As a Teacher Librarian, libraries are my passion, and I am working hard to instill a love of libraries in my children. We read a lot of books in our house and my kids have their own “libraries in their rooms”, a shared “library” in the toy room and see Mom and Dad’s shelves in our bedroom and the larger library in the bonus room on the top floor of our house that houses the comfy reclining leather chairs and the piano. It is a quiet space to retreat to read and my 3-year-old daughter has already started asking for space to put some of her books (time for Mom to do some weeding of her collection!). We are fortunate to have a vibrant local city library network and we take frequent trips to borrow books and attend programs. The kids love the library!
Of course, we love books (especially print books for younger kids) and we also know the value of resources in all formats to meet the needs of all learners in the community. Libraries have an essential role in every community as gathering spaces and information hubs and I was hoping to see this reflected in this book.
I eagerly grabbed the new title Library Day by Anne Rockwell (illustrated by her daughter, Lizzy Rockwell), with hopes that it would capture (through the eyes of a child) all that current libraries have to offer. I was not disappointed! Through bright illustrations, a child’s afternoon visit to the library with his father for story time is depicted. Don is made to feel welcome in the space as he explores all the different resources that are available to him in many formats, makes a new friend, gets a new library card, and discovers items that are about topics he is interested in. Adults and other children around Don are modeling learning and exploring and he is made to feel very welcome in the many spaces within the library. Don checks out several resources that are of interest to him and plans are made for a return visit for an upcoming puppet show.
I was so pleased at how the many amenities that a library has to offer were showcased in this picture book – from library programming to computer technology to books and magazines to movies and human resources. The importance of children in the library was emphasized, as was creating bright and welcoming spaces for them and placing resources at their level and height/line of sight.
My daughter pointed out many of the topics that Don was interested in as being things that she liked, such as a magazine about pets and a book about apples and pumpkins. She exclaimed that she, too, liked story time at the library. All in all, I think that this is a great book to introduce children to the vital role that libraries play in our communities. I hope that the real thing will live up to the high standard set in this book!