A visit to a city library

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Oh summer time in good old Phoenix Arizona, it sure does drag when you are stuck inside because it is just too hot to do much. Then the kids get bored and stir crazy. When my kids got bored when they were little we would head to the library down town. They loved being downtown where all the tall buildings were. It’s very close to our neighborhood too, like 10-15 minutes away. Made things easy that way.

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The library downtown is huge.

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Just taking the elevator up and down was a special treat for them.

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The elevator has a water feature at the base of it.

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So when you go up and down, you see all the shinny pennies in the water down below.

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There is also a little section where they display art by local artist.

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About a year ago, there was some storm damage and the library had to close down for the whole year while they repaired it.

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I haven’t been to this library since it’s changes.

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To be honest, I liked the old library version better. The changes they made make the children’s area seem  so cold and sterile. It doesn’t feel as warm as I remember it. There is a lot of open space everywhere. I liked the homey feeling it had before with little reading nooks and color everywhere.

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I seem to remember there being a room closed off to the side where they had children’s events away from the public. Now there is this huge circle right dab in the middle, like a dance section or something. It is HUGE, so a reading circle this big would seem a bit too overwhelming.

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It is like they had this huge space they didn’t know what to do with, so they put some carpet down and surrounded it with a curve wall of sorts. Then they covered the outside windows with a ton of blue. You used to be able to see outside more. It was covered in a tinted film to cut down on the sun glare but this blue covering seems to be more of a tint then before. I couldn’t really get a feel of the park outside with it’s beautiful trees and green grass. It was very space ship, robotic, and claustrophobic in a way. My son loves the modern style but good old mom still likes the old fashioned styles. Just my opinion but then I am a big fan of including nature in kids surroundings. Where are the fish tanks, plants, posters of plants?.

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Oh, and there used to be beautiful tables, laminated with colorful art with little chairs for the kids to sit at. With crayons and coloring stations filled with coloring pages for the kids to work on.

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The funniest part to me were the bathrooms with little toilets (kids sized) that flushed like the big ones. I didn’t go into the restrooms to see this time, my kids are no longer using this area, it would have seemed weird. But I do love checking out designs and will always search design books out for a quick fix for decorating a home. I have always loved interior design and home decorating.

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It was very whimsical before. They had a beautiful outside area where there was a little garden area for the kids to read in.The little garden area was closed on this visit, and it looked a little sad, like no one was keeping it up.

What happened?. I am such a sentimental person. I know my kids are no longer using this area, and there was some flooding, but…come on, even the garden area was empty looking. I didn’t take a photo, it was too depressing. I hope come Fall, someone brings that little outside garden back to life. Kids need to be outside more.

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Now it is very prison like in a way…sorry so negative, but it does not feel like there was a lot of love put into it. The only thing I really liked in the new children’s area was this beautiful painting up on the wall. It kind of reminds me of the laminated tables they used to have in this section, I wonder if they are and they re-purposed them this way because they were damaged from the flood. Now that I like.

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It made me smile and it was really nice to see at least one thing was done with love. They closed the whole library down for a year for remolding. A whole year. It was the children’s area that was water damaged by what they reported as storm damage at first but then it turned out to be the emergency sprinklers went off one night and flooded the children’s area and all the books. Those were the two stories being reported.

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For adults looking for books there are some on the first floor but most of the books are kept on the 5th floor. The bottom floor is nice to explore and hang out in but wait till you see whats up at the top.

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Now for the fun part, the elevator ride up. You get to see all the floors you pass, looking down at all the people coming and going . This is why this is the perfect place to bring the little ones if you are in Phoenix during the summer. Out doing City things, people watching, discovering new environments and even having conversations with others out there in the world. Libraries are perfect environments for that.

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The second floor is where they keep all the magazines and let me tell you, there are a lot. This is also the floor where there are old archives of past newspaper articles. This is the floor you do research on. This is one of my favorite floors in the library. I remember spending hours up here and watching the city go from sunlight to evening to night time. Looks like they did some 3-D printing and made a beautiful display of art trees to display on this floor.

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My favorite place is the 5th floor because this is where they keep all the New non-fiction books.

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When those elevator doors opened up on me, I noticed something different about the 5th floor as well. I asked my family if they changed the windows somehow because I remember the whole window being just glass and now there are shutters up or whatever these covers are.

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Oh my goodness, I am sounding like negative Nelly or Debbie Downer with this post. This is a Phoenix summer time rant, that’s what this is. I better start turning things around or you guys are going to think I am having a bad day. I was just shocked I guess at the changes and wondered what was going on. Maybe they had these shutters all along and I just never paid much attention before.

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I will have to go way, way back in my archives of thousands of photos to see of I have photos of the kids when they were little looking out these huge glass windows. It seems different somehow. Suppose I could have asked. I am sure the nice librarians would have loved me walking up with one of my off the wall questions “Hey, whats up with these windows? Were they always like this?”.

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I know I would have gotten an eye roll with that question, especially if the windows were never touched. Just me not remembering the windows I guess.

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Anyway, it is still a beautiful library and worth a visit if you are ever here in Phoenix.

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They have a huge selection of books, magazines and DVD’s. This is where we would go to get a lot of our home-school material when the kids were little.

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The staff  here are always really friendly too. They have classes on the 3rd floor. Think that is the floor, it’s been awhile.

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Free classes that the city provides that cover sewing, art, computer, GED classes, English speaking classes, legos, 3-d printing. You just sign up and meet up with other people being creative.

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During the summer months the city has a program to keep families and children reading together by giving out coupons for free food at food vendors participating, and free books that you order online, as long as you log in your reading hours.

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This is our favorite library to visit here in the city. We have a little neighborhood library that we visit at least once a week but the main one is a special treat to visit when ever we can.

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They even have free seeds to give out. People share seeds from their gardens with others. A cute little seed garden library.

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And a little used bookstore off to the side where you can purchase books and magazines.

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Hope you all liked this visit to our city library. Happy summer reading everyone.

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