Nine Fantastic and Unique Libraries to Visit
One of the best parts of working of working at Unique is getting to visit and meet with the teams at all great library clients. Libraries have much to offer their individual communities and their patrons know how interesting some locations and designs can be, but very few people are lucky enough to get to see many locations. Below is a list of nine (9) of the most distinctive libraries as shared by the Unique team.
Austin Public Library
Location: Austin, TX
Submitted by: Melissa Fenton
Position: Director of Customer Service and Implementation
Why Austin Public Library?
The Central Library is an architectural gem located in a bustling area of downtown Austin. There are many amazing features, but for me, the pièce de resistance is the roof garden which offers amazing views in addition to a lovely outdoor/shaded reading area. A bit of respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown. It does not hurt that a trip to Austin means delicious BBQ and Tex-Mex!
The New York Public Library
Location: New York, NY
Name: Nicole Atkins
Position: President & CEO
Why The New York Public Library?
I’m a bit of a history buff and this library is full of history. I love the rich history and the architectural design of the library. The high ceiling in the reading room is gorgeous. In addition to the library, I love the energy of New York City. It’s one of my favorite cities to visit and shop.
Malaga Cove Branch, Palos Verdes Library District
Location: Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Name: Rob Klaus
Position: President, Patron Services
Why Malaga Cove?
I had the opportunity to spend a week at the Palos Verdes Library District when we were setting up our first Patron Services system for call handling. All the PVLD locations are great, and Eve Wittenmyer and Kathy Gould were great to allow me to hang out behind the scenes and teach me so much about library operations. The Malaga Cove branch though just really stands out in my memories – it is, of course, right near the ocean, so that is nice. The old wood, vaulted ceilings, the quiet reading spaces, and I think even an Olmstead Garden outside really make it a special place. If you are in LA, it’s worth a visit and spend an hour or two browsing and reading.
Scottsdale Public Library
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Name: Cary Luckert
Position: Director of Marketing
Why Scottsdale Public Library?
In addition to be a very cool library architecturally with lofty ceilings and lots of natural light, Scottsdale Public Library is found right next to Scottsdale Stadium, Spring Training home of the San Francisco Giants. If you visit the library during March or April, you can potentially sneak a peek at a morning practice or stop in for a game in the evening. Plus, the weather is great if you avoid the summer.
However, if it is the summer, I also highly recommend the Ogunquit Memorial Library in Ogunquit, ME. Located within walking distance of both downtown and the beach of a great vacation town in Maine, this library built in 1897 is an architectural gem worthy of its place on the National Register of Historic Places.
Salem Public Library
Location: Salem, IN
Name: Kelsy Heffley
Position: Customer Service Account Manager
Why Salem Public Library?
What about the library makes it your favorite: It is my local library! I love sharing time, books, and experiences here with my children.
Enoch Pratt Free Library
Location: Baltimore, MD
Name: Kenes Bowling
Position: Manager of Customer Development
Why Enoch Pratt Free Library?
Hard to pick one – each library has its own delightful personality. One that comes to mind for me is Enoch Pratt. Baltimore is so rich in culture and history and Enoch Pratt embodies that in an impressive style, both in architecture and décor.
As a child, I spent part of every Summer in Baltimore with my aunt, uncle and cousins who loved in Towson. And that was before the Colts moved to Indianapolis. I got to go to one of the Baltimore Colts practices and still have a photo of me with Johnny Unitas (a prized possession). Don Schenick, #66, an all-pro linebacker, was a friend of the family. All those memories come back when I walk into the stately halls of Enoch Pratt. It is just a wonderful place.
And, of course, spending an afternoon at Inner Harbor is always fun. Great crabs at Phillips!
Fayetteville Public Library
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Name: Teri Lynn Bullock
Position: Customer Service Specialist
Why Fayetteville Public Library?
The building is spectacular, offering an art museum, a video production studio, a maker lab with a laser engraver, CNC router, 12 Mac Computers with Design Software, and more. They offer homework help for grades 1 through 9. They also have a business center for Non-profit and small businesses. Their Center for Innovation supplies not only opportunities for the pursuit of artistic endeavors but also allows for technical and job skill-building. They have native landscaping with 150 trees and shrubs native to Arkansas on site.
Some of my favorite things are the art and movement room, a full teaching kitchen, and their event room with full stage for large events.
Dunedin Public Library
Location: Dunedin, FL
Name: Frank Broadwater
Position: Patron Services Account Manager
Why Dunedin Public Library?
Dunedin Public Library was a great library to visit. We arrived a little early and saw the line of patrons waiting to access their library. The Gulf Coast was only a block away and a nice little café at the entrance. If you are a baseball fan, then the Toronto Blue Jays spring training field is right next door. As we were walking out after our meeting, the weather was perfect, and the team was getting off their bus to start spring training. You saw the fans lined up at the entrance and talking with the Blue Jays. Overall, it was a wonderful place to visit and was able to see parts of their community. They also have a few close breweries as well.
Just like these libraries, Unique is one-of-a-kind. We are here for one reason: to help libraries help patrons. Unique has any and all tools to help libraries in a number of ways. Learn more about what we do.