Every child should experience this. A grand entrance, taller than the tallest person she knows can reach.
The ceilings should shoot up, even higher, so that when the child steps through the doorway, past the solemn doors, she should feel like she has entered a cathedral. All the furniture should feel small. And the lights, especially on cold, dark days, should hang like beautiful beacons.
The chairs should be just the right size for little girls and boys, and there should be lots and lots of them, because more children might want a place to sit and read. The shelves should be low in the children’s rooms, and full of books. No one should say, “Shush!”
But if the child is very good, and very grown up, then she can go to read in the main room, where the giant world globe is, where the map books are shelved, and where the wing-back chairs are deep enough to snuggle into.
This was my first library. Mr. Howe, the man looking over the librarians’ shoulders all these years, probably didn’t know the impact his fine building would have on a little girl. I have been in good, modern public libraries with many more books, with wonderful programs for children and adults, but they could not impart the elegant image of Library that this building gave to me. Nothing compares to my childhood experience of opening a good book, while curled into a tall chair, beside a finely leaded window, in a pool of light, surrounded by the velvet quiet, the polished wood, the Library.
All images are the property of the David A. Howe Library.