Abandoned Walmart is Now America’s Largest Library

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posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 06:40 PM
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Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle transformed an abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, into a 124,500-square-foot public library, the largest single-floor public library in the United States....The library even has an acoustically separated lounge for teens as well as 6 teen computer labs, 16 public meeting spaces, 14 public study rooms, 64 computer labs, 10 children’s computer labs and 2 genealogy computer labs. Other new features include self check-out units, an auditorium, an art gallery, a used bookstore and a cafe.

More at Source (Web Urbanist)

There are so many reasons to be happy about this story, and in a world where communities seem to be disintegrating before our eyes, this is a welcome breath of fresh air.

Wal-Mart and similar "big box stores" are often seen as a form of social blight, stripping communities of their mom-and-pop-store livelihoods, charming neighborhoods, local beauty, and social health. Here is an example of the tables being turned: Out of the ashes of an abandoned big-box monstrosity comes...a library, of all things, and the biggest single-floor one in the US to boot. The concept of opening (rather than closing) a library in this day and age seems almost archaic, but as can be seen at least in McAllen, Texas, the community seems to have strongly and vigorously embraced this new gem: new user registration rose by 23% within the first month after the library’s opening.

It makes me re-consider some of my gloomy assumptions about society: That public space is dying, that the art of reading is on the way out, and that once big-box stores set foot in a community, its a straight-shot downhill. And it makes me wonder in what other ways the disposable, charcterless aspects of postmodern society can be transformed in more positive ways.


edit on 9/9/2012 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 06:50 PM
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Ohhh this is so exciting!! I hope libraries flourish, as librarians are fierce upholders of the right to free speech. An abandoned Walmart into something so wonderful! Building dreams for the future!



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 06:50 PM
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Nice they made it into a library, any word if those mom and pop shops are going to reopen? I doubt it. The 23% that go there are probably all the people that used to have jobs.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 06:50 PM
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Nice to see in the age that heralds the death of the book store.

Ask a group of modern teens what they read and you will get a bunch of blank stares, sad.

We need more of things like this more than ever.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:01 PM
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This is the best bit of news I have seen in a very long time. Thank you for sharing this.

Maybe there is hope for this planet after all....Nah.

But still, I am pleased to hear this.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:06 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 

Yes refreshing until I saw the foreign sign and said, whoops, this wasn't in the US. Oh wait, whoops yes it is...



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:08 PM
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I live about 7 miles from a former mall, bought by a church, biggest church I've ever seen -

www.labelscar.com...



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:30 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


That is so awesome! I mean wow! I need one of these by me asap! Recently a Home Depot closed up shop and it became two stores, both big franchises on their own, Raymore and Flanagan and either a Stop and Shop or ShopRite but I would have rathered a huge library like this! Although, I bet it would put all the other libraries out of biz? What a minute, how do libraries make money anyway?

Either way, I want one now!



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:31 PM
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S&F

I couldn't think of a better use for a former Walmart except maybe some sort of vocational training facility to help all those people who lost their jobs due to Walmarts under handed business practices....



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:53 PM
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Originally posted by Signals
I live about 7 miles from a former mall, bought by a church, biggest church I've ever seen -

www.labelscar.com...


Churching is big business! Im sure itll be at least twice as profitable as that old mall used to be.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:55 PM
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Originally posted by elouina

Yes refreshing until I saw the foreign sign and said, whoops, this wasn't in the US. Oh wait, whoops yes it is...


I bet most of the books are in spanish, too.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 08:30 PM
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Well, it's nice but foolish to waste that much money and resources for a library. Libraries all over the USA are seeing record low user levels, so much so that some states are closing their libraries for good. Major bookstores are closing in droves because people are not buying and reading books like they used to.

This library will be a big flop. In 5 years it will probably be converted beck into a Wal-Mart.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 08:54 PM
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I love this idea. Making a big business into a place of learning.

I hope this idea takes off and spreads to other part of the country. We need all the help to keep educating our children.

Go McAllen, TX. I hope you have started a new movement.



posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 03:14 AM
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Wow, that kinda restores a bit of my faith in the human race, not much, but a bit. How I would love to be near a library of that size.



posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 08:26 AM
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Originally posted by elouina
reply to post by silent thunder
 

Yes refreshing until I saw the foreign sign and said, whoops, this wasn't in the US. Oh wait, whoops yes it is...


Yea, Im 2 hours from Mc Allen and can confirm that it is about 90% Mexican. Down there, English is a 2nd language, barely.



posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 08:33 AM
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I'm loving the idea, books are probably the best thing in the universe right behind chewing gum and ice cream.
Still, a thought has crossed my mind, why was this walmart abandoned? I think i know the reason and i think i know there are a lot of unemployed people left behind, their children etc. Life is never black or white.



posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by Iamschist
Ohhh this is so exciting!! I hope libraries flourish, as librarians are fierce upholders of the right to free speech. An abandoned Walmart into something so wonderful! ding dreams for the future!


I don't have a problem with libraries, but they don't make money, improve the economy or create many jobs....This hatred you extreme liberals have of making money and business is going to ruin this country.

EDIT: It's not even an English library...In America... Another wet dream of the extreme left. Oh yeah, this is just great...
edit on 10-9-2012 by PvtHudson because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 11:40 AM
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here in the UK the councils are shutting them down.

it's a bit like public transport, if it doesn't make money it gets shelved.

ironic really. a library and public transport were never intended to make money but ho hum.

short term gain, long term pain !



posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 02:37 PM
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This is an example of what the common people really want; to educate themselves. The common people do not need more huge consumer temples of worship and capitalist driven machines. The common people want more public spaces of learning and enlightenment. It does not surprises me that usage of public books increased to much. In my humble experience in life so far, the common people get excited about having a place to meet and learn together.



posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by diddy1234
 


You bring up something which is both sad and tragic as well as points yet another contradiction of capitalism. Public libraries and public transport are services which are not meant to be profit generating services. They are services which are meant to benefit everyone in society. Yet, under the rules of capitalism such things are simply not worth providing. The contradiction comes in the fact that something like a public library cannot be truly owned by a ruling capitalist class so it creates friction between the common people and the `owners` of capital. A pubic library reduces the profit margin of the capitalist class because it requires them to give up some of the capital from the profit of production they control. Social democrats would argue that maintaining a public library is a way to balance of forces of power between the working class, the political class and the capitalist class. Yet, we see with all the public library closings that the balance cannot last forever because the capitalist class controls the means of production and the majority of `capital.` Those who control the means of production will always be able to also control where the capital from production will be invested.

I am very happy to see that this library has been opened and is very popular so far. I hope it can be maintained and kept from being shut down by the capitalist class.





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