North Village library branch: light on books

The North Village branch still feels brand-new, as though it opened only yesterday. It is on Steck, but seems very quiet and peaceful despite all that, so that any performance on the little outdoor stage depicted in the accompanying collage probably will not be drowned out by passing traffic.

Areas seem to be better arranged than they are at the even newer Twin Oaks branch, so that there’s no constant apologizing for stumbling over or backing into other patrons, as there is at TO. The natural light everywhere indoors illuminates without glare. The acoustics are not noticeably reverberant and there seems to be ample damping down any possible echo effect.

The staff is very pleasant, and the ergonomics of the areas set aside for the library’s own desktop computers and for patrons’ carry-ins were excellent. Ample outlets are available at convenient heights for all. There’s a sort of wheelbarrow by the door, used as a magazine exchange.

Restrooms are for men, women, and “family.” More sinks would have been useful and a patrol, also, to pick up litter scattered around. This library has a good-sized children’s area and also seems to offer a selection of Korean movies on DVD.

Although the City bills North Village as a “library of the future,” a bit more of the past, in the form of more books, would be an improvement. Every branch of the Austin Public Library is different, and we try to visit them all. This is our first inspection of the newest version of North Village. It’s a fine building and conveys an air of conviviality and spaciousness. Three bus lines serve this location.

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