posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 06:40 PM
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)