Creating a safe and welcoming environment in your children's library corner

Posted on: 18 August 2015

For many children the library is an invaluable resource for their childhood literacy journey, offering them a safe and welcoming place to enjoy the world of books. As a children's librarian you stand at the door of a whole world of new literary adventures. Here are some ideas on how you can use library furniture to create a child-friendly space in the library for them to start exploring:

Low shelves that can't be climbed

While you can put up many signs to try and direct children not to climb the furniture, unfortunately toddlers and young siblings are inclined to climb and explore. Keep your shelving low and relatively shallow, so that the bookends hand over the edge and younger explorers can't get a purchase hold in the shelf end.

Keeping the shelves low is a great idea to make them seem appealing and interesting - try and keep the pictures book at the lowest levels where babies and toddlers might be exploring, while the junior fiction can be little higher.

Somewhere to hang out

Children often read in the library more than parents and adult readers, who are more likely to take their book home and read in the evening. Rather than having a single wide open space with chairs, try and break the area up visually with different coloured reading nooks built into the walls, combinations of different sized and coloured chairs and different size bean bags the children can pile into for reading with their parents or independently.

Cushions and stools can also be useful if you run a baby rhyme time session, as older carers such as grandparents can find it to get up and down off the ground with baby in tow. Make sure to plan in a cupboard or clearly marked area to put the bean bags and cushions away after use or they will tend to get left on the floor and gather dirt over time.

Safety first

While it can be cheaper to buy generic office furniture, the fact that children climb onto furniture and often run about can increase your risk of getting sued if they run into a sharp corner on a shelf or table. Library furniture for the children's section is designed with these use cases in mind and its often over-engineered so that there is an extra safety factor in place.

Having an interesting, colourful and well thought out children's section on your library will enhance the library visiting experience for parents and children alike. Why not get a quote for some new library furniture today?

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