Discuss: Awesome Literary Things

Source: WebUrbanist — http://bit.ly/1343GzW

Wal-Mart Library Makeover

The Wal-Mart. It is, perhaps, the most ubiquitous big box store in some areas of the country, and it may well be one of the things that America is known for. I don’t know how comfortable I am with those facts, to be quite honest. Wal-Marts often feel as though they should have their own zip codes. Nothing but capitalism and consumerism as far as they eye can see. Apparently there are also tons of abandoned Wal-Marts that have, presumably, been casualties of our recent economic climate. Out in McAllen, Texas, they decided to do something interesting with all that space.

They made a library! Yes, an abandoned Wal-Mart in the town of McAllen was transformed into a 124,500-square-foot public library, which makes it the largest single-floor public library in the United States. How awesome is that? Not only is it a good use of space, it’s an excellent way to refurbish a Wal-Mart. And it looks absolutely gorgeous now that it’s been revamped and filled with books, study areas, and reading space. You can see pictures of the newly created, enormous library on the WebUrbanist site. According to the post there, this library includes “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.”

I usually like my libraries to be small and cozy, but this large and expansive space looks like it would be great to hang around in. Just imagine walking from one end to the other and seeing nothing but people researching, reading, writing, surfing the web, and studying. I think that’s a pretty awesome literary thing.

What do you guys think of the Wal-Mart library? What other large spaces do you think could be converted into libraries? Share in the comments!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

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