The McAllen, Texas public library is the largest single-story library in the USA, and we visited it!
As you might know, libraries are a regular part of our life on the road. A few years ago we read about a library in Texas created from a former Walmart store. (Pretty cool – huh?) As we were only an hour away, for one of Robert’s presentations, we knew we had to visit this 123,000 square foot library.
Here are some pictures:
And there’s more…
Inside the building there are 14 study rooms, a teen area, a book store where every purchase supports the library, genealogy lab, electronic classrooms and a stellar board room. (Rob was impressed with the boardroom.)
Outside there’s a “Dewey Trail” to learn more about the Dewey Decimal System with 10 guides representing each of the Dewey Decimal System, a pond with over 300 plants and trees native to the area, two light towers which change colors, and a fountain.
Do you visit your local library?
Libraries are a treasure, which many of us take for granted.
The marketing representative told us a story which illustrates this so well…
One morning there was an older, white-haired lady who was peering through the front window of the library for quite a while. The librarians noticed, and were curious. Why was she there? Why didn’t she come in?
A couple hours later, one librarian went outside so see if this lady needed any help.
The lady responded in Spanish, “Would it be OK if I come in? It looks like a nice place, but I don’t have any money to pay for anything.”
She had no idea that this building was a library – a public library – freely available to everyone.
This lady was from Mexico – a mere 10 miles away. (McAllen lies on the Texas/Mexico border, so the culture of the area is solidly bi-lingual.) The marketing rep told us, in Mexico there are no public libraries.
Take a trip to your local library this week! See what’s available… I’m guessing you’re going to be surprised!
(I’d love to see every city with a re-purposed Walmart-sized library! – What do you think?)