Sunday, July 8, 2012
The Muses are dancing
Somewhere the muses (I know they were not sassy black women as stated on YouTube, but go with the video for entertainment sake) are elated. A building that once housed Wal-Mart has been converted to a multi-million dollar library. Unlike the good lawmaking folks in Louisiana, who voted to eliminate a million dollars in state aid to libraries, the citizens in McAllen, Texas purchased the building and spent 19 million to renovate it.
According to The International Times, one out of three McAllen residents are below the poverty line. There were not many places where residents could go to unwind. This architectural transformation was a welcomed gift. The library has been so well received that patrons line up every morning to enter the embellished space that is larger than two football fields. Membership has also increased. Not only are books being checked out at record numbers, there is a cafe, an auditorium, spaces designed for children, computer labs, meeting rooms, and a acoustic controlled room for teens to chatter away(I'm sure they are talking about books).
For those who think this is too much, consider the fact that there is a correlation between low-reading scores and prison population. Children become good readers way before they enter classrooms. In spite of the No Child Left Behind Act, reading scores collectively have not improved. Educators know the more children read, the better they read. This exquisitely designed capacious monument sends the right message to the community. They say everything is better in Texas. Well, this time the people in Texas got it right in their effort to improve reading.