The Walmart Library

Photo: McAllen Public Library

What to do with 124,500 square foot of an abandoned Walmart? The city of McAllen, Texas, has a refreshing answer: put a library in it!

The size of more than two football fields, the McAllen Public Library is the largest single-story library in the country, the website PSFK writes. Its conversion from vast warehouse space to functioning library has recently made it the winner of the 2012 Library Interior Design Competition by the International Interior Design Assn.

Adriana Ramirez, who teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh, grew up in McAllen. "The old library on Main Street was not beautiful," she told Jacket Copy. "It was packed with books and seemed too small for the people it serviced. Of course, that was part of the charm -- always waiting your turn for the computer and spending a good amount of time finding a corner where you could read uninterrupted. The new library solves all that."

Carolyn Kellog of the Los Angeles Time's Jacket Copy blog has more: Link | More photos at McAllen Public Library's gallery and PSFK - via Holy Kaw and Boing Boing 

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That is too cool! I heard that our local library was trying to buy an old Borders, but we have an old Target that would be full of win...
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When our local Walmart built a bigger building, the old one sat for years because the company would not sell it to a retailer that might be a competitor -and it was too big for anything else. It was eventually purchased by a non-profit sheltered workshop, which worked out just fine.

But just recently, my town became completely wet, and the Walmart superstore is outside the city limits. And in a dry county. They are losing a lot of business to stores in town that now sell beer. I hear they are planning to move again, which will leave a much larger empty building.
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