I actually had not been in a local library in over a decade when my boyfriend said we should try going to the one near our newest house. Local libraries were like havens for me as a young kid. They had a ton of fun after school programs and they were always venues where I could easily spend hours looking through endless stacks of books before I grabbed a few and then sat in enveloping silence studying for hours until my family arrived to take me home. I guess deep down I was hoping to relive some of that magic I experienced with libraries when I was a young kid. But after my wife and I walked inside and towards the front desk, a unmistakably strong musty odor met my nose instantaneously. The air also felt about as uncomfortably hot as the 88 degree breeze we had just walked in from. It was so insanely humid that my skin felt sticky. Finally, I looked up in utter disbelief at what at first looked like old corroded big metal pipes hanging suspended from the ceiling, dark gray on the surface. But then it hit me, those weren’t metal pipes, that’s the ductwork! The library’s entire ventilation system was just old school 1970s era hanging air shafts covered in tattered insulation that had seen so many decades of abuse it was nearly black from sheer dust build up alone. Attempting to effectively cool a building as large as a county library with nearly crumbling ductwork and an ancient poorly serviced HVAC system is just impossible. I didn’t see very many people while I was there that day too, and we even came on a Sunday morning in the summertime when school is out and the kids are usually around. I just wonder how many locals stay away from our library simply because the air conditioning inside is so abysmal.