Texas city does what Louisiana won’t, support libraries
This remarkable story from McAllen, Texas shows what happens when a town puts its money where its mouth is and the impact it can have on its citizens:
According to local news reports, the city purchased the abandoned [Walmart] store from the corporation for $5 million and spent nearly $26 million dollars total on the project, with renovations led by the Minneapolis-based firm MS&R Architecture. While a 2 1/2 football-field sized property has great potential (think of all the books!), the massiveness posed the “primary challenge” to the design team which relied heavily on color to help users understand the floor-plan and navigate the building. Features include conference rooms, a coffee shop, a copy center, an acoustically-shielded space for chatty teenagers, and a 64-terminal computer lab: not bad for a small city with a population less than 150,000 people.
The story goes on to report that since the library’s opening, “more than 10 times as many people registered for new accounts in December 2011 when the library opened than the same month in 2010.”