A Visit to the St. Louis Public Library
In early July I was fortunate enough to drop by the Central Library of the St. Louis, Missouri public library system. Charmingly, it bills itself "St. Louis' Original Search Engine," and I was immediately a big fan of their historic building, their multitude of print and electronic offerings, and the helpful and knowledgeable staff who work with their historic document collections. A few snapshots:
Central Library's gorgeous Beaux Arts building dates from 1912 and was substantially restored for its hundredth anniversary. The main impression is a cathedral-like grandeur combined with comfortable practicality. In every room tourists like me were gaping at the ceilings, while the locals were just finding books, doing research, being kids in kid spaces, and everything else you do in a great public library.
Reader-friendly internally lit shelving blends surprisingly well with vintage ceilings. The outside of the building is also splendid with literary quotations and a fountain sparkling on a sunny day.
Humorous details inside and out complement the beautiful building and the depth of the collection.
Are you visiting a notable or historic library anywhere in the world this summer? Share your experience in the comments or on our Facebook page.