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The new main library, with more than twice the space of the old facility, was planned to accommodate expanded services and changing technology. The building features conference and meeting rooms of various sizes, public typing and computer rooms, display areas and a state of the art film, sound and video library with preview facilities. On the third floor the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room houses special collections of historical materials, documents, manuscripts and rare books. The building opened in June 1989 with a new $1.5 million computer system to provide the public with on-line access to the library system's collection of close to one million items.
Designed by Middleton, McMillan, Architects of Charlotte, in association with Morris Architects of Houston and architect Gene Aubry of Sarasota, Florida, the building incorporates design details which alluded to the 1903 Carnegie library. A great room features a two-story reference area with a grand staircase, and arched doorways and window tracery recall the neo-classical theme.
The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County is poised to enter a new era of growth and development as it approaches its one hundredth year of service. From its modern beginnings in rented rooms above a bookstore, to today's system of urban research library, neighborhood branches and community outreach offering close to a million volumes, it has maintained its strong commitment to providing the educational and informational resources needed to continue to be an "influence for good" in Mecklenburg County.
Ryckman, Patricia. Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County: A Century of Service. Charlotte, N.C.: Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, 1989.