I recently moved to Key West from Orlando. I say recently but it’s been about two years now. It was hard for me to move away from my family and friends to a strange new place. But it was especially hard for me to leave behind my favorite library. The Downtown Orlando Library.
(Picture found at https://www.ocls.info/locations-hours/orlando-public-library)
I have very fond memories of coming here with my mom throughout my childhood and into my adult life. We would park in the big parking garage across the street and then walk across the crosswalks into the huge glass front doors. Walking into the building there are multiple check out stations on the left and right and then if you keep going you will arrive at the staircase.
(photo by me from Instagram)
The staircase goes up towards the fiction section and down into the two basements that the library has in it. I personally love these stairs. Although I have heard many people say that they are ugly. These giant stairs always feature heavily in my memories mostly due to the fact that they are huge and they are very close to the entrance when you walk in so they are one of the first things people see.
I recently got to go back to this library when I was evacuated from Key West for Hurricane Irma in September 2017. While we were staying at my parent’s house in Orlando my mom and I got to go to a library book sale here. It was a magical day spent with my mom discovering great new authors and finding many, many books to add to our collections. If I recall correctly I took home over 30 books that day to add to my growing collection. The library also had DVDs, CDs, and records on sale as well. The librarians let us use one of the library carts to take all of our books down to the car.
This library, as well as a few others in my life, are really what got me to fall in love with books. Checking out a giant pile of books and being able to come home and voraciously tear through them all was a dream come true as a child. And it still is today.