Murphy-Wilmot Library Tucson Branch

May 05

A dear friend shared their nearest library with me to share with you. So without further delay, here is the Murphy-Wilmot Library (Tucson Branch) in Arizona. This library according to my friend, It’s setup fairly nicely – layout of rooms around the perimeter, “hot seller” books on special racks up front, a nice area in the middle with computers, the teen/kids section is in the back with access to a lawn area outside, and closer to the adult sections (grown-up adult, not XXX adult) there is a nice lounge area with chairs and couches and even snack machines. We don’t use the “reading” area much, but there’s a nice ramp/stairs down about 3 feet (like a sunken part of the library) with periodicals and more lounging areas. Plus, it’s all very “clean” design. You’d expect that with a completely remodeled library though   A little bit of information about the architecture of the building itself, “Designed in 1964 by Nicholas Sakellar and Associates, Wilmot Library reflects his style of modern design in desert settings. Clean horizontal lines, clerestory windows, and extended overhangs create the illusion of a roof floating above an inviting, shaded oasis. The interior has an open, spacious view segmented with low dividers and a unique sunken reading area. A special architectural feature is a carved arch sculpture over the entrance doors created by Tucson sculptor James Savage. The symbolic carvings reflect man’s progress in knowledge. Opening for service September 21, 1965, Wilmot was the third library building constructed in Tucson at a total cost of $406,730 for the 15,550 sq. ft. regional branch. In 1966 the Wilmot Branch Library and its architect were selected as one of eleven winners of a biennial national architectural award for “distinguished accomplishment in library architecture” sponsored by the American Institute of Architects in cooperation with the American Library Association. In a 1997 Arizona Daily Star reader’s survey, the Wilmot branch was selected as one of Tucson’s top 25 architectural landmarks (#22.) An addition, designed by Dino Sakellar, was completed in 1983 increasing the buildings size to 19,000 sq. ft. The Wilmot Branch Library, located in east central Tucson next to St. Joseph’s Hospital, is open over 60 hours a week...

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4 am Project (Birmingham UK)

Apr 30

A friend took part in the 4am Project in Birmingham, UK over the past weekend. And he was kind of enough to share some of his work with me to share here.   The press release about the 4am Project: 4am Photographers to get Brutal in Birmingham’s Central Library Birmingham photographers with mild insomnia and an eye for the unusual will have the unique opportunity to play their part in an innovative global project to record and document the world before dawn and take part in this years 4am Project Tour. The 4am Project, a worldwide community experience, takes place on Sunday 24 April 2011 and aims to capture a time of day that many people rarely see. Brainchild of UK photographer Karen Strunks, and building on the ever growing phenomenon of social media, the 4am Project is an exercise in global solidarity to encourage the sharing of visual imagery that reflects the world we live in. Alongside the 4am Project each year runs a curated 4am Project Tour providing photographers with exclusive access to unique and wonderful locations. This year in conjunction with Project Brutal the 4am Project Tour comes to iconic Birmingham’s Central Library and will allow photographers entry into the library and also exclusive access to some truly magical and breathtaking areas not seen by the public. With the brutalist library currently on course for demolition [ ] this years 4am Project Tour will provide a final chance for people to capture and celebrate this truly iconic building. Tickets for the 4am Project Tour will be made available via eventbrite on Thursday 24th at 11am. Spaces are limited to 50, and will be allocated on a first served basis. Partnering with the 4am Project Tour this year is Project Brutal which works to curate and encourage creative projects and events that capture Birmingham’s Brutal Central Library before it’s proposed demolition. Co-ordinator for the 4am Project, Karen Strunks, is adamant 4am can often be a beautiful time of day. “I live in Birmingham – the UK’s second largest city – and after a night out a while back, I was driving from one side of the city to the other. It was around 4am and...

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Bellingham reads in style…

Jul 09

Someone wanted to visit a friend, said friend lives in a town moderately far away… so off we went on a grand adventure to Bellingham, WA. We took the scenic route on the Chuckanut Drive (route 11) because it made for a prettier getaway and mapquest said it wouldn’t take much more time than taking ol’ reliable but boring I5. It was an amazing drive. Two lane road winding around a very rocky cliff warning of slides and falling rocks. Water…the San Juans…rocky edges so close I could have reached out and touched them. It was a nice drive despite the rider’s sunburn I am now nursing. This scenic drive led us right into Fairhaven, a suburb of Bellingham. It is a quaint lovely nature loving, recycling-is-a-top-priority-here kind of place. There were so few major chains of anything there that we didn’t even discover the Starbucks till well into the evening. They had their local banks and their local grocery stores and more than one co-op food group! How absolutely greenalicious is that? The sidewalks were littered with quirky red benched bus stops, red and white fire hydrants and blue recycle containers filled to their brims with plastic and glass eco-responsibility. I looked for its Barnes and Noble, a stop I search for in every place I travel. I didn’t find one but what I did find was even better… two independent books stores on the same road… one multi-level store peopled like one rarely sees in an independent book store anymore or any place dealing with enrichment of the mind. The one I am referring to is “Village Books” which is larger than life, bigger (and better) than Barnes and Noble or and Borders (by far!). It has so much muchliness it pours out onto the court-yard where people linger all day just to ingest a little (or a lot) before they go forward on their merry ways or they stop after a long day of work for respite that is all too elusive in our fast-paced gotta-go, gotta-produce society. Sprinkled out like crumbs for the hansel and gretels of Bellingham were quotes on the outside of the store enticing people inside to relish or discover or rediscover the beauty of...

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No Joy for the Library in Boise

Jun 19

Seventy-four year old Joy Cassidy was arrested recently for dumping mayonnaise into a book drop, damaging books. This was one of the latest of many condiment shenanigans at this poor library’s book drop where many books have been ruined. Maniac mayonnaiser? Crazy Condiment Queen? What would make her this upset? And isn’t there a better way to handle your frustrations? I suspect she must be mentally unhinged. From the stories I’ve read she even had a gun she without a permit in the car when arrested. Scary. This is scary and sad.12 I am glad she was caught before more damage could be done, possibly irreversible damage. Maybe its time to help the Ada Community Library with some donations? [↩]

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