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Oklahoma City's Downtown Library offers something for everyone

The Downtown Library caters to a diverse group of individuals — everyone from homeless people looking for jobs or shelter to business professionals who stop by during lunch. With more than 173,000 resources, the library has something for everyone, the manager of library operations said.
By Darla Slipke Modified: October 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm •  Published: August 22, 2010

The Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library offers a variety of services to meet the needs of a diverse group of guests.

With more than 173,000 resources, including books, DVDs, microfilm, educational programs and electronic reading materials, the library has something for everyone, said Julie Ballou, manager of library operations. Guests range from homeless people who are trying to escape extreme weather or search for jobs to a growing business community. The diversity is something Ballou loves about the library community.

"There's always something new and different happening," Ballou said.

Other resources include a Holocaust collection, a genealogy section and a room dedicated to the history of Oklahoma, with an emphasis on Oklahoma City and the surrounding area.

Guests often comment about how beautiful the building is, Ballou said. The library has large windows and plenty of community spaces.

The 114,130-square-foot building, located at 300 Park Ave., also includes administrative offices, classrooms and an auditorium.

People can attend the OKC Downtown College — a consortium of five colleges and universities that hold classes at the library.

Guests also can enjoy live performances in an auditorium on the fourth floor, or stop by during the lunch hour on Thursdays to hear local musicians featured in the Noon Tunes series. Several dozen computers are available for public use. The building also has free Wi-Fi and a cafe.

"We have a wide variety of customers, so there's a wide variety of experiences," Ballou said.

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Oklahoma City libraries and extension libraries:

-Belle Isle Library, 5501 N Villa

-Capitol Hill Library, 334 SW 26

-Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.

-Northwest Library, 5600 NW 122 (will open in 2011)

-Ralph Ellison Library, 2000 NE 23

-Southern Oaks Library, 6900 S Walker

-Wright Library, 2101 Exchange


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