In Indonesia, my most wanted building/place to be visited during my stay in a new town or city is Mosque (and pray in it of course), but in US there are two places that I always have to go: the University and the library. This is the 6th times we visited Providence, but not at once we ever come to see the library. This time we have the perfect time (Saturday afternoon) and accompanied by Providence local resident, Satrio, we visited this most beautiful library that I’ve ever seen in my life (so far); Providence Anthenaeum Library. Mind you, that my kind of library isn’t the ones that have tall ceilings and ultra grandiose building, but instead the small, intimate, rich in history, … just the way you always dreamed a library should be. And this Providence Athenaeum has the ability to take your breath away.
I’m not good at making words tell about this library. So I copy paste this from a review from Yelp, hee.
This library is so much more than dusty books and dead poets (with all due respect to the purists). The fourth oldest library in the United States, it is a rich time capsule filled with centuries of literature and Providence’s history. But the Atheaneum, so filled with ghosts and remnants of days long gone by, is also a living, breathing space. It is is staffed by an unbelievably smart and friendly group of people who are the Athenaeum’s modern-day stewards; they will fascinate you with their boundless knowledge of all things popular and downright arcane.
The very best of the old world and the new meet here: walk along the creaky floorboards in this magical place, and you’ll see grand wooden card catalogs filled with listings etched in spidery script; a team of ravens pointing the way through the highlights of a self-guided tour (this was after all, a favorite hangout of Edgar Allen Poe during his Providence days); the latest in fiction and non-fiction, as well as all of the beloved classics; and an incredible collection of art house, foreign and critically acclaimed films and television series on DVD.
This is the only place in the city where you can feel the presence of prominent spirits while chatting with the city’s current, foremost champions of the arts, culture and history. The Atheanaeum is a private library; so in order to enjoy the full Athenaeum experience, you must be a member. Members enjoy a robust series of salons and reading clubs, fantastic children’s program offerings for young families, a popular and phenomenally challenging pub trivia night, and an annual gala that stands alone on the social calendar in terms of all-out literary fabulousness.
And The children’s area is one of the nicest I’ve ever seen for a library. Azka and Khalif love it!
A beautiful adventure, it has indeed been. The Providence Athenaeum, at the corner of Benefit and College streets, is open seven days a week to the public. Athena is still there, and she welcomes all — don’t let those imposing doors fool you…!