URBAN SPACES

Central Library Offers Something For Everyone

It’s hard to miss Central Library—and while that’s partly thanks to its gigantic size, this St. Louis Public Library location truly stands out because of its diverse range of offerings and programs. When Central Library’s renovation was completed in 2012 it truly became a one-stop location for entertainment and education for all audiences.

Architectural Juxtaposition

While the purpose of a library may be books and community, Central Library brings another element: beauty. This massive establishment engulfs an entire city block and features a myriad of architectural styles including Beaux-Arts and Neo-Classical. Famed architect Cass Gilbert designed the space, which was completed in 1912. One century and $70 million later, the George Nikolajevich and Cannon Design-led renovation was unveiled. Modern styles blend seamlessly into the classic elements providing a museum of architectural styles. Guided tours are open to the public twice per week with private options available.

All-Ages Programming

A hefty events calendar at Central Library offers creative and education opportunities for St. Louisans of all ages. Youngsters can hop in for Minecraft Monday or check out age-appropriate books in the Children’s Library. Teenagers are welcome to hang out in Teen Lounge and can get creative with ongoing activities like Makerspace Club or one-off events like the upcoming Digital Poster Creation seminar.

For adults, the extensive programming options at Central Library range from thought-provoking lectures, like the upcoming ‘Second Chances’ with photographer Dennis Minner, to skill-building workshops, including learning to create your own logo.

Multimedia Experience

Central Library is more than paperbacks and hardcovers. Library card holders are granted 10 digital check-outs per month through the Hoopla app. Available for iPhone and Android devices, Hoopla offers digital movies, eBooks, music and more for free.

Modern technology can also be found inside Central Library thanks to its Creative Experience. This makerspace includes four ‘pods’ featuring computers and creative software like Photoshop and Pro Tools. The Creative Experience also includes a dedicated recording studio, all open for walk-ins or by reservation.

About the author

Julia Cain

Julia Cain is a St. Louis reporter and blogger.