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12 October . 2018

Austin Public Library makes list of World’s 100 Greatest Places

Time magazine’s 2018 list of the World's Greatest Places includes 100 spectacular destinations across the planet, including a Roman-era temple in London, China’s first virtual-reality theme park, and a multi-billion-dollar branch of the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi.

You might not expect a library to make such a list, unless it’s the Austin Central Library, where a collection of 500,000 books is just for starters.

Opened in 2017, this downtown Austin wonder includes an art gallery, a dramatic event space, 14 shared learning rooms, and a cookbook-themed coffee shop that features the collection of the late Austin food writer, Virginia B. Wood. The “technology petting zoo” invites visitors to engage with cutting-edge technologies, such as a 3-D printer.

The library showcases Austin’s natural beauty along with knowledge. Reading porches overlook Lady Bird Lake and Shoal Creek, and the rooftop butterfly garden attracts many colorful visitors.

The building itself is an attraction, built around a sunny six-story atrium. This summer, it received Platinum LEED certification for its sustainable design, which includes a garage for parking and repairing bicycles, and a rooftop cistern that pipes rainwater to bathrooms.

Take a photo tour of this award-winning library, and explore more cultural and natural treasures near Sweetwater with our Area Guide.