After years of planning and development, Austin’s Central Library has the whole community wowed by such a gorgeous, inviting space. In fact, it was recently selected as one of TIME Magazine’s 2018 World’s Greatest Places! Located downtown at 710 W. César Chávez St., this “library of the future” is 200,000 square feet featuring six floors full of natural sunlight, a variety of cool reading nooks, rows and rows of reading materials, technology, art and more!

You’ll find plenty of places to read and play with the family, or you can get some work done on laptops while enjoying the fresh air and awesome views from the many reading porches overlooking Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake. The children’s porch is completely screened in for safety, with seating for over 60 kids and their grown-ups to read and enjoy the outdoors. Kids can even check out binoculars from the Children’s Information Desk to use as they look out over the city and the lake.

Of course you’ll find plenty of books, but in addition, there are desktop computers as well as laptops and tablets that can be checked out for use inside the building. Automated laptop kiosks allow you to borrow an Apple Macbook Air or Microsoft Ultrabook to complete projects or simply explore the internet. You can try out virtual reality and interactive art displays, too. This building is designed to adapt to new technology and the needs of future generations. 

There are many shared learning rooms that can be used for classes and workshops, as well as expansive areas for community gatherings and events. There are six different areas available for rent on site, including a special event center, an art gallery, and a rooftop garden.

New Central Library Features:

  • book collections displayed to encourage discovery
  • 2 reading porches and an indoor reading room
  • views of Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake
  • landmark public gathering atrium space adjacent to Shoal Creek
  • Cookbook Bar & Café with outdoor dining adjacent to Second St. and Shoal Creek Park
  • Recycled Reads Gift Shop
  • gallery space featuring local and national artists
  • parking garage with 200 spaces
  • bike corral for 200 bicycles
  • permanent exhibit of Literature Live’s beloved puppets

We’re so happy to enjoy storytimes, playdates, and other special events at this awesome new community hub in the heart of Austin, and we’re thankful for such an impressive space for our kids to get excited about literature and learning!

For more information about the New Central Library, you can visit library.austintexas.gov.

*All photos by Roger Ho