Posts Tagged ‘library tours’

As we were in NYC for Kidlit Con 2012, the Pocket Pacys begged to come along for some sight-seeing. They had a fantastic time.

Pacy hits Times Square.

Pacy visits the Brooklyn Bridge…or rather, the Lego version (at Little, Brown Books).

Pacy admires the magnificent New York Public Library, home to KidLit Con 2012.

The Pacys hang out at the library.

The Pacys (and their chaperones) reunite with Original Pacy (during Grace Lin’s book signing).

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The thing is, Vancouver has really nice libraries. They’re actually a bit like Libraries 2.0. More than places to read and borrow books, more than quasi-community centers, they are multi-functional gathering spaces, a bit like malls, but way way better.

If you’ve got to go Roman, wouldn’t a Forum be the more appropriate architectural choice?

Granted, the main library is a bit over-the-top (its facade is a tribute to a sporting arena where spectators watched lions and other beasts tear slaves and Christians apart for thrills), and while I can’t comment on the size of its collection, I can enthusiastically vouch for its alimentary value. Accessible cafes, food shops, and tables circle the inside perimeter of the wall, making the roomy atrium ideal for refueling and meeting complete strangers. (A Dutch fellow from Indonesia sat down next to me and proceeded to tell me about the Bigfoot files on the library’s second floor. I think he was off to Banff National Park the next day, his heart set on glimpsing Sasquatch. And to think that most people are thrilled if they spot a bear!)

The branch library on Denman Street also brings together two very important aspects of people’s lives: hockey and books. Yes, it has an ice rink attached to it.

As for my favorite library in the Vancouver area, Richmond’s public library takes the cake. On top of its bookshop decor and swanky youth Media Lab, it houses a museum dedicated to local history, a rooftop garden, and what I can only describe as a smartphone and tablet testing bar for its patrons. And if you still need a reason to go, the pool’s next door! Talk about meeting all your needs at once.

Yup, there is a French children’s book section.

The Kid’s Corner looks like something from a Chapters or Barnes & Nobles. In fact, the whole library does…

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I took a quick trip to NYC on Saturday and made sure to stop by the main branch of the public library. I’ve wanted to see the Children’s Center for years now, and it turns out to be ever cooler than I’d imagined.

Library entrance

Mural inside the Children’s Center


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By happy coincidence (or perhaps calculated intention), the KidLitCon hotel is literally across the street for the Seattle Public Library. So naturally I had to check out their children’s room.

It’s big and sunny, and this is the first thing I saw:

What a brilliant theme for a book display! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Frederick and Beowulf on the same shelf before (could Frederick take Grendel? Discuss). There were a bunch more books I couldn’t fit into the picture, including Sarah, Plain and Tall. I wonder if they ever get problems with graffiti—I was awfully tempted to fill in the white space with INIGO MONTOYA. YOU KILLED MY FATHER. PREPARE TO DIE.


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