McAuliffe Branch Library, Framingham

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The McAuliffe branch is a new and very beautiful library. It consists of one large room with lots of seating and work space. The children’s room and teen room are essentially part of the single space but are separated by partial glass walls.

One of the seating areas serves as a co-working space with a half-dozen or so cafe tables of different sizes. There’s also a coffee station AND a popcorn machine (although there is no evidence of it having been recently used).

The most striking this about this branch is the size, shape and scope of its main room. It ranges from perhaps 15 feet in the Children’s room to more than 30 feet at the opposite end of the building. There is a huge wall of glass which allows for so much natural light to flood into the building.

Speaking of lighting, there’s also plenty to appreciate about the artificial lighting, too. Despite the high ceiling, two banks of hanging lights maintain an equal height above the floor. The effect, when viewing them against the large windows, is an interesting study in geometry. There are also a number of globe light hanging about the co-working area, reminding one of McAuliffe’s role in the Challenger mission.

Her life - and tragic death - are central elements of this library, which features a large photo exhibit on one wall and a number of books on her life available.

This is a neighborhood library so expect it to be in heavy use when you visit. That is a good thing. It is good to see fathers working while their kids work on puzzles, or people reading and relaxing, or folks just gabbing. It’s a great little library and well worth a visit.