Thursday, February 19, 2009

Theme Thursday - Library

I've spent my life in libraries. I'm a book-aholic, and as you've seen from some of my photo essays here, I have a decent personal library. But public libraries offer a wider range of reading, and they're a great place to hang out, too. Plus nowadays you can check out CDs and DVDs, and even work on computers; sometimes an idea hits me while I'm out walking, and if the library is closer than my home, I go there and hop on Google to look something up.
The best of my education has come from the public library... my tuition fee is a bus fare and once in a while, five cents a day for an overdue book. You don't need to know very much to start with, if you know the way to the public library.
~Lesley Conger
So here's a tour of libraries here in Newport. Yes, we're not a very big town but I did use the plural. You'll see why below.




This is the Redwood Library and Athenaeum. It's the oldest lending library in America, and the oldest library building in continuous use in the country. It was founded in 1747 by Abraham Redwood and 46 of his friends and associates. Although it's not free - there's a yearly membership fee - it is open to membership to anyone, thus keeping it in the "public library" category.









Here's a different angle shot, showing off more of the architecture. The architect was Peter Harrison, a native-born American architect who introduced the classical style to the colonies. He also designed Newport's Touro Synagogue as well as Boston's King's Chapel and Christ Church in Cambridge, MA.











This is an earlier Newport public library building - known as the Newport People's Library (some of the books in the current library still have that stamp on them). It's right next door to the current public library; now it serves as the offices of several city departments.






And now I give you - today's Newport Public Library!
This is the view from up the hill behind the library, viewing the parking lot entrance. The block to the left in the picture is the original building. In 1999 and 2000 the entrance area and the block to the right was added; the library desperately needed to expand. Part of the expansion was a thoroughly up-to-date computer lab, as well as expanded public meeting rooms on the ground floor (you're actually looking at the second floor from this side - the building is on a hillside - which is the main level).







This is the Spring St. entrance to the library. I've always loved the lines of this architecture, and using a wide-angle lens to get this shot exaggerated the line very nicely!












Ah! Here we are! The whole point of having a library, after all: Books! This is part of the fiction section, which runs around the outer wall of the adult and reference areas.












And more books. This is looking down one of the aisles in adult non-fiction to the reference section. Books, books, books and more books! What more could a book-aholic need!








© 2009 by A. Roy Hilbinger

20 comments:

  1. Roy I envy you. Here in the wild young west our buildings are not old nor are they designed with any classical themes and usually just cement or wood.

    I have to admit I am a sucker for all your town's old brick buildings.
    Like the snow we always yearn for things we don't have.

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  2. Well, I didn't realize that Newport had the oldest lending library and oldest building in continuous use! Great photos, too. Like the Conger quote. It's so important to keep institutions like the library healthy and vibrant. Or maybe that's just socialism . . . buy your own book!

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  3. That second photo is exactly the kind of house I've always wanted to live in, a library house. Wonderful photos. Thank you.

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  4. thanks for the tour and bit of history on the newport library....sounds like a great library.... next time I'm in newport you can bee sure I'll buzz over to check it out! (okay I'm playing with your comment on the mouse....but you aren't too far off!)

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  5. ...love the post...and the libraries (especially that little green one). I worked in the public library when I was in high school. Great job!

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  6. I like your quote as well. I was fortunate when I was a child I was able to walk to the library.

    Our library is in need of expansion, but its on hold presently because of the economy.

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  7. Roy,

    There were 85 Carnegie libraries built in New England per your post on my Blog. For more info, see http://www.necarnegies.com.

    Thanks for visiting. Looks like you've some interesting posts here, too.

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  8. Thanks everybody!

    e - thanks! I followed your link. No wonder I didn't think we had any Carnegies up here - only one of them is actually called Carnegie Library. And there were never any in Rhode Island. Interesting.

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  9. Roy, I have got to stop by more often! Love the history lessons :)

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  10. I really like that shot of the entrance, too. Good job!

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  11. AH what beautiful buildings and beautiful photographs.

    I'll be looking up Busman's Honeymoon, thank you:)

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  12. I like the house library. Can you make a sandwhich while you look for a book?

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  13. The Newport Library looks like someplace I would love to go for a cup of tea, a window seat and a good old musty hardback to enjoy! Thank you for sharing some lovely shots. You have wonderful history where you are.

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  14. It would be no effort to stroll through those gounds with a good book!

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  15. I'm a library addict, I cannot just settle down and enjoy ONE. Thank you for the delicious tour & info. Loved the post.

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  16. Here in tiny town,GA, there is one very small library. In fact, the entire statewide library system has fewer offerings than any decent-sized university. That being said,I'm still a fanatical patron due to the ever-growing books-on-CD collection. For a visual artist, these are the perfect entertainment. I can listen while I paint without missing anything (as when I try to listen only to TV.) I tend to keep everything too long, so I pay lots of fines, but I do it with a smile, always joking "how else are you gonna afford the next Elizabeth George?"

    Great Post... I worked in libraries all through college as my work study job. I loved it.

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  17. I agree with Colette Amelia, here in the west, we have very few old buildings. In California, because most of the buildings are less than 30 years old, we have little history. My city library is small and just a cement building, if it did not say city library on it, you would not even know it was there. Might be why I just buy the books I read. I have donated many books to them and they say they can only take a few because they have no room. You are lucky to have such a large library. Oh to get lost in there....

    Thanks for the pictures and the post. Great as always.

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  18. I miss having a decent library. Our small town has a very tiny little building.

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  19. just linked over from gather. these are beautiful, the i so love the black and whites.

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