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Celebrating National Library Week with the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library

George W. Hawkes Downtown Library Grand Opening

This week, April 7th through April 13th is National Library Week, and we’re celebrating by highlighting Downtown’s state-of-the-art public library the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library! The library first opened on June 16th, 2018, and has served over 250,000 people in the last year. The $30 million project is a blooming destination of knowledge, innovation, and entertainment featuring a butterfly garden, cutting-edge technology, and over 150,000 items, including books, DVDs, audiobooks, and more.

Each of its three levels offers a different vibe with dedicated spaces for people of varying ages. The first floor’s children section and Living Room are bright and energetic, the second floor’s technology spaces are full of slick surfaces and cool colors, and the more traditional third floor offers wood tones and tall bookshelves stuffed to the brim with the latest releases and fan-favorite classics.

Libraries have always been more than the typical mildew-laced, dust-ridden environments shown on television; they serve as a central gathering point for the entire community to learn, connect, teach, build, and share stories, experiences, and knowledge. Libraries are the intersection of history and innovation, from technology to literature to culture. For many communities, public libraries are the single destination to receive these experiences for free without the restrictions of income or access.

From weekly storytimes to hands-on classes to community events, the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library is the place to be! Upcoming events include “Red Cross Blood Drive” on Saturday, April 27th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., a blood drive hosted by the American Red Cross in partnership with Jack and Jill of America Arlington Sector, and “Dia de los Ninos” on Tuesday, April 30th from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., a full day of literacy-themed programs for children.

In addition to their rotating calendar of events and selection of hundreds of thousands of books online and in-person, the Downtown Library also contains premiere facilities to develop new skills and elevate your everyday life, including:

The Makerspace

From sewing and other traditional crafts to cutting edge 3D printing, the Downtown Library’s Makerspace offers something for both the experienced and aspiring makers. Bring your designs to life using technology available in the “Tinker Room,” such as 3D printers, a milling machine, vinyl cutter, and a plotter printer, or create wearable, functional art pieces in the “Innovate Room,” which includes sewing, quilting, and embroidery machines. Use of the Makerspace is free to library cardholders with training provided by Library staff. Equipment available:

  • PolyPrinter 3D printer
  • Carvey Milling Machine
  • Cricut Maker
  • Sewing Machines
  • Brother Embroidery Machine
  • Quilting Machine
  • Vinyl Cutter
  • Sublimation Heat Press Machine
  • Serger
  • Plotter Printer

Retro Technology Lab

The Downtown Library’s Retro Technology Lab is your go-to destination to revive, restore, and recover precious memories trapped in outdated media. The lab features the technology and expertise to digitalize:

  • Floppy disks
  • Photo negatives, slides, and prints
  • 8mm and Super8 film
  • Standard audio cassettes and microcassettes
  • VHS, Hi8, 8mm, VHS-C, and MiniDV Tapes

Sun Club Garden

On the second-floor roof of the Downtown Library sits the Sun Club Garden, a rooftop garden featuring drought-resistant plants native to North Texas, a watering system that uses rainwater runoff to keep the plants healthy, an amazing scenic view of Downtown Arlington, and urban garden planters that help educate people on vertical planting in small environments. The Sun Club Garden is available for small-scale private events for a small fee.

Passport Acceptance Facility

The Downtown Library now offers passport services as of September 2021, making it one of just a few libraries in North Texas to be approved as an acceptance facility for passport applications. Call 817-459-6900 or visit for details.

The George W. Hawkes Library sees visitors from all over the metroplex, from Mansfield to Irving to Fort Worth. Library cards are free for Arlington residents and $25 for non-residents. Get your library card today and take advantage of the wide range of services available right here in the heart of Arlington! Be sure to subscribe to the Downtown Arlington newsletter and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay in the know on upcoming classes, services, and events taking place at the Downtown Library.