Library Love: Bright Open Spaces

Much of the vibe that I love when exploring a library comes from the dark, cloistered corners filled with dusty books and brittle pages.  Our library has some of those wonderful nooks, but today I’ll highlight a spot that is equally enjoyable but quite the opposite in terms of ambiance.

The children’s department at our library consists of two rooms.  One is a very large area with lots of books, DVDs, music, computers, a play area, cozy seating, and a gazebo that my boys adore.  The smaller room can be closed off by large wooden doors.  Nonfiction books are in this area, and it is often used for special events like the puppet show that I mentioned last week.  These are all wonderful attributes of a library, but the feature that strikes me most about the children’s department is the bright, open atmosphere.  The high ceilings, the warm lighting, and the soft yellow paint on the walls give the whole area a honey glow.  We enter this area from the main section of the library via a small corridor that has a low ceiling and no lighting of its own.  Emerging into the children’s department makes me feel like Dorothy stepping into Munchkinland.  We are drawn into the colors and textures of books and rugs and cushions and beads and paper and crayons.  Can you tell I love it here?

Library Love: The Little Red Hen

We love our library.  Like many libraries across the nation, our library is struggling to maintain the materials, programs, staff, and hours of operation that the community enjoys and I would argue, needs.  My family isn’t in the position to be financial supporters at this time, so I’m adding this little “feature” to my blog as a way of showing my support of our library and others that enrich the lives of many.  I’m calling this feature “Library Love,” and I hope to share–regularly–the reasons we love our library.

Yesterday morning, my boys and I attended a puppet rendition of The Little Red Hen.  Two kindergarten classes were also in attendance plus two other moms with toddlers.  The show was cute and funny with some great banjo music that enticed the kids to clap along.

If you don’t recall the story, the little red hen plans to make some bread, and her barnyard friends are excited about the prospect.  The hen invites the other animals to join in the work of making bread (planting & harvesting wheat, grinding wheat to flour, mixing & raising the dough, and finally baking the bread).  For each task, the animals of the farm have “better” things to do, so the hen and her chicks do all the work.  Of course, the other animals want to enjoy the warm delicious bread, but the little red hen sticks to guns, so to speak, and refuses to share her bread with the animals who refused to share in the work.  A simple, significant lesson.

Well, I was pleased to see that a recipe for basic bread was printed on the back of the program.  How cute!  So as soon as the boys and I got home, we pulled out the ingredients and got to work on our own bread.  Messy, yummy fun!  We ate our loaf with dinner, and the house still smells good.

So thanks to our local library, we enjoyed a great puppet show, a fun baking experience, and a tasty treat at supper time.  Gotta love the library!