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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21 Comments Add yours

  1. Liz says:

    That library is massive. I have never seen a library that big before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is HUGE, there is a lot to see and read that’s for sure. I have been to the library in Los Angeles as well and that is also another really big library. I heard somewhere once the the three largest libraries in our country are Los Angels, New York and Phoenix Arizona. But that was years ago so maybe there is a new list of larger libraries in our country now. If not then I have been to two of the largest libraries in The United states. I bet New York is really cool too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liz says:

        You could certainly have a day in the library, reading.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I always like how quiet it always is. They have comfortable areas to sit in too, with big comfy chairs.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tanya Kohl says:

    Neat library🙂 I’m actually heading out to my local library tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are one of my favorite places to visit, so much to see and explore in all those books.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow your library is impressive. Our library would fit inside one of those construction trailers, and they are closing it. I loved going to the library. It will be missed even thought it is nothing like yours 🙂 There are so many thing to do at yours, wow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a big one, I will give it that. I forgot to take photos of the inside of the restrooms…not the toilets of course, but the walls leading into them. Not sure if they still have them or not but they used to have these huge dark walls that had all kinds of tiny lights that lit up into different colors like the stars at night. Then there was little glass cutouts in the wall where you could sit and watch the cars driving by below in the city. It was very quiet and you couldn’t hear the outside traffic, just see all the colored vehicles passing by. That lit up star wall was amazing, it was right next to it. The sinks were also really unusual. It was one huge metal sink and it was higher at one end. When you would wash your hands the water would go down to the end of the large sink like a waterfall of sorts. It is an artist library and very peaceful. My little boy loved watching the cars from the bathroom. And the lights in the walls as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. ekurie says:

    Your library is certainly stunning! The sad thing to me in the children’s library? No children 😔 maybe you didn’t want to seem creepy taking their pictures? But it really is a beautiful building.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, you are right…I always try to be careful when I am out taking photos in public. I try to remember that some people hate their photos being taken. There were children at the table areas and they were all sitting with their parents but I only took photos where the children were not really around, for privacy of course. I wanted to share with everyone how cool the library is but the children’s area did seem really empty and it’s summer. When my kids were little and we were at this library there were a lot more kids around, out in the garden, coloring at the tables, on the computers, reading books.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. John says:

    Wow, so big library! The elevators is very cool

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is a lot for a library. The elevator is clear glass so you see everything when you go to all the different levels. When you get to the bottom before it stops, it looks like you are headed into water because of the water below it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Michelle says:

    Wow!! I would never leave that place! 😯 It’s amazing how much they have to offer, too. 🙂

    Like

  7. Oh gosh. That’s too much for me. It’s like a business building instead of a library building. I come from small towns and our libraries are small and cozy and personal. That library is just sterile and detached somehow. Yikes. I don’t think I’d ever visit it. I’d feel off balance with all that modern architecture and space. It’s photos like these that remind me why I have never left small town life

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  8. Wow! What an incredible place. You could get lost in there for days!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it is pretty big. So many levels of books. They even have a floor where they keep rare books. You have to schedule visits to that room and some of the books are too fragile to touch. My favorite is the floor where they have free classes. They used to have a coffee shop on the bottom floor where special needs adults worked but they ended up closing that. It would be nice if they reopened but I guess they have too many coffee shops in the city. I think they use it to feed kids,i t’s a free meal program. They have a lot of great programs.

      Like

  9. I took my girls to the library when they were little! We would read books together at bedtime. I miss those days!
    https://hearttokens.home.blog/2019/07/27/barnabus-award/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank Renee, you are so kind. I just found this comment of yours in my Spam section. My daughter alerted me to my Spam section being full, I have never checked it before, so glad she pointed it out to me. Anyway….thank you so much for nominating me too, you are always so sweet. Have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awe! Thank you so much! And you are, too😊Have a good one! Blessings!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Librarylady says:

    What a great photo post! Your library looks amazing. It was fun to see the Universe of Stories signs, they look very familiar. I’m lucky enough to work in a public library and we participated in the summer reading program too. I love Moms who take their kids to the library. Way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…thank you, so sweet of you. And if no one has said it today….thank you for encouraging and helping all those people who come to the library to discover all that knowledge. I have a friend who is a librarian and I think we should let you all know just how much we appreciate you. Have a great summer.

      Like

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