A few years ago a leaking hot water heater took a chunk out of my coveted book collection. Then another move made me realize that hauling around boxes of books was not very practical and added a lot to the moving bill. So after years of avoiding the public library it seemed like a good idea to check out how they might have changed. In the Northern Virginia area we are lucky to have a huge selection of libraries to choose from including a new state of the art library that opened recently in Shirlington.
As soon as you walk in the door you realize this is not a place were you are going to find rows of those pesky card catalogs but instead a sleek state of the art computerized facility. Offering 26 PC stations, total wireless access if you bring your own laptop, a 75 person meeting room with Smart Board and check out with a library card with built in RFD chip. There are comfortable chairs scattered throughout the library and you are allowed to bring in a cup of java!
This $225 million dollar facility replaces the old “temporary” library which was flooded in 2006. The building was built following “green” building principles including recycled-content carpeting, low VOC paints, a reflective roof and energy efficient systems. Arlington County is in the process of applying for LEED certification from the Green Building Council. Originally conceived as a one story building the project grew when the Signature Theater learned that it would need a new home as well. Known for taking risks with adaptations of overlooked theater products, the Signature Theater has won acclaim with 54 Helen Hayes Awards over the last 20 years.
With community art on display, an LED architectural light show which can you can see as soon as you enter Shirlington Village and a mosaic fountain designed by Martha Jackson-Jarvis a local sculpter you will see how this library is one step above ordinary.
So if you have been avoiding the library because of the fear of the dreaded SHHHHH then you need to take another look at what is happening in your local library. The new one in Shirlington gives you a great opportunity to avoid heavy lifting the next time you need to move.