Oakland Public Library: Lakeview Branch – 3/9/2013

The Lakeview of the Oakland Public Library is truly lovely.  The building its self is unassuming, but the view from the library’s entrance is epic.  It looks out over Lake Merritt, one of those urban spaces that, on a sunny day, leaves one with the distinct feeling that somehow, despite all the horror and tragedy, the world is really is a wonderful place.

2013-03-09 16.05.112013-03-09 16.38.44

Inside the library there is a small collection of books, DVDs, music, and hold items along with some large tables and a few public access computers – your basic small branch library.  Since the library is small, noise travels.  If you want to have a conversation, check out the library’s study room which is a large, separate space perfect for louder groups.

2013-03-09 16.38.17In addition to its great location, I noticed a couple of quirky details that made this library stand out:

  1. The lovely plaque dedicating the building in 1949 to Truth Liberty and Toleration (located at the entrance).  If that doesn’t warm your heart a bit, I don’t know what will.
  2. The absence of bathrooms.  The library shares bathroom facilities with the park, so if you need to go, you must leave the building and walk about 30 feet.  I have not seen a similar set-up anywhere else, so that was exciting!

In short:

If you find yourself in Oakland, visit Lake Merritt.

And if you find yourself at Lake Merritt, visit the Lakeview branch library.

For more information, check out their website at http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/locations/lakeview-branch

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