According to Cicero, "If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." After we saw the revamped Central Library, we knew what he meant. Downtown's revitalization got a boon when the library opened in April; the building, which used to house the First National Bank, is absolutely gorgeous. Behind the classical exterior, with its brass doors, lies the main hall, with huge pillars, grayish-blue walls and a marbled ceiling with gold accents. The former check-writing stands now hold computers, films are shown in the vaults, art exhibits are showcased in the galleries on the first and second floors, and the fifth-floor rooftop terrace provides a lovely view of downtown. Visitors can wile away hours at the periodical racks, where magazines such as Paris Match
share shelf space with Saveur
, and comfortable armchairs and window seats provide cozy cocoons for an afternoon of reading. We're also pleased to note that something else had been revamped as well -- the library cards themselves, which have joined the realm of grocery coupon cards by shrinking down to a small rectangle that fits on a keychain. Now if only the library would install a self-checkout machine in every branch, our inner library dork would really
have everything we need.