Blog Archives

City budget cuts prompt new library hours; only downtown Phoenix library open 7 days

[Source: City of Phoenix] — As a result of the budget approved Tuesday by the Mayor and City Council, all Phoenix Public Library facilities will remain open.  However, all but Burton Barr Central Library will be closed from one to two days a week beginning April 5.  Here is the schedule:

  • Libraries closed on Friday – Cesar Chavez, Cholla, Ironwood, Juniper, Mesquite, Palo Verde, and Saguaro libraries.
  • Libraries closed on Sunday and Monday – Acacia, Agave, Century, Desert Broom, Desert Sage, Harmon, Ocotillo, and Yucca libraries.
  • Burton Barr Central Library will be open seven days a week.

The libraries’ hours of service will be:

  • Mondays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sundays: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Burton Barr Central Library will also make some service reductions, including making the Accessibility Center, which provides material for customers with disabilities, available by appointment only.

Phoenix Public Library is a system of 15 branch libraries and the Burton Barr Central Library.  For more information, call 602-262-4636 or visit  Follow the library on Twitter at

College planning center opens in downtown Phoenix library

[Source: Jonathan Rogers, National League of Cities] — Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, city council members, school board members and local funding partners recently celebrated the opening of a new, full-service college planning center at the Burton Barr Central Library in downtown Phoenix. Developed through a partnership between the city’s Youth and Education Programs Office and three higher education institutions, College Depot will provide access to a range of free services to help high school students prepare for postsecondary education.

These outreach, resource and referral services are aimed at improving access to information for college planning, financial aid and admission, and will include:

  • One-on-one assistance with the college application process;
  • Workshops for students and parents on college readiness, financial aid and scholarships, applications, personal statements and test preparation;
  • College planning software to match students with the right colleges, scholarships and internships; and
  • College fairs and appointments with bilingual university and community college counselors.

The library’s College Depot is expected to serve at least 2,500 students and parents within six months of opening.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

“Archaeology of Phoenix’s Chinatown” topic of Jan. 7 lecture

Downtown Phoenix

Sun Mercantile Building, last remaining structure in Phoenix's Chinatown

Burton Barr Central Library will present “Archaeology of Phoenix’s Chinatown” a free lecture and slide presentation hosted by archaeologist Dr. Todd Bostwick, from 7 – 8 p.m., Wednesday, January 7, at 1221 N. Central Ave.  Bostwick will discuss the archaeological excavations of the historic Phoenix Chinatown at First and Madison streets.  The construction of the Phoenix Suns stadium led archaeologists to excavate portions of two city blocks exposing thousands of artifacts.  The study of these artifacts has provided some interesting insights into Phoenix’s Chinatown.

The lecture, part of the “AZest for the West” series, is supported with funds granted by the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records Agency.  Phoenix Public Library is a system of 14 branch libraries and the Burton Barr Central Library.  For more information, call 602-262-4636 or visit website.

3 must-see Phoenix galleries on First Friday, Nov. 7

[Source: Richard Ruelas, Arizona Republic] — Check out this guide to downtown Phoenix’s First Friday art scene:

The Alwun House.   This downtown-arts pioneer opened in 1971, 18 years before the first Art Detour (big brother to First Fridays).  A mile or so east of Roosevelt Row, it’s an unabashedly hippieish gallery in a historical house, complete with outdoor stages for live entertainment as well as resident pets (doves, rabbits and a sweetheart of a Doberman). Details: The Alwun House, 1204 E. Roosevelt St., 602-253-7887, website.

Bentley Projects.  This cavernous brick building once was a linen laundry, and the owners didn’t plaster over that historical character in creating this high-end gallery packed with large-scale works by nationally known artists.  This isn’t for bargain shoppers; instead, it’s the kind of gallery that rich collectors fly out to in order to buy pieces priced in the five- to six-figure range. However, it’s a friendly place with enough diverse, quality work to compare favorably with an art museum. Call first to make sure it’s open. Details: Bentley Projects, 215 E. Grant St., 602-340-9200, website.

