Some notes on the local libraries with which I’m most familiar:
Centennial Hills Library
Abstract: At just a few months old, Las Vegas’s newest library is gorgeous, and conveniently located across from the YMCA by Durango and the 215.
Highlights: Though it has (understandably, for a new library) a small collection, CHL has a terrific section for short story anthologies. The children’s section is huge, and the study/meeting areas in the back are built to accommodate large groups.
Lowlights: Besides the small collection (it’s surprising how much is missing from what I assume is a standard core collection–how can you not have a copy of The Brothers Karamazov on the shelf?), the rooms in the back offer little privacy for studying. My oldest daughter hated how the floor plan puts every section in a single open area, like a warehouse. I can’t understand why the videos are set up face-out, on a frame that looks built for magazines; isn’t it intuitive to line up videos spine-out, like books?
Clark County Library
Abstract: CCL is by far the biggest public library in the valley, and is almost right across the street from UNLV. Its sprawling collection is a joy to browse: this is where you really get to experience that thrill of looking for a book and seeing a dozen similar titles that you’d never known about right next to it. This library offers you your best chance of finding really old books, as well.
Highlights: They have the largest sections for short stories and genre fiction that I’ve seen. The attached performing arts theater puts on some of the city’s most interesting productions.
Lowlights: They have a surprisingly small children’s section, as well as small collections of videos and music. However, their audio book collection is excellent, and they have the best stockpile of foreign films in the city.
Las Vegas Library
Abstract: This wonderful facility is the city’s central library location, nestled in a lot that includes the Lied Children’s Museum, the Old Mormon Fort, and the Reed Whipple Performing Arts Center, great attractions all, and sits across the street from Cashman Field.
Highlights: The best children’s section in town, no contest. Continue reading