I realized this morning that I have been sitting on this information, which I meant to post. I attended the ceremonies for the re-opening of this branch downtown, and it was quite a bit of fun for the family, so I thought that I would share what happened that day as well as re-introducing you to this location.
I am an avid library resident, going at least once a week, but I have the tendency to stay at my local branches. The central branch has always been nice, but somehow I always enjoyed a university library more. Now, with children in tow, a university’s stacks would not be the place for the kids. I mentioned to one of the librarians that I had not been in this building for years, and that I am quite loyal to three near-by branches to my home. His eyes lit up with joy when he spoke of why this central location is so fantastic, just thinking of all of the books to peruse. I have to admit that he had a point.
What I really enjoy is that there is a safe place which offers so much to the family. My almost teenage son was enthralled with the room set aside for teens. Who knew that you could play Guitar Hero with a new friend among the books? The gaming systems in this fourth floor world were impressive, and my son did like the book collection too. My one year old daughter likes playing the computer games too. In the younger children’s section on the other side of this floor, we zoomed around the stacks finding books to gawk at, and a bank of computers to play with. Usually at the local branches, all of the little ones have to share one station.
Of course the variety of books was impressive, but I was delighted with the selection of CDs and DVDs that could be checked out. I strolled through the books in foreign languages and poetry to see who I would encounter, but I did not get much of a chance, since my daughter wanted to see more of the sites.
The celebrations were quite fun. The musical entertainment provided was great; I especially liked seeing Trout Fishing in America. My daughter probably enjoyed the dancers best of all. We watched the flamenco and native Indian dancers. I have to say the little Indian girls were cute in their costumes. My son liked the games which had been set up, and I think my wife liked going up on the stage to dance with the children with a Spanish speaking folk singer.
I would make a day of it if you are going to head downtown. The library is next to city hall. I park in the underground parking next to Jones Hall. We walk through the various parks on our way to the library, taking a look at city hall. I also like to walk around the Wortham Center. If you are like me, you will find that the walk to the new park, Discovery Green, after the library is not so bad. There are many places to stop to grab a bite to eat, so you can explore a little. I generally bring a picnic with me though. I like checking out some of the details on the older buildings, like the old Rice Hotel. The court houses are alright too. You can even walk over to Allen’s Landing by Buffalo Bayou. There is a nice nightlife now downtown centered along the Metro rail line on Main Street, but for dinner, I usually head down along Westheimer to find a place. It does make for a nice family day, and you may find that the children will not want to leave the library.