It was the flowers that drew me away from conversations and cold beer (from the Etna Brewing Company) and into the library. When I visited, the library’s garden was in full bloom and too inviting not to check out. Inside, though small, … Continue reading
Spending time in a neighborhood branch library always makes me feel like I am getting a real look at daily life in a place and so, for my last library visit in Chicago, I took a short bus ride away … Continue reading
Last time I wrote about the Harold Washington Library I was telling you about their exciting new maker spaces. Now for the rest of the library! After visiting the library’s new maker spaces, I made my way to the Children’s … Continue reading
Even before it opened in 1991, the Harold Washington Library Center was the source of both publicity and controversy. Both the library’s location and design were called into question. (1) Despite criticisms, the building was opened to the public on … Continue reading
Do you ever walk into a library and immediately fall in love? One minute, you’re simply about to check out the town library, then all of a sudden – ‘whoosh’ – you’re fantasizing about moving just for the chance to … Continue reading
I’ve mentioned library nostalgia on the blog before, but one library I that I hate to admit has never tugged on my heart strings is the local branch library in the town where I spent my teenage years. Located adjacent … Continue reading
When taking a long road trip, do you ever find yourself wondering about all the towns you pass? Who lives there? What goes on? How is life different here from where I live? How is it the same? I ask … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
Oakland’s Golden Gate neighborhood stretches from 53rd Street to the Oakland-Berkley border along San Pablo Ave. While Wikipedia informs me that the neighborhood had a happening past – it’s rumored that the Mai Tai was invented there – over time … Continue reading
If the photo of the second floor reading and Science and Business room at the Multnomah County Central Library (left) doesn’t set your heart aflutter, I might need to question your humanity. Those are pink walls people, and I’ll go ahead and assert that they are simply impossible not to love!
Before entering the library, though, I found myself engaged in the time-honored tradition of standing outside the library (a historic building dating from 1913) waiting for it to open. As I stood, I was approached by a woman who asked me the library’s hours. On the surface, this woman seemed to be nothing like me: she was older and her face appeared worn by what was at the very least a hard life. And yet here we were, both waiting for the library to open and discussing our shared predicament. This brief experience reminded me of what I love about public libraries and of why I wanted to become a librarian in the first place. There is something truly beautiful (to me, at least) about a place that welcomes all kinds of different people and gives them the opportunity to interact. The Central Library in downtown Portland, OR is truly one such place.
In addition to the lively mix of patrons, the library houses an impressive collection that includes zines, independent comics, over 12,000 rare books (visit the John Wilson Special Collections if you have the chance, I did and it was well worth it) and a ton of other resources. The children’s section on the first floor is home not only to a great selection of books but also to a story theater and a truly lovely tree sculpture (sorry no picture) that I would deem a must-see.
The library also has ample seating, outlets, and wireless internet access, which makes it a great stop if you’re traveling through the area. Be advised, though, that unlike other, (often) smaller libraries, comfortable seating is not a priority here: I saw no cushioned chairs or couches, so you might want to bring your own pillow if you have lumbar issues.
Finally, the weather and my own inability to ‘get my shit together’ prevented me from touring the library’s green roof. They do have one though, and if you’re visiting the library, I hope you check it out (and then let me know all about it!)
For more information about the Multnomah County Library’s Central Library, visit their website at https://multcolib.org/library-location/central