Monday, June 27, 2011

Handley Regional Library = Braingasm*

I had the pleasure of visiting a town named Winchester in Virginia last month. While there, I stopped by the Handley Regional Library and, with mouth perpetually agape, snapped lots of photos until they closed and asked me to leave the building. The library was first opened in 1913 because Judge John Handley (a self made man who immigrated from Ireland) of Scranton Pennsylvania willed $250,000 (which would be nearly 5.5 million today) to ". . . open a Public Library for the free use of the people of the city of Winchester forever."

Here are some pictures of the library from the outside:

Upon entering this timeless temple to knowledge and steamy paranormal romances, you stand in a glorious rotunda. 

Here is the library's magical golden directory. Look, they had to change some things and you can tell because they put little metal strips over some words!

And then I started exploring the different sections of the library...

Disembodied hand!

Teen Space

Graphic Novels!
The teen section had an old metal staircase that pages used from days long gone. Tasked by their librarian overlords, they probably ran up and down these precarious metal stairs to access the dangerous book stacks as they held hastily written call numbers in their sweaty palms. . . Now it's a book display.

Shrine to Sparkly Vamps

While I really loved their teen "room," I could tell that they were having space issues because some shelves were double stacked. People didn't exactly recognize YA as its own section 30 years ago, let alone in 1913, and the teen section was really in the foyer space for the children's reading room.

The reading rooms were pretty sweet too. One of them had a giant painting of George Washington making a treaty with Native Americans.

Here are some pretty spiral staircases:

Oh and one more quick thing. There was a little exit/entry way outside of the library that I noticed. It had this intricately carved stone work around the doorway that I couldn't get enough of. It reminded me of some old kind of monastery side entry way . . . or something. Way cool.

Here is a pamphlet they had about the original architectural prints. So over all, a fabulous experience. I only wish I had more time to spend there. . .


n. An intense rush of intellectual fervor or excitement in response to a stimulus such as recognizing a literary allusion in "The Simpsons" or finally understanding how to do that advanced calculus problem or even just anything really cool. Usually accompanied by inability to formulate actual words and an intense enthusiasm about the subject that induced the braingasm.
That geek had the biggest braingasm after she saw LotR:RotK.  


  1. I know! It was fantababuluous.

  2. Oh, wow, that's splendid! Love the glass dome and the spiral stairs and the lamps and the woodyness and... yeah, I love it!


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