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Nestled amongst the trees in Vestavia Hills…

Inside the Library in the Forest. acnatta/FlickrI’ve spent portions of the last couple of  days “over the Mountain” in Vestavia Hills, enjoying one of the sunlit corners of their new Library in the Forest which opened last month.

It’s come along at the right time for me as I attempt to keep my New Year’s pledge to cut back on spending money at coffee shops. It’ll get tougher though as they’re getting a café soon – still getting used to seeing those in libraries).

It’s a LEED Gold certified (I’m waiting for someone to build here in Alabama using Passive House standards) and it’s beautiful. If you’re able to see the photo accompanying this post, you’re not imagining things – you are seeing a fireplace in one of the reading areas.

There are outlets available throughout the space; it’s just going to take folks a while to get used to being able to lift the covers up concealing the outlets located near each individual table on the floor. I watched one guy circle for about 20 minutes before finding an outlet on a wall not realizing that there’d been several spaces open for him to use. There’s also WiFi (NOTE: I wouldn’t recommend trying to access it using both your phone and your laptop) and CAT-5 connections available near those outlets.

It’s the ideal work environment for me. I get to be around people meaning I don’t necessarily feel isolated while enjoying a quiet environment. I’m able to focus on getting caught up on some work (though I’ve put the new French press that Bets’ sister and brother-in-law gave me for Christmas into nighttime duty this evening to knock out a few more things).

It makes me want to see if I can get my library card renewed – and pay off those overdue charges so I can take advantage of their fairly extensive audiobook collection. It would definitely be helpful this weekend.

It’s got me thinking about just what constitutes an engaged and active community and what’s needed to make it happen. I’d hoped to have a blog post written by now about it over on Urban Conversations, but the more I look at what’s out there, the more my mind starts to wander. I’m thinking I’ll be able to crystallize my thoughts this weekend.

It’s especially timely considering my last post about the future of the Birmingham Jaycees and the need of a potential new signature project or goal. It also doesn’t hurt that education and community development seem to be issues on the brains of many here in The Magic City. Time will tell…

Incidentally, what helps you get into the zone and focused as we start digging into 2011?

Cheers.

Photo: Inside the Library in the Forest. acnatta/Flickr

Published inArchitecture
5 comments
Beth
Beth

Lists help me focus…I'm thinking I need to make more of them to shift my focus in 2011 toward improving myself career-wise.
I could spend hours in that library. It looks beautiful.

lisamariemary
lisamariemary

That place looks amazing! Simple, beautiful, heavenly bookishly wonderful! Color me jealous out here in Calhoun County! ;)