Best City Public Library

Avon Lake

When this 70-year-old library gave itself a makeover in 1994, it took a cue from Borders by including a coffeeshop. Library patrons can thumb through novels and magazines over a steaming cup of java and sink into a muffin if the mood strikes. The snacks will fortify them for a browse in the library's gift shop, whose inventory includes not only reading-related items like bookmarks and bookplates, but Blenko glass vases and bowls, pewter jewelry boxes, and museum reproduction pins. The library also boasts DiscoveryWorks, a hands-on center where kids can make four-foot bubbles, jam on musical instruments, and create one-of-a-kind artwork. It's like having a children's museum just around the corner from the circulation desk.

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