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McAllen Public Library

So far the saying that everything is bigger in Texas has rung true, including the McAllen Public Library which is the largest single story library in the USA.  It gas gotten a lot of press over the last few weeks including this article in the LA Times.  Needless to say, I had to check it out, especially because it is about 10 minutes from the current home of sealaura industries.
a library, bookstore, cafe all in ONE!

As soon as I walked in, my heart started pounding at the sight of all these rows of books and all the  information ready to be discovered.  In case you didn't know I have a Masters in Latin American and Iberian literature and an obsession with 19th century French literature.   So as you can imagine I have spent many hours in a library.  The 8th floor of the Hesburgh Library at Notre Dame was my stomping grounds back in the day but today I am thrilled to have this beautiful library so close by.
The entrance to this library is lined with the most colorful Aztec inspired art.  This exposition alone is worth making a trip down here. 
 Nobody would ever know that this library was once a Walmart. But instead of becoming another warehouse or maquiladora, it is now the city's gem.   The architecture and layout is very soothing yet modern.  In fact the library won the 2012 Library Interior Design Competition.  If I could, I would like to book a room and vacation here.  I guess you kind of can, since they also have study rooms available, but not overnight (ha ha!).
During my visit, I strolled through each aisle and took it all in.  However, when it came to choosing my first books I became overwhelmed and started to panic.  How could I possibly choose from all these books?!  But then I calmed myself down and remembered I could come back. 
the library also has a nice selection of films, music and audiobooks
The transition to living in McAllen, TX has been a little difficult for my Californian blood but this library has inspired me and made me open my heart to McAllen a bit more.  Suddenly my new life in the Rio Grande Valley has brightened up exponentially! And what a better place to come in and travel all over the world than a public library?  If you ever come to South Texas, you have to check it out and if you are not in these parts, I highly recommend visiting your own library and discovering or rediscovering everything it has to offer.
Happy Reading!


O D Y S S E Y said...

Well, count me as being amazed! I would never guess from your photos that this library is anywhere in south Texas. See? The region is full of surprises. In fact, I'm off to show J a cool surprise I found at our art museum: a chic cafe' with the best food and cappuccinos that CC has to offer.

Cheryl said...

What a beautiful library! I wanna go!

Sarah B. said...

I want to stand under that water!! Those turquoise chairs are cool looking, there are some interesting chairs at the Library on the University Campus here where I am. I love chairs :)

paisleysummer said...

I love the water feature and the furniture is fabulously colourful, so different to the usual staid interiors of libraries! x

Nicolle said...

I love that first shot!

I'm so happy for you that you have this awesome library in your town. How fun is that?! I would be in heaven with that little cafe in there too. It looks like a really great place to be. I love finding gems like this!


anita said...

Laura! Have you seen alamar yet? It is a beautiful sweet film. I noticed Comcast is running it on ON DEMAND again. You won't need the subtitles ;)