Out running errands this morning, I seized an opportunity to stop by Joplin’s newly opened public library. The grand opening took place while I was in Italy. I have driven by the building site for months, watching with curiosity as the library rose on the corner of 20th Street and Connecticut Avenue. Moving from its former location downtown, the library was taking up residence in the heart of the tornado zone.
Wishing to take a peek inside the gorgeous, contemporary building sprawled on its six acre landscaped lot, I thought I would dash inside for a few minutes and look around. I should have known better. I love books. A fun outing for me involves leisurely browsing through a bookstore, pulling intriguing books off the shelves.
The moment I stepped into the Joplin Public Library, I was wowed. My immediate first impression was that this place had less the feel of a library, and more the feel of a bookstore. Except the books are free…as long as you return them!
Let me show you around. Join me on a visual tour of the library.
Clean contemporary exterior. Huge parking lot.
Front lobby includes check out area with automated self check stations and New Books sections, fiction and nonfiction.
Gathering areas, right and left of the main lobby.
Genealogy, Local History and Post Memorial Art Library section. Beautiful!
Snack area with vending machines!
General reading section includes computer labs, dvds, music, audios and books, of course. New bookshelves are lower, creating an open, spacious look. Ample floor to ceiling windows let in lots of natural light.
My favorite additions to the new library…cozy, inviting seating areas!
My favorite chair in the library! It swivels and feels secluded…a true reading nook.
There are “unconference” rooms and study rooms around the perimeter of the building, available for use.
The colorful and amazing children’s library.
Here too there are inviting seating areas that are playful as well.
The round windows in the children’s area are padded and function as fun seats.
Art gallery leading to conference room.
I was so impressed with the new library. Although I was a frequent visitor at the old site, I never lingered in that library. The building wasn’t all that old, but it seemed dark to me, with a heavy energy. Perhaps that was due to the building’s design. Or perhaps my intuitive senses picked up on the fact that the downtown library was built on the site of the old Connor Hotel. A man died there, trapped in the building, when a planned demolition went wrong. Whatever, the reason, I always felt uncomfortable there.
Not so in the new library. I love this space. It is beautiful, spacious, and full of light. The energy is incredibly positive and uplifting. I felt inspired and invited. I wanted to linger there. I wanted to curl up in a comfy chair with a good book!
And I shall do exactly that, very soon, when I have a free afternoon. I hope to see you there.