#4: Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk Virginia had a population of 238,005 (2020 census), and covers an area of 53 square miles (land). It is situated in the middle of the Norfolk / Chesapeake, Newport News, Virginia Beach Metro area with a population of 1.7m.
Of the 6 cities I’ve surveyed, Norfolk has the most libraries, by far – 11! I suspect this is largely due to Norfolk VA being an older, east-coast city vs. the other cities I’ve surveyed in Idaho, Washington, California, Texas, and Arizona.
Norfolk classifies the libraries as 3 main anchor libraries and 9 neighborhood branch libraries. (I’m not counting the Sargeant Memorial Genealogical Collection as a separate library as it uses space in the Slover Library)
· Sargeant Memorial Collection
· Barron F Black Franch (1977)
· Blyden Branch (1921)
· Janaf Branch (1966) (Named for the shopping center, named after Joint Army, Navy, Air Force)
· Jordan-Newby Anchor (2018)
· Lafayette Branch (1930)
· Larchmont Branch (1968)
· Little Creek Branch (1967)
· Mary D Pretlow Anchor (2008)
· Park Place Branch (1979, completely renovated 2008)
· Richard A. Tucker Memorial Branch (2021)
· Van Wyck Branch (1990)
· Slover Library Main Anchor (2015)
Library coverage is sparse in just one area – the industrial port area in the northwest part of the city. Otherwise, to reach a library, you’re generally less than a mile away from a library.
The Slover Library, in downtown Norfolk, is a beautiful, open, multi-story, architectural gem. It was recently constructed, in 2015, through a combination of public funds and sizeable private donations.