When a 123,000 square foot Walmart closed in McAllen, Texas, the city swooped in and bought the building for its new library. The McAllen Library 2.0 has been a smash hit--attendance is at record highs and the library is hoping to expand.
Besides a massive book collection, the library has a computer lab, a cafe, a children's area, a virtual reality station, a 3d printer and a 180-seat auditorium.
The winner of numerous design competitions, tourists visit the library year round.
In the case of McAllen, the Walmart moved to a larger location, but around the country large retail locations are closing. As owners of the giant buildings struggle to find new tenants, the library serves as a promising alternative to a new store.