If this is the case (and I think childhood is incredibly important to shaping who we are as adults) then some of the libraries currently being built for children have the potential to make a real difference and inspire a joy of reading, learning, and discovery. If libraries want to continue to have a role for future generations, creating stimulating and fun places for children can only help. After all it is not only about technology. But back to the IFLA conference, there are a lot of very good papers in this session but the stand out for me was the paper from Denmark "The red tread - new central library in Hjørring, Denmark" [PDF].
This Danish presentation (with lots of great pictures) shows the new central Library in Hjoerring. It does not take long to read.
- I love the red ribbon pathway through the library (it even encourages kids to crawl through one of the book shelves).
- I love the slippery slide between the book shelves.
- I love the more adult club chairs in the older kids reading area.
- I love the messy activities area with paint and costumes.
- I love the V.I.P. (Very Important Parent) corner, and
- I love the tree structure and the soft floor mats in the kids reading area.