Library Books, Anyone?
Actually, I'm not asking whether you've checked out any fabulous books from your local library, though that's certainly an awesome thing to do. I'm wondering whether you have any picture books about libraries and librarians. They're some of my favorite places and people.
Recently, I was inspired by a picture of a Maine library shared by children's author Matt Tavares (Red and Lulu, Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever) to post some of my and my kids' favorite library-related picture books.
Then I discovered a cool tool for saving and sharing books from Bookshop.org, an online book retailer that promotes indie booksellers. So, guess what I did? You got it ... I put together a list of library- and librarian-inspired picture books. You're as excited as I am, right? Please just humor me and nod.
If you want to celebrate libraries and librarians, well, you can go visit one! Ahem, yes, you can also read one or more of the fabulous books on My List of Library Picture Books.
You can find more great lists on the interwebs, too, including this one that highlights some older library-related reads and this one that lists 100 Must-Read Books About Libraries & Bookstores.
In the meantime, if you're curious, our absolute favorites are Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré; Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian; Library Mouse; No Pirates Allowed Said Library Lou; and Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia.
You can enjoy one of them below, read by the author Anika Aldamuy Denise.
Young adult and adult readers who love libraries, fantasy and Sherlock Holmes should check out one of my favorite recent escapist series: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. She's working on the sixth book in the series now, I think. Also, the popular All Souls Trilogy (and associated Sundance series titled after the first book, A Discovery of Witches) features mischief and magic in the Bodleian Library of Oxford, which I would love to explore one day.
Also, it's not strictly about libraries, but museums are kind of like libraries (though I don't recommend trying to leave with anything on display that you didn't buy in the gift shop). So, if you and your little literary adventurers haven't read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg yet, get thee to a library and check it out!
Also, some of you might have noticed lovely little boxes and houses of books popping up in parks and other public spaces around your community. If you'd like to learn more about these Little Free Libraries, check out Miranda Paul and John Parra's Little Libraries, Big Heroes as well as the links below:
Finally, I'm a bookstore and library tourist. We search for bookstores nearby to visit when we travel. We visit amazing libraries when we can, but right now, we're doing a lot of things armchair-style.
Here's a look at some of the world's magnificent libraries, including the famed Long Hall of the Trinity College Library, which inspired the Mines of Moria Great Hall in the film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
And here's one that I would definitely travel to enjoy:
Did you know that the oldest known library was built during the reign of Ashurbanipal in Assyria thousands of years ago? Heard of the Library of Alexandria but not sure why it's a big deal? Click here to find out more. I like history, too, you know.
Be sure to come back and browse during National Library Week in April, though really, every week should be library week.