This creates little nooks and crannies that add an extra dimension to the build.

Many people also use multiple materials to "texture" their builds. While that is a fine way to break up monotonous exteriors, you can create a much less busy design using the depth provided by multiple layers. In my opinion, this achieves the same texturing principles, while providing a more cohesive design, overall. That isn't to say that you shouldn't use multiple materials when designing a build, but that this technique is often over-done, can become "noisy" to the eye, and should be used sparingly.

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Library Exterior Rear

Library Exterior Rear

By using 2 layers of depth on the library's exterior, I was able to create a sunk-in window design making use of brick wall blocks to frame each window. The shadows created by using partial blocks makes the build appear more 3-dimensional. I then created trim around the exterior using granite blocks and stairs. Finally, I topped off the roof with the saucer dome that I was so enamored with on the library that inspired this build. In order to achieve this dome, I used quartz slabs rather than full blocks, which created the slight slope of the dome.

Interior (Before Decorating)

Interior (Before Decorating)

Decorating the Interior

Confession time: I hate doing interiors. Interior decorating is a time consuming, material-intensive, difficult process that I just don't enjoy. However, I am the type of person who tries to turn their weaknesses into strengths, so I have spent many hours attempting to improve my decorating skills. While I may never be able to say that I am great at doing interiors, I can sort of make furniture look like their real life counterparts if I spend enough time on it. This was no different, as I had a difficult time designing a set of bookcases that I was happy with, while making sure that they would fit in the space provided. After building and tearing down multiple designs, I finally had something that looked enough like a library interior to satisfy my needs.

minecraft-building-a-library
minecraft-building-a-library
minecraft-building-a-library

After completing the main floor, I built two spiral staircases leading to a second floor. In this area, I built a central study area, with two enchanting rooms leading off of each side. I had a hard time decorating these areas, as there wasn't as much space to work with as the first floor. After multiple iterations, I finally settled on a pillared bookcase design. Placing some paintings on the walls was the final touch to add some color and interest to the plain brick walls making up this area. Ultimately, I was happy with the final product and I feel as though I took another step in honing my interior decorating skills.

Central Study

Central Study

Enchanting Area

Enchanting Area

Almost there.

Almost there.

Final Touches

After completing both the exterior and interior, I wanted to finish the build off with some final touches to set the Library into its surroundings. I decided to add a custom tree, a couple of bushes, and a book return to the front of the build. This helped to settle the build into the landscape, creating more depth and intrigue, while adding life to the build. These little details really add to the lore of a build, adding a story to an otherwise lifeless build.

Book Return and Bushes

Book Return and Bushes

Custom Tree

Custom Tree

If you enjoyed this build, please consider sharing and following me! I try to put out articles like this on a semi-regular basis. If you have any suggestions for future articles, let me know in the comments section! Until next time, this has been Dan K Builds Minecraft.

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