The Children’s Spaces is a non-conventional library for our youngest readers. It has been established following the Swedish children’s library model which is based on the features of psychological and physical development of children. Here, the focus is on the ways children see and explore the world or how they discover various objects in their surroundings, including books. In this part of the library, books are not shelved alphabetically: our youngest readers and their parents can find the books by category. They can choose books about animals or adventure, funny or terrifying books, poetry or literature in foreign languages, thus there is no need to remember the name of the author of the book’s title. The books are displayed to attract children’s attention with their front covers facing outwards. Their spatial arrangement is also important: the bottom shelves contain toy-books for the smallest readers who still crawl on their hands and knees; picture books arranged by category are placed on the shelves at a height that toddlers can reach; and older children can get the books from the top shelves using a special step ladder.
“When we opened this unique library space three years ago, we were tentative and unsure if potential visitors will be able to find, understand and appreciate the materials offered to them. But three years on, we can say with confidence that this library has proved to be a success and enjoyed such popularity that we even had to remodel it. The Children’s Spaces is a great place for families to interact and spend their free time and it is frequented by pre-school and elementary student groups. It is also a place where children get to hold their first book in their still shaky hands. For children, early books serve as a window to the world of knowledge. This is the first step in creating a knowledge space that brings value to society, and that’s exactly what the mission of the National Library is,” said Director General of the National Library Prof. Dr. Renaldas Gudauskas in his opening address.
The reading room has been created following the Swedish model. While creating this space, the National Library cooperated with the Swedish Institute, Swedish Embassy and IKEA Lietuva. Ambassador of Sweden to Lithuania, Maria Christina Lundqvist shared a quote by her country’s most famous writer Astrida Lindgren who said that children create miracles when they read. The Ambassador expressed her delight at the fact that this space enjoys so much popularity and emphasised the benefits of early reading for a child’s future development. IKEA’s representative Indrė Česūnienė said that a large part of IKEA’s product range is designed for children and added that the company is honoured to have been able to contribute to this meaningful initiative.
The reading room is located in the Children and Youth Literature Department, 1st floor.
Reading room opening hours:
Monday to Friday 9:00–21:00
Saturday to Sunday 10:00–18:00