900 N Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL 33602
More in this neighborhood: Downtown Tampa
This may be considered the flagship library of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System but here's one of the reasons kids will think it's cool: the flyover. Yes, you must park in the public garage across the street from the library and when you do, take the walkway that crosses over Ashley Street. It's fun to see the traffic go under you as you walk across the street without having to look both ways. Once inside, the first space you come to is for kids. And while this building is old, and it looks it inside, it's got up to date kids books, story times for tots and toddlers and a special room for little ones, Toddler Terrace. There are board books for those who are just becoming interested in books. There are picture books and juvenile fiction, all in this one big room that doesn't scream kid friendly, but it is. Although it is small, the bathroom in this area is equipped with a baby changing station. Now, the nearly 135,000-square-foot building might look foreboding but just take it one room at a time. After hanging out in the kids area, cross another walkway and head to the main part of the library to see what books are offered to adults among the nearly half-million volumes on the shelves. You'll also find reference materials, DVDs and audio books. And the library is equipped with free WiFi, Internet access on 36 computers and a teen area. Oh, and here's a golden oldie: The library also has a typewriter for public use, just in case you need one.