for the love of libraries

I’ve got two books today that celebrate one of humankind’s finest creations — libraries!
First stop, London, home of the amazing British Library.

Books! Books! Books!: Explore the Amazing Collection of the British Library, by Mick Manning & Brita Granström
published in 2017 by Candlewick Press

As authors Mick and Brita tell us, “The British Library holds one of the largest collections of books, prints, letters, drawings, maps, stamps, newspapers, plays, and music in the world!”

Venture into this vast treasure house and meet the ancient, hand-painted Lindisfarne Gospels, a gigantic atlas that requires six people to lift it, an extraordinarily valuable First Folio of Shakespeare, the Brontë sister’s handwritten novels, the first ever copy of the London Times, manuscripts of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and many more literary gems.

Colorful, engaging collage work dominates the pages with just enough text to tantalize. Manning and Granström are brilliant at making history come alive for children. Share this with ages 7 or 8 and up.

The Man Who Loved Libraries: The Story of Andrew Carnegie, written by Andrew Larsen, illustrated by Katty Maurey
published in 2017 by Owlkid Books

Andrew Carnegie was a poor, young immigrant when he landed on America’s shores in 1848. He went on to become one of the wealthiest men in the nation.

Carnegie was a flawed human like the rest of us, but he did believe that “the rich have a duty to use their money for the good of everyone.” To that end, he built libraries, beginning with one in his small home village in Scotland, then moving on to fund more than 2,500 others around the world. This made me wonder about Carnegie libraries in Minnesota, and I discovered that…

The Franklin branch library in Minneapolis, a Carnegie library.

….there were 66 Carnegie libraries built in Minnesota — one was built in my home town! — and 25 of them continue as lending libraries. These include a number in small Minnesota towns, but several in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Such beautiful buildings with their rich history of community service.

Read this engaging, upbeat biography with ages 6 and up, then search out a Carnegie library near you!