Today, Kate shares details on Cambridge's new community hub:
The City of Cambridge is blessed with a beautiful new public library. After years of public debate followed by years of construction, the library building in which I spent many happy childhood hours has been largely subsumed into a welcoming, sunlight-filled addition.
The Cambridge Public Library features large open areas of books, magazines, newspapers, and DVDs and CDs, all in an environment that manages to combine serenity with openness. For those who want quiet and solitude, the second floor includes semi-private study rooms, and the top floor features a patio with views towards the Charles River. Best of all for families, the entire third floor is devoted to services for children, and the space is everything that a children's library should be: warm, safe, full of interesting things to touch and look at, and designed so much with children in mind that it even includes a resident hamster.
The success of the new library - among architecture critics and city residents alike, both of whom have flocked to see it - reminds us that libraries can and should be much more than repositories for books and newspapers. At their best, they are centers of civic life, both reflecting and reinforcing values of community-building, self-improvement, and quiet reflection.
Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge; 617-349-4030; Image credit: Bob Coe