Sure, we've got the glamorous Rem Koolhaas library downtown, but its utility is completely secondary to its status as architectural statement and tourist destination. Meanwhile,

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Best Redoubt of Eastside Literacy

Bellevue Regional Library

Sure, we've got the glamorous Rem Koolhaas library downtown, but its utility is completely secondary to its status as architectural statement and tourist destination. Meanwhile, over on the Eastside, the Bellevue Regional Library is going about its business, attracting droves of patrons for author readings (including Mary Guterson, Garth Stein, and J.A. Jance), workshops, and other events. Since the handsome building was designed in 1993 by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership, Bellevue has about doubled its number of downtown households. It's no longer a sleepy suburban branch library, but the nexus of an increasingly dense, metropolitan city. The open, light-filled reading room is a space where you want to linger, and it's become a gathering spot, too, for the student-and-laptop crowd. With many Eastsiders now out of work, the library is the perfect spot to acquire new skills, do job-hunting research, or just hang out all day, use the Wi-Fi, and let your spouse think you still have a job from nine to five.—Brian Miller

 
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