I love new libraries with their technological gadgets and streamlined spaces, but I have a soft spot for old-fashioned libraries with rows and rows of books, lots of wood shelving, tables and moulding, interesting architectural nooks and details, and just an overall sense of comfiness.
Most of these libraries were built in the early 20th century, and one great example is the A.K. Smiley Public Library in Redlands, California.
Built in 1898, with several additions over the years, the structure is built with solid red stone in a Moorish style and features timber beams in the Reference Wing and Children’s Room. It has a reading area in the Scott Conservatory with access to an outdoor courtyard garden overlooking the Lincoln Memorial Shrine.
The Reference Wing includes a fireplace with inglenook seating and incorporates lovely clerestory windows along the walls culminating in a rose window at the end.
I heard the ultimate testimonial from two different staff members (one a librarian and the other a library assistant), who told me they were very proud of their library and loved working there (and both were offered with shy, but sincere smiles).
Visit the A.K. Smiley Public Library online!