When Walmart decides to leave a town, it often lives a gaping hole behind. This is particularly true of its abandoned buildings, which are usually pretty massive in size.
This was definitely the case for the city of McAllen, Texas. When Walmart decided to shut down its store in McAllen and bid the city farewell, city officials weren’t too sure what to do with the building that it left behind.
One option was to continue to use the building as a retail space, possibly splitting it up so that a number of different stores could use the building. Surprisingly, though, the town decided to make another choice that would turn the building into something that would truly serve the local community.
Instead of turning the building into yet another retail location, the city decided to create a brand new public library. This wasn’t destined to be just another regular library, however. The result of this creative transformation of a dilapidated old Walmart store was the biggest library in the country!
The list of features for this new library is truly outstanding. With 116 computer labs and 355,000 books, this library has enough space for every single person in the library to work privately.
Additionally, while many libraries may have different sections for different genres of books and different age groups, McAllen’s new library actually has entirely separate rooms and areas for different age groups. For example, Area 3918 was specifically designed for teenagers and has six computer labs and rooms dedicated to studying, surfing the Internet, playing games, and even watching movies.
Not interested in reading books? That’s not a problem at this library, as local community members can also come to the weekly farmer’s market outside of the library where they can purchase fresh local produce.
There’s also a cafe inside where visitors can come to spend time with friends and grab a cup of coffee or a snack.
Maybe you just need some time to rest, relax and enjoy some plant life. The Rio Grande Valley is an outdoor lounge with local flora and fauna where you can enjoy a few moments of quiet contemplation.
Another unique feature of the library is its front entrance, which is illuminated in a beautiful shade of blue as soon as night falls.
What kind of effect did all of these amazing features have on the citizens of McAllen? Despite the fact that libraries don’t usually draw much attention or create much excitement, this new library managed to increase its registration by 23% in the first month that it was open. Clearly, the whole town wanted to experience this amazing building for themselves and see what it has to offer.
Clearly, the city of McAllen made the right choice when they decided to completely transform an old, abandoned retail building and turn it into a uniquely vibrant library that brings the whole community together. It truly is a beautiful building that makes for an exciting experience for all of its visitors.