Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Libraries, bookstores and the depths of winter

As we trudge our way into February, that wicked and most treacherous month of winter, family members serially fall prey to cabin fever.

One of the things we do is to make an expedition to our local used bookstores or libraries. If you are not in the habit of doing so (and even if you are) it is a great way to break up the monotony of winter. It's a wonderful feeling getting home like a band of pirates, everyone smuggling in their booty and headed off to the various rooms to read their hoped for as well as unexpected finds.

Here in Atlanta we have a couple of really good libraries. One that we favor is the Decatur Library in downtown Decatur (just east of Atlanta). It looks like a library, feels like a library, is always busy with patrons but never feels crowded or frantic - just a low hum of reading pleasure. It is a happy place of reading with a quality collection of children's books.

It is easy to overlook the treasures we take for granted. There are a lot of changes afoot over at the NYPL Donnell Library in mid-town Manhattan. Make sure you get the kids over to their Central Children's Room while everything is in place. It is a storied resource in one of the most literate and literary cities. In May, the Donnell Library will be closing and the disposition of the Central Children's Room is uncertain at this point. Elizabeth Bird, at her School Library Journal blog, has the details.

One of the resources I am creating for TTMD is a register of used bookstores and public libraries that have a particular focus on children's books and are especially welcoming of children. Please use the comments to suggest favorites you might have.

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