Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Visit to the New Phoenix Agave Library

I took the opportunity to visit the new Agave library on the day of its grand opening and here are my first impressions. Let’s start with the pros and then the cons.

This new creation of Will Bruder & Partners, LTD offers large Children’s and Teen areas including a very nice Storytime room separated from the rest of the Children’s area. Also included is a very large Public Meeting room. The location is easy to get to right off of Pinnacle Peak Road and 36th avenue with plenty of parking with access at both ends. At this point I am out of pros.

On the con side, I will try to keep it short. Will Bruder & Partners, may be great architects for some buildings but they have once again demonstrated their total lack of knowledge of what goes on in a library. The interior of the building has concrete floors, concrete block walls and a completely unfinished ceiling. Looking upwards you can see the unpainted wooden trusses, air ducts and electrical wiring. The interior is totally devoid of any sound absorbing materials; on the contrary noise is reflected in every direction. Beyond the building the furniture leaves much to be desired. Anyone with a laptop needing power will not be able to use a table. The only electrical outlets, few as they are, are near reclining chairs making an effort to study impossible. The only place to really use a laptop effectively is in one of the three study rooms. Two of the rooms are about the size of large closets while the third will seat 6 to 8 people comfortably. Part of the floor is filled with public Internet computers, which is great for those using them. There is also a training area equipped with 24 computers but the area is separated off from the main floor by ceiling to floor yellow plastic strips. Not very attractive visually and most certainly not noise reducing.

Overall this building would make a terrific airplane hanger or garage but not a very good library. Another colossal waste of our tax dollars.