|Chatham PL coffee shop with used books, play area in front|
I grew up one block from the town of Garrett Park, MD, and at that time my siblings and I walked or ran across a big field (now a parking lot) along a well-trod path. Once inside the tiny building (now part of a nursery school) we browsed the shelves.
There's now a much larger Kensington Park library about 1.5 miles down the road, and the former Kensington Noyes Library is a children's library -- to which my sister takes her granddaughter.
Fond as I remain of all those libraries, the best library for children I've been in is the Chatham, Illinois Public Library. Part library, part huge play area, part cafe and used book sales room, and part genealogy room. Oh, and lots of room to do puzzles.
I wish I could show pictures of the dozens upon dozens of children who visit most mornings during the summer, but I would never ask parents to let me put their kids' pictures on the Internet. You'll have to be content with photos of the space itself.
Even on a quiet day, it's busy. To get the photo at left, I had to take several shots. Each time I thought I had one without a child, one would stream into the frame.
On the right (in the same photo) is a smaller play house. Toward the back is one of several book sections.
And the tree? It's a walk-through space, with a toddler slide at the front.
Below, on the right, is the reading cubby, which gives kids a private place to curl up with a book.
While it is certainly used a fair bit, the interactive nature of the place has the kids sometimes too busy to go off by themselves to read.
|Book cubby for a quiet space|
This summer, the theme of the summer reading program is "a universe of stories." Lots of prizes, many reasons to come to the library to win them -- and see friends. -- Elaine L. Orr --
|Toddler Tree Slide|
|A Universe of Stories|