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St. Paul Central Library
I love the St. Paul Library, and I love how it exists in such stark contrast to the Central Library in Minneapolis. St. Paul is classic, with marble staircases and a feel that transports you to the days of railroad barons and old money. Minneapolis is modern and colorful, almost to the point of annoyance, as if it’s trying too hard to get an opinion out of you. The Minneapolis library feels truly public, with people everywhere you turn, and the open spaces making humans difficult to avoid. St. Paul is quiet and feels like a secret, where you could really get lost in the nonfiction stacks, with only few other souls even knowing you are there. (This last fact is what I call the St. Paul Problem, where great places are troubled only by the lack of people, but are also sometimes improved by this fact.)
But mostly I love the library because I am a frugal person who doesn’t like how books I buy just sit on my shelves, unread. My last visit to the library netted me design books, color books, and study books for a math test. Simply looking at the color books alone, I was flummoxed by the amount of choices at my fingertips and I started to panic: will Minneapolis libraries have everything I need right there or will I have to wait a week for a book on paint choices? I have never checked out books from the Hennepin County system, so I can’t speak to their selection or availability. I can attest that St. Paul has always served me well, however.
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