Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Home is where the heart is

As I was skylarking through the aisles of my local library today, selecting books with gluttonous whim and fancy, I paused to consider that the wealth of words were at my fingertips. Libraries are perhaps my all time favourite invention.

My Primary school library was a cavernous space with domed ceilings, Victorian era mouldings and classically craved architraves. The Librarian had created comfy corners with beanbags. These nooks and crannies accommodated tiny bums and grubby hands, eager to snort at the impish creations of Roald Dahl, chortle at the fabulously frank fart jokes of Morris Gleitzman and get lost in the adventures of Cairo Jim.

So inspired by the Librarian I dreamed that when I grew up that I would be one too.

Unfortunately I discovered that not all libraries were created equal. My high school library was a prefabricated wasteland of sappy Sweet Valley High, fluorescent light bulbs and an unhealthy bent towards the incestuous V.C. Andrews. I lost the dream I becoming a librarian and studied something else entirely.

I truly believe that my primary school library fostered my insatiable want of words.

In my search for books to read I stumbled across this gem: The L!brary Book: Design Collaborations in the Public Schools.

The New York based Robin Hood Foundation strives to improve student literacy rates and believes good library design can inspire learning. "For reading to become an everyday habit, it needs to be nurtured in a home of its own" - The L!brary Initiative brings together input from corporate underwriters, children's book publishers, architects, graphic designers, product manufacturers, library associations, teachers, and students to create stimulating spaces within public elementary schools.

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