Children’s Libraries Built to Inspire

How can we expect to inspire our children to read by taking them to drab, functional and soulless libraries? That’s certainly how some libraries in the UK have left me feeling. Children’s expectations of a daytime outing have been set high in recent years. Libraries today are having to compete with the emergence of soft plays, climbing walls, laser combat, science centres, Harry Potter and Peppa Pig worlds; so a room simply filled with books alone may have seemed exciting twenty years ago but is probably considered mind-numbingly dull for the majority of children now. Visiting a library is not as high up on many parent’s agendas as it used to be – and that includes me. There are too many other far more exciting activities out there or easier options with the e-book dramatically increasing in popularity and printed books reducing in price across the world. So what incentive does a child have to go to a library anymore and how can libraries prevent themselves from becoming redundant?

Libraries need to become places where children want to return to, again and again. Wouldn’t it be magical if it felt like physically walking into a story and feeling the wonder of thousands of options to choose from? Being able to voice-activate a book search so a holographic version of that book appears in front of you would bring it to life and by detailing its shelf location and any hidden reading nooks from which to read it could provide some adventure. It’s not the lack of imagination from people preventing the change; unfortunately in most cases it’s the lack of available funding.

So here is a selection of impressive libraries worldwide that have already taken the experience to the next level.

Brentwood Children’s Library, Tennessee, USA

Library Brentwood TN USA

Above: photo by Peter Nash found on brentwoodlibblog.blogspot.co.uk

Children’s Area, Dok Library, Netherlands

Library Dok Delft Netherlands

Above: photo found on www.aatvos.com

Children’s Library Area known as Tio Tretton in Kulturhuset Art Centre, Stockholm, Sweden.

Library Sweden Tio Tretton

Above: Photo found on PInterest

The Tio Tretton above is for 10-13 year olds whilst the Rum för Barn below is for the younger ones.

“My Tree House” Green Library, Singapore

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Above: Photo found on www.daily-dose-of-art.com

Library of Picture Books, Fukushima Prefecture, Iwaki City, Japan

Library Picture Book Iwaki Japan

Above: Architect: Tadeo Ando; Photo found on Pinterest and more pictures here.

Children’s Library, Kansas City, USA

Library Kansas City Inside

Above: Image found on bookriot.com

……and the outside is equally as impressive!

Library Kansas City Outside

Above: Image found on bookriot.com

Library Discovery Centre, Queens NY, USA

Library Discovery Centre Queens NY USA

Above: Image found on soyouknowbetter.com

Children’s Area of Murray Bridge Library, Australia

Library Murray Bridge Australia

Above: Image by Sam Noonan found on architectureau.com

Cerritos Millennium Library, CA, USA

Library Cerritos

Above: Image found on PInterest

ImaginOn Children’s Theatre and Public Library, Charlotte, NC, USA

Library Imaginon Charlotte USA

Above: Image found on imaginon.org

The Library of Muyinga, Berundi, Africa

Library Muyinga Africa

Above: Architect: BC Architects; Photo found on inhabitat.com

Also take a look at:

Swiss Cottage Children’s Library, London UK

Mexico City Children’s Library, Mexico

The Seed Library, Johannesburg, South Africa

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One thought on “Children’s Libraries Built to Inspire

  1. Pingback: Never Judge a Book by its Cover | Books for Children Blog

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