The Most Magical Children's Sections in Libraries

Posted by Hayley on June 16, 2016
Most libraries invite you to imagine: See those books over there? They look normal, but dragons lurk behind the spines, detectives creep around the pages, and pirates sail off into the covers. If you want any of that story magic to seep into reality, you have to visit the children's section. We've rounded up some of the most fantastic and immersive libraries for kids in the world. Which one do you want to visit?

Brentwood Library

Fairytales come alive in Brentwood Library's whimsical children's section. Children are greeted by a talking owl (operated by a motion sensor…or magic!), and the bookshelves are placed deep in an artificial forest. Stay alert when you visit this library wood! Live animals, magicians, and puppeteers frequently drop by.

What to read while you're there:
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The Secret Garden
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The Wishing Spell
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The Neverending Story
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East Hampton Library

With ocean rugs below and "book-bird" seagulls above, the Children's Reading Room in the East Hampton Library is the perfect place to get swept up in stories. Kids can browse the shelves of a giant windmill display or chat with librarians at the boat desk before curling up with a new book.

What to read while you're there:
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
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Swiss Family Robinson
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
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Peter and the Starcatchers
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Cerritos Millennium Library

Go big or go home at the Millennium Library, recently named the Best Library for Children by Los Angeles Magazine. The adventure begins right at the start, through an entryway made up of massive books fit for a giant. Inside, readers will find a 15,000 gallon saltwater aquarium, a model space shuttle, a T-Rex skeleton replica...and lots and lots of books, of course!

What to read while you're there:
Jack and the Beanstalk
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James and the Giant Peach
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Clifford the Big Red Dog
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Raja Tun Uda Library

Oh, the weather outside is frightful? It never matters inside this sprawling outdoor-themed children's section. Complete with grassy hill, (fake) rays of sunshine, and a life-size "reading tree," this indoor library park is a young book lover's paradise.

What to read while you're there:
Anne of Green Gables
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Inside Out & Back Again
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The Complete Fairy Tales
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Laramie County Library

It's all about hands-on play at the Laramie County Library! Readers can pile into the child-size Bookmobile, or power up the behemoth "Book Factory." On top of that, the library has an after-hours program that gives pre-teens exclusive access to the entire building, which includes an oversized chess board and yummy Library Cafe.

What to read while you're there:
The Little Engine That Could
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Rosie Revere, Engineer
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The Phantom Tollbooth
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Sideways Stories from Wayside School
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Which one is favorite? Tell us in the comments!
And for more fun, check out our home for Summer Reading for Kids here.

Comments Showing 1-50 of 91 (91 new)

message 1: by Sherrie (new)

Sherrie The East Hampton Children's Library Section is my favorite. I love the nautical theme!

message 2: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wow, my libraries at home look nothing like this. Very cool! It makes my personal library at my house look boring!

message 3: by Sammm (last edited Jun 16, 2016 09:04AM) (new)

Sammm Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful blog! Those libraries look amazing!

I got to admit though, for East Hampton Library, the first book that came to my mind was actually Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island !

As for Cerritos Millennium Library, not to be a broken record, but I really cannot resist advocating Cornelia Funke's Inkworld trilogy, and since the recommendations all have a "giant" theme, the 3rd and final book of the series, Inkdeath , is more than perfect! Because it does indeed feature a giant! (Chapter 53: Human Nests)

message 4: by Ivonne (new)

Ivonne Rovira I think the Brentwood Library is the most magical, but they're all amazing!

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* These libraries are ridiculously cool. I've seen a few of those on Pinterest and featured them on my blog. They make me envious - wish I could visit them as an adult!

message 6: by Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (last edited Jun 16, 2016 09:37AM) (new)

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Inside the Cerritos -

Pretty much every image I've seen of the library is amazing, including the outside structure.

