The Allapattah Branch Library, located a NW 18th Avenue and 35th Street, reopened after six months at a temporary location on NW 20th Street with a new look and features.
The branch has reopened as a one story structure with many windows that gives it an open, bright atmosphere. Its location is convenient for area students as it is two blocks from Miami Jackson Senior High School as well as four elementary schools and Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School, which are all within walking distance.
The renovations include a new air conditioning system and a new roof. Its interiors are spacious and include large areas for children to move about. Adults can gather around the three new flat screen televisions. They were designed for presentations and for instructional use.
The renovations were done with patrons needs in mind.
The electrical work accomplished in the renovation “increased the access to power outlets throughout the building in order to accommodate the modern demands of the patrons who often need multiple outlets to power their phones, tablets, and personal computers,” said Athanasia Fitos, branch manager and Librarian III.
The number of computers available for use by patrons has been doubled. Now, there are eight computers available for the adults.
The access for children is both traditional and modern. There is a SMART Tablebench and SMART Board. The SMART Board which is installed on the wall of the children’s section, is a touch screen that provides access to the internet and has a variety of other features including some that support learning games.
According to Jonathan Quiñones, one of the branch’s librarians, the library’s children’s collection includes many titles in the Dewey Decimal System’s 500s and 600s, which is for Science. When asked whether the concentration on these subjects were because of STEM interest at the schools where the patrons studied, Quiñones answered that it was mostly to support the need for the students to complete projects at the schools that didn’t just focus on STEM.
The collection contains a DVD section which contains popular movie titles, a selection of book titles in Spanish, and a collection of books in both fiction and non-fiction. If there is a book that is not present at the branch but is in the catalog, they can request it from another branch library and have it brought to Allapattah so that the patron does not have to travel far.
The Allapattah Branch was the first library that the library board of the Miami-Dade Public Library System commissioned and approved after it was created. The branch opened in 1964. It is and always has been as Fitos says, “a vibrant community library where patrons know they will be welcomed and helped.”