Garfield Galleria.  You can spend an entire evening and not see everything at this single building bursting with more than two dozen galleries and studios.  This is real something-for-everyone territory, whether you’re looking for fine art, homey crafts, student work, risque alternative art or flashy jewelry.  Details: Garfield Galleria, 316 W. McDowell Road, 602-349-3049, website.

[Editor’s Note: Here’s one more!  “Lost Vegas: Color Photography 1985-2007 by Steve Weiss/Candid Landscapes” opens First Friday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Details: The Lodge, 1231 SW Grand Ave. (corner 13th Ave. and Grand), 602-265-9524, website.]

The city of Phoenix runs free shuttles that stop at gallery areas, including Grand Avenue and Roosevelt Row.  If you’re not a good urban parker or just don’t want the hassle of finding a street spot, drop your car off at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave., and hop onboard.  Once you explore one area, wave down a shuttle to take you back to the library. Then hop on a different shuttle to head to another area.  For a shuttle map and more information about First Fridays, call 602-256-7539 or visit their website.

Downtown Phoenix library to open coffee shop

[Source: Angela Deligiannis, Arizona Republic] — Phoenix’s Burton Barr Central Library plans to open a new coffeehouse in the spring.  The Open Book Cafe will be the first coffeehouse at a library in Phoenix and is part of a growing national trend, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a non-profit research organization.  “It will provide a convenient place for library customers to meet and dine,” said Victoria Welsh, spokeswoman for the Phoenix Public Library.

Having a place to get a beverage without leaving the library was the No. 1 request of library patrons in a survey last year, Welsh said.  The coffee shop will be on the first floor of the library at 1221 N. Central Ave., near the entrance on the west side of the building, facing Central Avenue.  Construction is under way and will be completed by spring, Welsh said.  Open Book Café will offer wireless Internet access, outdoor seating, and areas for studying and relaxing.  The library will partner with the Arizona Business Enterprise Program to select a vendor, Welsh said.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Burton Barr Library to undergo redesign; public input sought

Interior of Burton Barr Public Library, photo by Walt Lockley.There will be a public meeting to discuss the redesign of the Burton Barr Central Library on Wednesday, April 30, 2007 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Pulliam Auditorium, Burton Barr Library, 1221, N. Central Ave.

Two downtown sites chosen as PHX points of pride

[Source: Connie Cone Sexton, Arizona Republic] — Phoenix is getting three new Points of Pride — two more than usual in a city contest held only once every four years.  The Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center, Arizona State University West, and the Burton Barr Central Library were close enough in votes that members of the Phoenix Pride Commission decided Wednesday all three should receive the honor.  The sites were among 10 finalists in the contest that ended March 20.  The three sites will be added to the current list of 30 Point of Pride sites.  The designation is given to a landmark or attraction unique to and located within Phoenix that evokes a sense of pride among area residents.  The registry began in 1992.

A total of 12,476 votes were cast.  The Cutler-Plotkin center received the most votes, with 20 percent.  ASU West was second, with 17 percent, and the Burton Barr library had 15 percent.  The other finalists were: North Mountain Visitor Center (9 percent), Chase Field (8 percent), Royal Palms Resort and Spa (8 percent), George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center (7 percent), Cesar Chavez Park (7 percent), Pioneer Living History Museum (7 percent), and Murphy Bridle Path (6 percent)…

Ballot boxes were placed around the Burton Barr library, 1221 N. Central Ave., to help would-be voters.  Signs also went up at area branch libraries. And e-mail blitzes ensued, said library spokeswoman Victoria Welch.  Phoenix City Librarian Toni Garvey is thankful for the support.  “We are delighted that the community recognizes the value and beauty of Burton Barr Central Library.”

Having the Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center come in with the most votes is quite an honor, said Larry Bell, executive director of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society, which is renovating the site as a museum and gallery at First and Culver streets.  “Given the quality of the pool of finalists, it’s exciting,” he said.  “It shows people value history. They say that the city of Phoenix has no history because it’s young, but that’s not true.  It’s all around us.”