#LovingtheLocal with the Chattanooga Public Library

How long has it been since you visited the library? Do you remember a slightly weird smell, lots of old ladies, and dusty books? That is not at all what the Chattanooga Public Library is like today! In fact, there are things happening at the library that may seem distinctly un-library-like.

On the 4th floor of the downtown branch of the Chattanooga Public Library, you will find a “public laboratory and educational facility with a focus on information, design, technology, and the

The entrance to the downtown branch of the Chattanooga Public Library and Shush Café.

The entrance to the downtown branch of the Chattanooga Public Library and Shush Café. Photo from the library’s Flickr account. 

applied arts. The more than 12,000 sq foot space hosts equipment, expertise, programs, events, and meetings that work within this scope. While traditional library spaces support the consumption of knowledge by offering access to media, the 4th floor is unique because it supports the production, connection, and sharing of knowledge by offering access to tools and instruction,” according to the library’s website. In other words, there is much more than books being housed in the building!

You will find that the staff of the library is not there to shush you, either. Instead, they want to share the excitement of what is happening in Chattanooga in general, and in the library especially, with everyone who comes through the doors. The folks who work at the library are excited about what’s going on at the library and will gladly tell you about it. The only “Shush” at the downtown library is the café, where you can enjoy a some delicious Sone Cup coffee, brewed by the librarians behind the circulation desk.

Books are still important, too. Their collection includes all the latest and greatest fiction and nonfiction works, plus books about just about any subject you can imagine. There is a great deal of information about local and regional history that would be tough to find anywhere else.

If you haven’t been to the library in awhile, stop by. You’re likely to be surprised!