Yes, there are some great children's libraries in the UK, but with the general trend in libraries being shut down, or being under-funded, and the new proposals that will mean limiting access to libraries for kids under sixteen unless they are accompanied by an adult, I think it's important to highlight what can be done and is being done elsewhere.
When I was growing up, the children's library in my town wasn't wondrous in any other way than the fact that it contained tons and tons of books. That was enough for me. But if it had looked like any of the libraries below, I would have been pretty happy about it too!
Take Brentwood Library in the States. How amazing is that!
Singapore has the first 'green' library, which was built using sustainable and recycled materials, including a tree-house made entirely of recycled, donated bottles.
The Cerritos Millenium Library has a giant book entrance -
which leads into this -
In Burundi, they've incorporated hammocks as reading spaces -
Vancouver Community Library, like so many of these amazing libraries, incorporates play areas and reading areas for kids.
We do have some great children's libraries in the UK -
Camden Children's Library
Highfields Primary School has a double decker bus decked out as woodland -
Rosendale Primary School in south London had no space for a library so used a double decker bus too -
Cordawalles Junior School in Surrey also has woodland theme -
If I were a kid I would want to spend as much time as possible in these libraries, and most of them have great teen areas too. They're fun, inviting, magical and full of wonder. And then there's the books they contain too.
Some libraries go over and above their duty to children. Some have the budget to do so. Others are sadly fighting closures.