Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 53: Sacramento Public Library

I've been a fan of public libraries ever since I was a kid.  Mom definitely made use of the Ventress Memorial Library in our hometown as a resource for my sister and me, and I especially remember being able to go to story time in my pajamas.  I preferred books to most any other entertainment, and Mom even had to get special permission for me to check out books from the Eames Way School library that were "above my grade level" when I was in 3rd grade.

During my time in Madison, I frequented the small library branch location on South Park Street.  Having a small stack of light but engaging paperbacks to provide a respite from my academic reading was an important aspect of my strategy and routine while I was working on my PhD, especially during the three semesters that I was researching and writing my dissertation.

So when we moved to Sacramento in 2004, one of the first things I did was get a library card.  My "home" branch for many years was the McKinley Park location, since it was within easy walking distance of the PPMM office:

This is a lovely little neighborhood branch in a beautiful building, and I really enjoyed frequenting this site during my 7+ years at PPMM, as it was so convenient to pick up books during a short walk from the office.

When I transitioned to CPCA in early 2012, I switched my "home" branch to the Central Library, located on I Street between 8th & 9th:

This location is just five blocks from CPCA and eight blocks from home, so I can either take a break during the work day for a short walk or incorporate a stop on my homeward bound route at the end of the day to pick up or drop off books.

This afternoon, I really took note for the first time of the structure of the Central Library and realized that it's composed of two buildings.  I did a little research and learned that the structure on the corner of 9th & I was built in 1917, thanks to a $100,000 Carnegie grant to the City, and features light-colored brick and big lion head ornamentation:

The newer addition that stretches towards 8th Street is much more modern (and less appealing, in my opinion) in its design:

The two parts of the library are connected by an arching and light-filled lobby galleria area that stretches through the middle of the block to provide a somewhat hidden pedestrian entrance accessed from J Street or the nearby parking structure on 8th & J:

I'm just very pleased to have this public amenity in Sacramento to feed my reading habit in a very economical manner, as I rarely feel the need to purchase books to add to our own personal collection when I have access to so many titles through the public library system.


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