Is Bookmarks at NorthPark Center the Future of Libraries Nationwide?

A couple of weeks back we took at look at City Manager Mary Suhm's proposed cuts for the Dallas Public Library system -- fewer workers at the branches, shorter hours downtown and more, meaning, of course, less. But libraries are in trouble nationwide, besieged by budget cuts and encroaching technology. This morning the Associated Press looks at efforts nationwide to "reintroduce communities to their local library," and begins with one success story: Bookmarks at NorthPark Center, which which I've become intimately familiar since its opening two years ago.

What makes Bookmarks so successful? Easy: Where else can you kill time with the kid when there's a long line at La Duni? Sure, but it's more than that. Let's just skip to the end of the AP piece:

Curled up reading a book to her 4-year-old son at Bookmarks, 31-year-old Priscilla Gluckman said they came for a yoga class and stayed to read. On such visits they also usually have lunch or shop at NorthPark, which offers higher-priced storefronts like Neiman Marcus and Carolina Herrera.

Bookmarks, she said, is a nice contrast to the consumerism.

"It was just perfect. It was just a nice clean place that wasn't trying to market you something -- just a book," she said. "NorthPark is so high-end. It was so refreshing to see this little pocket of childhood."

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