Even though Austin Central Library has been open for a while now, I recently visited for the first time. The building itself is stunning and I was pleasantly surprised by what the library offers to visitors.
Of course, you can check out books and other media. It’s a library. But did you know you can record a podcast from one of the shared learning rooms? Or that there are reading porches and a rooftop garden? How about the newly opened cafe?
I could have spent all day at Austin Central Library and can’t wait to return for another visit.
Austin Central Library Features
Austin Central Library occupies an impressive 200,000-square-feet. There are six floors to explore, which house a variety of books, music, and other media. Kids and teens have their own rooms. The teen room even has its own lounge.
There are 14 shared learning rooms where you can hold meetings or study sessions, record podcasts, and more. Computers are located throughout the library. And there is seating everywhere.
What I loved most about the library was how many areas there were just to lounge. It seemed like there was a seating area around every corner. Each floor has an outside reading deck overlooking Lady Bird Lake. With the funky decor and gorgeous views, these decks are some of my favorite spots in the whole library.
The entire building is well-lit, colorful, and cozy.
If you venture to the top floor and head outside, you’ll find the rooftop garden, featuring the largest solar installation in Austin. If you aren’t into that sort of thing, you can still grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the view.
Or you can head back down to the main level and visit Cookbook Cafe. This is a newly-opened restaurant right inside the library and it’s delicious. The cafe offers breakfast and lunch/dinner menus, plus baked goods and drinks, including coffee.
If you want a souvenir of your visit, the library has a gift shop on the main level. You may also be able to score some recycled books for sale. And don’t forget about the art gallery!
Tips Before You Visit
After visiting Austin Central Library, I thought of some helpful tips:
- Parking is available on-site, but there are limited spots. If the garage is full, then try the garage at City Hall.
- If you are interested in membership, you must be an Austin resident. If you live outside of Austin, for example Cedar Park, you can apply for a TexShare Card.
- The library hosts some really cool events, so be sure to check the events calendar.
- The library has limited hours, so plan ahead!
I was really impressed by Austin Central Library and can’t wait to spend more time there. It’s in a beautiful spot downtown, where you can relax for a full day. The kids will love it, too!
For more information, events calendar, maps, and more, please visit Austin Central Library’s website.
701 W. Cesar Chavez St.
@amandalgagnon wants to know:
What is your all-time favorite book?
We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It’s where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!