Library Is an Oasis of Downtown Eugene

Downtown Eugene is not the most favorite place for citizens to be on a rainy day in October. The town is empty, and people walking in the street are all in hurry to avoid being under the depressing gray sky and misty air. But there is one exception: Eugene public library. According to people around Eugene station, public library is a place that they can find any information and also relax.

“It’s kinda cliché since I work here,” Jonathan Manley laughed, “but I really like this library.”

For Manley, who works at the library café, Novella Café, Eugene public library is a great place both for resources, especially music.

He listens to a lot of music and usually borrows CDs from the library. The good part of borrowing from the library is that he can easily try a new genre. He never expected jazz to be his favorite until he tried it at the library.



Leeann Ford, who is a CPA, living in South Eugene, also answered library as her favorite place in Eugene. She likes the nice building, comfortable atmosphere, and of course, the useful resources including books and online resources. Ford visits library at least once a week.




Emily Swenson, who is a mother of two boys, also goes to the public library at least once a week and enjoys her time with her children at the kids’ books section.

Swenson also likes downtown Eugene because of a mix of interesting people and easy access.

“It’s easy to go to places, by walking and bicycling,” she said, “We go to Down to Earth, Eugene Toy & Hobby, KIVA and Saturday market.”


At the same time, however, people do not like the emptiness of the area.

The newcomers who visit the café sometimes ask Manley what kind of fun activities they can do in Eugene, which makes him at a loss for an answer.

“It’s a sad thing that there is not a lot to vibrate, not a lot of interesting things to do,” Manley said.

He does not like the fact that downtown does not have enough staples and traditions, even though it is called the “city” of Eugene.

Ford hopes that there is less vacancy at tenants.

“I wish the stores were filled in with more people,” she said.

Swenson also wishes for more development on empty stores.

Even though they are both downtown Eugene, the population density difference was obvious between the upper downtown where all the stores are located and the lower downtown where the public library is located.

Although the grey sky and rainy weather may not be the only reason that so many people consider the downtown library as a refuge, it is certainly a great comfort to the citizens bearing the chilly Eugene air.

About mikanakazawa

Journalism student at University of Oregon, who speaks native Japanese.
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