I can still see the imposing yellow building in downtown Mansfield, Ohio. I walk in the door and a huge room awaits me. To the right is the very young child's books. Here, on the bottom shelves is the tall book area where I used top get all of my Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka books. There were comfy cushions to sit on. Above this seat was a blue and white round plaque of a baby in swaddling clothes. Turning 180 degrees, a clear glass case always held magnificent artifacts of one type and another. Going on to the further right, I progressed to the chapter books. These at the time weren't paperback, but something wonderful called library binding. They were often painted on the covers and were smooth and just felt wonderful. Then, to the far end and all around the rest of the room were the older child fiction and all of the non-fiction. I never made it to much of the non-fiction, except for a few of those orange biographies I needed for school work.
We could take out three books and they were due in two weeks. So every other week, we went downtown and got reloaded. It took me a long time to read books then. In the summer they had a reading program. You got a sticker for every book read and if you got so many, you got to choose a book. I dreamed of what book I would choose. My sticker sheet always had only three or four animals on it. I never did very well. My sister made it to all of the levels and got a book. My mom encouraged her to choose a poetry book. It was very nice. I guess she didn't think having a favorite story book around was very important. Once when I wanted a book because my cousin had one, she said, "you read it and them what do you do with it?" Oh, what indeed. I have to say in her defense that she got me some books for Christmas and I cherished them.
Now that I am in children's rooms at libraries again with my grandson, (Oh, I know, it's really for me,) I have noticed how beautiful they are. They have intriguing books displayed, have large counters full of things children love, and lots and lots of choices of wonderful, colorful books. And they have toys. We never had toys at my old library. But some of these do. Their goal is to get the children interested in books at a very young age, even if they just listen to the stories. My Ty is just finishing his first library time with other children. He loved it. They do songs, finger plays, and easy books. Plus, he gets to interact with other children and their nice mommies, daddies, and Nanas.
I think some of the sweetest people are children's librarians. They are always kind to me, even when I am just there by myself.
So, for a free experience where the only requirement is to be young at heart, go visit a children's room at the library. It's a very fun place to be.