Across the street from the RISD Museum is this beautiful old (one of the first in the nation) library. Plaster busts crown old wooden stacks filled with the most eclectic, well curated library collection filled with treasures. The children's library is excellent. You may browse to your hearts content but you must be a member to borrow materials.
Selfishly I hate to share this, but one of my favorite things to do in the winter is to go downstairs, choose a magazine or maybe a 150 year old book from their collection, sit in a wing chair or curl up on the couch, watch the snow drift down, read, dream, and think that some woman like me sat here 200 years ago, dress sweeping the floor, gloves in hand, looking out the window at the snow...
I should add that the library hosts many interesting events, some in tandem with RISD openings, has an electronic newsletter that gives a most comprehensive offerings of events and happenings in Providence. It's living history but also hip and contemporary at the same time. Just an amazing place.
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