Meandering through the Seattle Central Public Library
The exterior of the Seattle Central Library reminds me of the adage Don't judge a book by its cover.
The modern exterior leaves me feeling cold, but once inside, the library features delight after delight! Anyone can see why Seattle is so proud of this building that opened in 2004.
My Person and I start in the Children's Center. The colors draw me in. Families have a comfortable activity area where they can play games, put together puzzles, or explore books! Then there's the tree, named Braeburn Greenleaf Goodwood III (an apple tree, of course). The tree changes with the seasons and behind the little door live some fairies!
Stuffed animals adorn many of the shelves along with this fantastic papier-mâché of Moishe from Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. One of the staff told us that children made Moishe at camp, but had no idea what to do with him when they were finished. They called the library and asked if they would like to put him on a display.
After being drawn in by the shininess of the Children's Center, My Person and I take the elevator to the 10th floor where we find some beautiful views. We wind our way down through the work stations and stacks.
So many places to be productive or just sit for a while and read. They have more than 400 computers along with wifi.
When we get down to the 5th floor, we discover "Making Visible the Invisible" by George Legrady. These six LCD screens alternate between four different views to present various ways of analyzing and visually mapping check-out data from the Central Library.
On an information sheet that one of the super nice IT guys gives me, Legrady is quoted as explaining, "The concept is to try to show what the community is thinking based on the flow of books leaving the library."
We watch "Floating Titles," which displays the titles of library materials checked out.
Books titles appear in red, DVDs, CDs, and videos are in green. If items are checked out at the same time, they appear closer to one another.
And finally, the Dewey Decimal numbers figure into the presentation too. Lower Dewey Decimal numbers are near the top and higher ones are closer to the bottom.
After watching the titles float by for a bit, we decide to check out the Friend Shop on the 3rd floor. They have many bookish delights for sale. Some of their items feature the architecture of the library while others celebrate books of all kinds.
Run by the Friends of the Seattle Public Library, this Friend Shop boasts many treasures to take home knowing that you supported your local library!
New books and staff suggestions are also available on the 3rd floor. They have a seasonal publication called Books the Library Loves: Staff Favorites that covers children, teen, adult fiction, and adult non-fiction books. While some of the books are a little older, many are from 2104. What a great resource to peruse if you're just not sure what to read!
There is coffee cart next door to the Friend Shop, so with this kind of sustenance one could easily spend hours curled up with a great new read in this library.
I want to thank My Person for taking and editing all of the pictures you see here. This post would be nothing without the pictures that bring the library to life.
We had a great time meandering around, chatting quietly, taking pictures, and enjoying this Seattle gem!