Last week I paid my first visit to the Clifton Branch Library, and I couldn’t have timed it better. This was during what will forever be remembered as The Great Blackout of 2015 – the power was off all over Clifton, and it lasted for a couple hours. I live a few blocks away from the library, and I assumed that even though the power was down in my building the new branch would be fully operational. Turns out the power was off there too, although that didn’t stop lots of people from going in and out of. It was fun roaming around the darkened rooms where Boss Cox used to hold court while getting a taste of both the old and the new. Librarian Eric Davis showed me around the place, and I snapped some photos while discussing features that the new, much larger location offers that the older one didn’t. The new things include two meeting rooms, one with a huge TV screen. The porch has several chess/checker boards, and looks charming; also, there are bike racks. There are more computers than in the old place; the branch now has 12 PCs and 4 Macs in one room, 8 teen computers, and 5 for kids. There’s a solarium that’s already a hit with children, plus a reading room with lots of natural lighting. The new place also has study carrels where you can plug in electronic devices. It seems to me the library did a seamless job of blending new technology with the warm old architecture that characterizes the building and the Gaslight District in general. Below are a bunch of photos, most of them taken before the lights came back on.