As information needs and delivery have changed so swiftly, so libraries are being forced to re-evaluate, re-invent themselves and re-emerge as exciting, contemporary and relevant spaces.

While a strong and vibrant web presence is vitally important, so too is physical space, as shown by the fact that 108 million people visited 1,500 public libraries in Australia last year. (ALIA)

The Rosedale branch of the Baltimore County Public Library in America is one such library that has had a vision for adapting to changing needs, and they have created a fantastic learning space for toddlers and pre-schoolers called Storyville.

“Caregivers and their young children can explore the seven museum-quality learning areas in the village. These include a library, a two-story house, theater, store, Chesapeake Bay waterfront for toddlers, baby garden and construction site. Each area is furnished with books and engaging materials and activities which promote language and literacy, as well as other vital school readiness skills.

Babies and their caregivers can engage in peek-a-boo and play with sensory toys or read board books in their garden; toddlers can crawl through driftwood, read in a lighthouse, rock in a toy boat, fish or gaze up at the stars; preschoolers can play house in the home living area, present plays and puppet shows in the theater, shop in the store and practice building at the construction site. The library, stocked with a variety of children’s books and comfortable seating, invites reading together. Books, displayed in every area, as well as parent resource materials and themed take home kits, are available for checkout.” Storyville Baltimore County Public Library

See also BookTagger Blog and James Bradberry Architects