Here's Why Vickery Meadow's $8M Public Library Will Be Like No Other in Dallas

Norma Cruz enjoyed the puppet shows and children’s story times at her local library in Garland years before she had a daughter. The Mexico native wanted to learn reading techniques to help her nieces and nephews after a friend told her that books had helped her baby grow into a gifted student.But by the time Cruz started her own family, she had moved to Vickery Meadow, a Dallas neighborhood with lots of apartments and immigrants and children — and no library.Cruz, 38, said she and her daughter had to make do and look for books elsewhere: the Half Price Books on Northwest Highway, NorthPark Center, a public library in another neighborhood — anywhere they could go without a car because they didn’t have one.But next year, Cruz and her first-grader, Karla, should finally have a long-promised library in their neighborhood. Officials say the library — the 30th branch in the Dallas library system — will be like no other in the city.The Vickery Meadow branch is set to be the one of the city’s most expensive libraries. The price tag is expected to surpass $8 million, a cost covered by bond dollars and a private grant. And city officials say the building will be designed and staffed to serve thousands of people who together speak more than 30 languages and dialects.Neighbors say the library’s promise can’t be measured in books or dollar signs. Vickery Meadow — once, decades ago, a ritzy enclave for young singles that is now home to hundreds of refugee families and other immigrants — lacks a city community center and amenities sometimes taken for granted elsewhere. The dense area has had trouble with crime near the future library site. And many residents don’t have computers or Internet access in their apartments, said nonprofit leaders in the area.“This neighborhood, it pains me,” Cruz said in Spanish. “The children are always out on the street playing, exposed to all the dangers there. Why not have a place where their parents can take them?”  Continue reading...

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