The haven of all book lovers, the local library.
They say that readers are made upon the laps of their parents, and of course that holds true for many a child. But a parent’s lap is not the only place a love of books can be nurtured in the young. Visiting a library with your child is a great way to encourage a love of books and reading.
A trip to the library is a multisensory experience that engages all the best ways young children learn, from the solidity of a book in their hands and the visual stimulation of colourful illustrations to the smell of the pages and the excited voices of other readers. The library is a rare place outside the home where children have space to roam and explore. To a young child, the entire world is right there on those shelves, waiting to be discovered.
As times and libraries have changed, children’s libraries have become ever more vibrant and ever more innovative. It is amazing how warm and welcoming children’s libraries can be and these examples are some of the best.
10 Cool Libraries around the world
Abu Dhabi’s Children Library
Spread over three floors, the impressive Abu Dhabi Children’s Library is a state-of-the-art space designed to inspire and entertain the young and the young at heart. Divided into immersive, age-appropriate social spaces, with one including a three-dimensional learn-and-play area, this hidden city gem encourages children to physically immerse themselves in a whimsical interior.
My Tree House, Singapore
In Singapore, you will find the world’s first "green library" for children. Located in the basement of the National Library, this means that it was constructed with only recyclable materials, including 3000 recycled plastic bottles collected from public schools. Even the collection itself is green—fifteen thousand of the books are geared towards ideas and information about the environment.
Monterrey Children’s Library, Mexico
A delightful clash of culture and architecture has created a children’s library that is a reflection of geography, heritage, and function. The city of Monterrey, Mexico is full of mountains and industry, and with that vision the children’s library, reflecting peaks and valleys, structure and open spaces, was born. The bookshelves are a playground designed to be clambered over and a space that is just perfect for children who do not do sitting still.
Safe Haven Library
Burmese orphans at the Safe Haven Orphanage have access to books, games, and educational materials. A project headed by a professor and an architect brought Norwegian architecture students to the needs of young orphaned children. The focus was on matching the structure to the environment, which meant concrete to keep the inside cool, and bamboo for ventilation.
Sometimes when the library mountain is too far, the mountain takes a donkey. This library is brought to the readers via a "Biblioburro" and is managed by Luis Soriano who teaches primary school in Colombia. His mission is to bring books to children in the most rural of places, and with his donkeys Alfa and Beto, he has been making that happen for more than two decades.
The Library of Muyinga, Burundi
Imagine relaxing in a huge rope hammock and whiling the hours away reading your favourite books, or perhaps becoming acquainted with new ones. The Library of Muyinga is a really forward thinking place and prides itself on encouraging youngsters to learn to read and developing a love of books. Watch how this masterpiece was constructed.
Brentwood Library, TN, USA
An amazing world of fantasy welcomes visitors to the Brentwood library children’s area. Oversized books, rooted trees and a lot of cosy corners where kids can escape to enjoy a good book.
Hjørring Public Libray, Denmark
Bosch and Fjord, the interior architects of this library, have created an interesting structure of spaces connected through a long red tape that runs through the different areas. The whole concept of this library is to encourage playfulness, surprises and most of all a place to be. Here is Pipi’s hideout surrounded by a large green field, a bubble wall with reading tubes and a roller coaster bookcase. Naturally, they have also created a V.I.P. corner for 'Very Important Parents' where adults can enjoy a café latte and browse through exciting and relevant books.
Soneva Kiri Library, Koh Kood Island, Thailand
The Soneva Kiri Library is a wonderland for children in the trees. As part of a hotel resort at Koh Kood Island, this space has been mainly constructed from bamboo and offers meaningful experiences based on ecology, entertainment and education.
Poplar Library, Beijin
Designed by Sako Architects, Poplar is not really a library but rather a book store. Its design is so fascinating with the space composed of an event room on the first floor and the store on the second floor, both connected with colourful ribbons that run though the different areas and create a place that cultivates the curiosity of children.
10 cool museums around the world
Kids are, by nature very curious and often in the mood to solve mysteries which only they can understand. From an educational perspective; research backs up the benefits of museum visits for children being based on inspiring creativity, developing critical thinking and forging connections to the fascinating world around them. But ask any child – and they just want to have fun. Not just for grownups. Museums can inspire kids to discover our fascinating world. So with both sides equally considered; we’ve rounded up the best museums (with a literary spin.)
The amazing world of Dr. Seuss Museum
Devoted to Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss! This amazing museum features family friendly, interactive exhibits from experimenting with new sounds and vocabulary, playing rhyming games, and inventing stories–all in line with his revolutionary role in changing how we learn to read. You’ll find a Giant Marble Maze, The Seuss Bakery, Whoville with a Ball Wall and Light Wall and even a Lorax Recycle Game. No wonder this museum is super popular. See inside the museum.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
The author of such books as The Very Hungry Caterpillar founded this museum with his wife as a way to celebrate the art of the picture book. The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. The museum also features a studio where kids tackle exhibit-inspired art projects and offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.
Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
Unfortunately, there is no real life magical chocolate factory or giant, seafaring peach to visit. But at the Dahl museum, there is an actual house where the author lived and wrote for nearly 40 years. Visitors are greeted by a plaque that reads: "It is truly swizzfiggingly flushbunkingly gloriumptious", and are whisked into a world of interactive exhibits and fun facts about Dahl and his books. Here is one: He ate a chocolate bar every day and added the wrapper to an ever-growing ball, which is on display.
The World of Beatrix Potter
There are few places finer than this attraction dedicated to the author behind such oh-so-British characters as Peter Rabbit. It is made up of 8 distinct areas, each of which centres around her countryside characters. Right-from-the-page scene recreations (including a scale model of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle's kitchen) and a lush garden filled with characters from Peter Rabbit await, as does the award-winning café that specialises in (what else) scones. Hop, skip and jump to the museum.
Hans Christian Andersen Museum
This great little museum features exhibits and displays of rare first-edition books, as well as illustrations, unpublished stories, and photographs of Hans Christian Andersen's works. But one of the biggest reasons to visit this Museum is the magnificent gardens.
The Children's Book Museum
The Children’s Book Museum is part of the Netherlands Literature Museum. Children can learn about youth literature in a playful way at the Children's Book Museum in The Hague. Learning, experiencing and doing are key elements of a museum visit. All exhibitions and workshops at the museum stimulate the imagination and awaken the joy of reading.
The Story Museum, Oxford, UK.
The most unusual museum in Oxford. Through immersive exhibitions, gallery spaces and events, they celebrate story in all forms.
Seven stories: the national centre for children’s books
Based in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the UK, Seven Stories' unique exhibitions, lively events and playful activities bring children's books to life. The renovated Victorian mill in which it is housed has seven levels. It is the first and only museum in the UK wholly to the art of British children's books.
Mazza Museum: International art from picture books
This museum, devoted to illustrations from children’s picture books celebrates this using education, exhibits, events and artist visits. The Museum’s six galleries exhibit more than 300 works of art at any time. The museum's collection includes original works by many famous authors.
The Junibacken museum, Stockholm
This Swedish museum is all about getting kids ages two to eight excited about reading. Lively sets and interactive performances crack open the world of books, poems, fairy-tales, and more. Children and parents become engulfed in a fantasy world that gives life to (mostly Swedish) literary characters and stories. It even has a Storybook Train. Choo Choo!
- Unique mobile libraries around the world.
- Discover more children’s museums around the world thanks to Google Earth.
- Try the At home activities from the Queensland Museum network.
Love the program? Complete the online survey.