Best Suburban Library

Fairview Park Regional

Even when it was squeezed into an overcrowded and thoroughly unmemorable building on West 213th Street, Fairview Park's library was something special, with a great collection and helpful librarians. Now that it's fully settled into its five-year-old steel-and-glass digs, it's even better. Unlike lesser suburban libraries, which rely on gimmicks and frills and airy emptiness, Fairview Park has always been about the books -- all 200,000 of them, with particularly extensive holdings in history, genealogy, and travel. Fairview, part of the Cuyahoga County Public Library system, has long had an amazing selection of biographies, but now that the collection has room to spread out, you can actually enjoy browsing it. It isn't too surprising that four John Lennon bios grace the shelves; what makes it wonderful is that George Orwell merits seven.