As private corporate interests battled to take over one of the most venerable libraries in the world (the New York Public Library) in Texas a different tendency was at work....
You'll find a Walmart store in most American towns and cities. These stores are almost always giant, taking up an average 2.5 football fields worth of space. So what happens when one of them closes? It's an awful lot of space to just let sit there.
Officials in McAllen, Texas, were faced with this problem when their local Walmart shut down. Instead of letting the giant store sit vacant, they did something amazing. They transformed it into the largest single-floor public library in America.
They stripped out the old walls and ceiling, and the modern library now boasts 16 public meeting spaces, 14 public study rooms, 64 computer labs, 10 children's computer labs, and 2 genealogy computer labs. There is also a cafe, a used book store, an auditorium, and self check-out stations, and cactus and palm gardens outside.
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