A blue ribbon blocks off the street in front of the library's main entrance. Grand opening ceremonies began at 10am on Saturday, October 28, 2017.
A crowd gathers to watch musical performances and hear opening remarks before the library opens. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo cut the ribbon, inviting the public into the library for the first time, around 12pm.
Wendy Todd is on the Austin Library Commission. She was one of the first people to enter the new library on its opening day.
Library Commissioner Wendy Todd (L) poses with Sharon Herfurth (R), communications manager for the Austin Public Library's Office of Programs and Partnerships. Herfurth helped plan the opening ceremony for the Central Library.
Some of the first visitors to the library make their way up a staircase leading from the second floor to the third floor. The second floor will house Cook Book, a restaurant operated by the owners of Easy Tiger, when it opens later this year.
The Central Library's first visitors marvel at a wall of windows on the library's east side. Lake Flato, the architecture firm that designed the library, utilized windows, transparent floors, and skylights to naturally illuminate the library.
Children and parents explore the Creative Commons room on the third floor. The third floor also houses the Wonderland children's collection, dedicated to former Austin Public Library Director Brenda Branch.
Lucy Suman enjoys a book in the Wonderland Children's Section. She visited the library on opening day with her mother, Denise Suman, and her sister Elise.
Visitors explore the Youth and Family Atrium, a communal reading space with computers on the third floor.
Judy Keith tries out a virtual reality headset for the first time in the library's Technology Petting Zoo. The Petting Zoo allows visitors to test out gadgets including the Google Home and MacBook Air.
The rooftop garden, as seen from across the sixth floor. The sixth floor also houses the library's nonfiction collection.
Lucy and Elise Suman look out over Lady Bird Lake from the library's rooftop garden. The garden faces south and east.
Paula Padron cleans tables on the sixth floor of the library. She said she moved to Austin thirty years ago from San Luis, Mexico.