In October I took a trip to Phoenix, AZ and was able to check out a few of the local libraries (as one should always do when traveling). It gave me a chance to walk around the city and to check out a large public library’s main branch as well as a state library and museum. Here are the top 10 things I loved about the libraries in Phoenix:
- The main branch of the Phoenix Public Library is so wonderful! Very large, easy to get to from downtown, and the staff was super friendly!
- There was an awesome art gallery/open space on the first floor where artwork by local artists was on display. Very cool!
- So much natural light! As someone who has spent lots of time in tiny-windowed archives, I appreciate walls of windows in public libraries…
- There was a fairly extensive teen room – however, I was unable to take any photos as it was strictly teens-only and I did not want to infringe on their space!
- The public library also featured an “Arizona Room” which holds a “research collection about the heritage, lifestyle and geography of the desert Southwest from prehistoric times to the present.” It has everything from maps to historic newspapers to Arizona Territory records. Definitely a must-see for Southwest researchers.
- There was also a “College Depot” area where patrons can go for resources, programming, and collections related to the college search and application process. I’d never seen a dedicated area for this kind of service but I love the idea. Definitely a great way to draw in patrons and meet their information needs.
- The State Library is open to everyone and has a number of impressive resources.
- I was impressed by the large number of genealogy and local/family history resources; the collections must reflect the patron base needs. Yay genealogy!
- There is also a neat state history museum in the same building as the library with exhibits about local history, politics, and government.
- The museum also features a number of historic “department offices,” including a “governor’s office” which features a life-size sitting statue of the state’s first governor, George W.P. Hunt. You will think it is a real person at first; it will startle you; you will walk away too rattled to remember to snap a photo.
To visit the Phoenix Public Burton Carr Central Library:
1221 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Hours: Monday, Friday-Saturday, 9AM-5PM; Tuesday-Thursday, 9AM-9PM; Sunday, 1-5PM
To visit the Arizona State Library/Archives/Museum:
1700 W. Washington Street, Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM