I drove down to the southern part of Oklahoma City and scanned the busy streets for the distinctive blue library logo that designated the Almonte branch.
Hmm, this is making me think of the temporary Bethany library, I thought as I walked (I'm not sure if this strip-mall library is temporary or permanent). I stepped inside, and my eyes grew wide. This library was way bigger on the inside than I had thought it would be (yes, I did think of the TARDIS).
So many books! There was a cool bilingual section on display in the children's area, which I think is fantastic. We need to introduce our children to other languages!
The children's area had some nice furniture and looked very inviting, too.
Around the library, there were lots of little reading areas and desks for people to work at, which I think is awesome. It made the library feel bigger, and I appreciate that some of these areas were spread apart to give people more space.
There was a large bulletin board displayed in the library, which was covered in flyers for community events, making it easy for people to get involved in the local community. This was a neat location, and I think they did an awesome job expanding the space they had and filling it with tons of resources!
After the journey through Almonte, I jumped in the car and drove a few miles to reach the Southern Oaks location.
I really liked where this library was situated: It was tucked away next to a neighborhood, with an adjacent park, and the area seemed pretty quiet-but it was a very short drive down the road to a major highway, making this library easily accessible!
When I walked in, my first thought was: Whoa, this is JUST LIKE the Ralph Ellison library!!!! The layout, the architecture, the placement of the windows...it was so, so similar.
There were some differences though, which I thought provided a nice, unique aspect to this library. For one thing, the interior color scheme used orange quite a bit, which I don't recall seeing at Ralph Ellison. Also, there was a nook in a separate room for teenagers, which I also don't think Ralph Ellison had. My son loved playing in the children's area here, which had puzzles and shiny furniture and was right next to some big windows :) I spoke with one of the librarians for quite some time, and she told me that Southern Oaks and Ralph Ellison are "twin libraries," but that when Southern Oaks was renovated inside, it became a little more different. I think it's pretty neat that we have these two libraries, and that they have some differences in design but are still very much the same (I love the layout and all the big windows).
I had a great day of adventuring to these libraries, and I'm so excited to continue this Great Library Adventure. I only have a few left, and I'm hoping to conclude this journey by the end of summer!