Blending the Old and New in Pueblo, CO

While visiting the Arkansas Riverwalk recently, I got a chance to check out another downtown Pueblo structure that seamlessly combines the old and new.  The six year old Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library is all modern angles and spaces from the back,

but the entrance has the courtyard, water feature and adobe stone more typical of a hacienda and so reflects the city’s Hispanic heritage.

The xeriscaping in the plaza in front of the library is well suited to this arid climate.

Inside, on the first of four floors, there are meeting rooms, a cafe with express internet, and the Children’s Area.  Unfortunately the library is so busy, it’s hard to get photos of certain features as there’s always someone using them, but I did manage to snap a few of my favorite things, such as the curves in Kid’s that contrast with the angularity of the rest of the building.

And this little enclave where parents and children can read together.

A keyboard attached to a youth computer is a great way to entice this technophilic generation to learn piano via Piano Marvel.

A see-through CPU sits next to pink and action figure consoles. 

The kids have three games computers and nine internet ones too.  An assisted technology computer is also available for anyone to use.  There’s a puppet theatre with puppets (which can be checked out) hanging on a nearby wall.  And a wonderful multimedia display.

But I think this little reading place is my favorite thing – it brings out the inner child in me. 

Just outside Children’s is the Great Glass Elevator 🙂

The library has self-check stations, self pickup of holds, 38 adult internet computers, wi-fi throughout and three express internet stations.  There’s also an adult literacy program and the Nuestra Biblioteca for Spanish materials and cultural events.

This is a big district with five libraries and nine satellite locations in schools.  The Pueblo West location has a business and vocational center, so they’ve really got all the bases covered when it comes to making sure everyone’s job skills are up to date. 

Lots of great angles make for interesting spaces.

There are huge views of the city and mountains.

The Teen Area has nine computers and allows them lots of privacy.

They make good use of the abundant sunshine with solar panels.

Rawlings has a large collection of Anime and audiovisual materials.  They loan video games and there’s also an Hispanic Resource Center and the Infozone News Museum,

with its own big screen theatre.  There are Wednesday night movies, Saturday and Sunday matinees and miscellaneous other screenings.  During Spring Break, there are two films daily for adolescents.

With so many materials, selections and events, the Pueblo City-County Library District is an incredible asset for this area.

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4 Responses to Blending the Old and New in Pueblo, CO

  1. Jon Walker says:

    Thank you for the nice comments about the Rawlings Library and the Pueblo City-County Library District!

  2. Technology can be isolating. I love how the folks at the Rawlings Library have used technology to foster individual and community engagement!

  3. jshaffner says:

    That’s so true, especially for those who’ve been in jobs for ages where they didn’t use technology. It just seems so daunting to even have to apply for a job online, yet that’s often the only way employers will accept applications these days. I wish every library had a way of helping update their patrons’ skills like Pueblo does.

  4. Pingback: These are a few of our favorite things (at public libraries) | The Librarian is In

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