Photo credit (c) UTA Shorthorn
Libraries are cool again. Earlier last month, Arlington welcomed the gorgeous, three-story George W. Hawkes Downtown Library to Downtown Arlington. Eighty-thousand squared-feet of custom, convenient and technology-inclined space for the citizens of Arlington, this library is chock full of useful amenities for the bibliophiles of our city, as well as visitor the visitors that might need a little quiet library time in Arlington. Each level of the library is bustling with activity. The quiet spaces on the top floor will likely be the favorite destination for adults or anyone who is there for serious study or work, while teens will no doubt flock to the middle floor, which features workshops and video games. On the first floor, kids will have free reign in an area that's specially designed to grow with them.
Here are some special services and library access available for those visiting Arlington:
Free Wi-Fi. Those two words make a world of difference to me. If you’re in Arlington and your Wi-Fi is sketchy, or you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, you can bring your laptop or electronic device and connect to the Wi-Fi for free, no questions asked, no logins or usernames required.
Non-citizen library cards
- Price for partial non-citizen library card: check out books only OR access digital resources only: $25
- Price for full non-citizen library access: $50
Need gifts for the bookish friends and family back home?
Everything from books to logo’d tees and totes is available in the library's accordion-style, pop-up-esque-but-permanent gift store, which is also a great place to buy Arlington-themed gifts.
The impressive genealogy section
Does the idea of digging deeper into your family genealogy motivate you? You can now utilize the genealogy books on site FOR FREE to help you learn as much as you can about your ancestors, and if you want to use the genealogy computers, it’s only $1 and hour to work at your own pace. Find out more than you ever have about your roots!
The kids sections is not your normal kids section
Babies and kids have a section of their own, specially designed to fit the needs of growing babies and children with interactive shelving, toys, exciting story time areas and more. If you’re visiting Arlington with a young one, and can’t seem to calm them down, feel free to check out the library’s story times, where all kids are welcome to huddle up for a special story time, read by a member of the library staff.
Rooms can be booked for meetings
“The rooms can be reserved for FREE for nonprofits but require a library card to use and reserve. Study rooms are free to use for small groups on a first come, first served basis. For larger spaces reserved ahead of time, there’s a $20 application fee. Some spaces, like an executive-style board room and a rooftop garden, can be booked for private events with an additional hourly fee (since it’s a public space, if it’s reserved without a fee it is open to all).”
There’s a 3D printer!
You do need at least a partial library card to use it (see non-citizen options above), but there are classes open to the public to use this machine, and that includes non-Arlington citizens, who can attend said classes. If you want to use the 3D printer on your own accord, you can purchase your own materials at a decent rate through the library.
Video games in the teen section
Yes, you do need a library card to have access to video games -BUT- you can do one of the partial access cards for $25. The good thing is, if you find yourself back in Arlington you can use it anytime the library is open – not just on video games, but other digital resources as well!