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Burton Barr Central Library, Phoenix

4.7
#32 of 126 in Things to do in Phoenix
Library Traveler Resource
The Burton Barr Central Library is the central library of Phoenix, Arizona. It is the flagship location and administrative headquarters for the Phoenix Public Library.HistoryDWL Architects and Will Bruder teamed to design the building. It incorporates a Buckminster Fuller tensegrity structure in its roof and featured motorized louvers on its south face for improved sun control (they never worked properly and were disconnected years ago). The library is physically oriented for a display of sunlight alignment on equinox days.The building was funded by a 1988 bond issue and replaced a nearby 1950s-era facility on McDowell Road that is now part of the Phoenix Art Museum. The location opened in May 1995 and is 280,000 square feet (26,000 m²) on five stories. Most of the fifth floor is an open, 1acre reading room. The entire building is connected by a five-floor glass-and-steel elevator and stairwell known as the "Crystal Canyon." It was named in honor of Burton Barr, the Republican Major Leader in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1966 to 1986. There are over 705,000 items in the collection.In 2008, the library was chosen as one of the Phoenix Points of Pride. In 2010, the library received a LEED Existing Buildings Silver 2.0 designation. The library was awarded in the "existing buildings" category, rather than new construction, as LEED was not created until 1998, three years after the facility was opened.
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Google
4.6
  • It has all kinds of books for leisure reading or learning anything you can think of. Good seating areas throughout the upper floors. Also, check out their online e-book catalog which may have some tit...  more »
  • The Phoenix Main Library is along the light rail system and is easily accessible. Lots of DVD movies to check out, bargain prices at the store on books and a good selection of new books as well as old...  more »
  • While looking for some hard to find books, I visited this library. This has some old charm, is in a neat neighborhood and LOTS of selection. Many of the hardest to find books can be found here.  more »
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  • This is a really cool library with lots of space and events all of the time. The staff is great. The only downside is the vagrancy in and around the library itself, city planning could help address. Used it as a resource through college and university. Love the building, location and most everything about it except aforementioned downside.
  • The library is Magnificently beautiful!!! It has BOOKS! Many many books to choose from! This is every reader's dream place and a place for every child to learn. I love it! The fifth floor is my favorite for those magnificent window structures that captures my eyes and heart every single time! There is a place for every age there! It is a place one should visit upon coming to Phoenix. The greatest thing to do if you are coming from Sky Harbor Airport ( with little luggage) and you have a few hours to spare before your hotel or airbnb check-in, hop on the train train there and take it straight to the library! That was the coolest thing I got to do on my initial visit, and because I came in the early morn, it was very very quiet. And if you up for a quiet spot to relax, you can hop on the train 1850 N Central, and walk over to Central Arts Plaza to the little park tucked away in the corner. Makes for a relaxing time and a beautiful pictures if you like taking pictures. Check it out!!!
  • Huge library! I ended up asking for help from 4 separate librarians for different things and all were kind and helpful, walking me to the section I needed rather than just pointing, acknowledging when they weren't sure about something but still trying to help... Only thing is they could really use a map/signage/directory. 5 floors is a lot of territory.
  • This place is HUGE with tons of books and things to do. As a small business owner, I enjoyed coming here for networking meetings and bringing my laptop to do work. There are a lot of homeless people. They never bothered me, but it's a little different if you're a first time visitor.
  • Beautiful library. Check out the desk spaces on the top floor!