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* More of the Brentwood Library (How I'd love to visit there!)

message 8: by Mandy (new)

Mandy We used to live in Brentwood. This library has a phenomenal children's program. Oh how I miss visiting it!

message 9: by Kira (new)

Kira The Raja Tun Uda Library tree is fantastic!!!

message 10: by C. Morgan (new)

C. Morgan Brentwood Library is wonderful but keep in mind if you want to visit it's in Brentwood, TN, not in Missouri where the link leads you. This is an accurate link

Hopefully the author will update the post so that visitors won't be led astray.

message 11: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Omg! I love these! Look so freaking awesome!

message 12: by Juliet (new)

Juliet Want to go to Brentwood!

message 13: by Sara (new)

Sara Jesus Brentwood Library

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

They all look great but if I had to choose it would be Brentwood .It looks fantastic.
Thank's Erin for the extra photos!
What a shame libraries weren't like this when I was little!!

message 15: by Willa (new)

Willa Valentine (paper.seas) Brentwood is amazing! I love the creativity of all of the libraries, though.

message 16: by Hayley (new)

Hayley I love the Brentwood library!
Honestly, our town library is awesome (great librarians, awesome programs, etc.), but these are crazy!

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Brentwood Library here I come!

message 18: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Oh wow! Love that tree! So wish I could have one of those.

message 19: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Tied between Brentwood and Cerritos: both have that surreally inviting "Come step into our story/dream world" look.

message 20: by Nickcole (new)

Nickcole I want to visit all of them!! I used to love spending the day as a child in the library!! My daughter and I might have to make a few summer trips this year!!

message 21: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Oh my gosh, all of them!

message 22: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne They're no Hogwarts Library, but they do look quite magical. :)

Bookishnymph *needs hea* Brentwood is my favorite. If I were still a kid, I'd never want to leave! Who am I kidding? I wouldn't want to leave now. ; )

message 24: by NK (new)

NK Brentwood looks magical. It is clear that all of these locations took a lot of effort by people dedicated to get children reading. I was read to and taught to read at an early age. These libraries are a far cry from the Chicago Public Libraries that I cherished as a child. The content is the same - books - but the surroundings are fantastic.

message 25: by Heather (new)

Heather East Hampton library! That ship is so cool! Brentwood is pretty cool, too. wish there were libraries like these when I was a kid!!

message 26: by Katherine (new)

Katherine The Brentwood Library was awesome!

message 27: by Kat (new)

Kat My hometown used to have a lovely library in an old watermill. It was full of nooks and crannies and little corners to explore. After it was torched twice, the library is now located in a purpose-built warehouse that has a very temporary trade-show feel to it, as if the books will be packed up and stored any minute. It's really just a warehouse, with no charater or love at all. I don't visit it anymore.

message 28: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell I loved the Brentwood and Laramie libraries the best!

message 29: by Sammm (new)

Marlene wrote: "Just requested Inkworld and Inkspell from my own library because of this recommendation! Thanks! :) "

Oh dear.... Now I feel terribly anxious (and pressured lol)! I hope they suit your taste! And even if you don't, thanks for deciding to giving it a go!!!!!!

message 30: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell Marlene wrote: "The heck with the kids, I want this in the adult section too! :D Particularly the Cerritos and Raja Tun. I get extremely seasick so I'll pass on the nautical themed one, lol."

Exactly! Us adults need some creativity in our section of the library too!

message 31: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Elstad I LOVE the Brentwood Library! I love the magic I assume you feel walking through that entrance! I so want to know what it looks like inside! What I love most about all of these is how amazing they made their children's section! What a wonderful message being sent to children. After all, the love of reading usually begins with children!

message 32: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Elstad Lanie wrote: "Omg! I love these! Look so freaking awesome!"

So do I!!!!!!

message 33: by Sandy (new)

Sandy What a beautiful place for children to find the world in their hands by reading. Wish I would have had something so great when I was a child. I would never have left!

message 34: by Peace (new)

Peace The Brentwood library is my favorite! These all look magical!

message 35: by Lolade (new)

Lolade Howard County (MD) Public's East Columbia branch too. They have a rain forest entrance and cool lighthouse seating. But I think they're doing some renovations soon...anyone know?

message 36: by Beth (new)

Beth Carpenter The Brentwood library looks like a magical wood.

message 37: by Jessica (new)

Jessica White BRENTWOOD IS AMAZING, good thing I'm close by... Might need to visit soon!!

message 38: by Abbas (new)

Abbas Shakhi This was great writing bro keep it up.Well done.

message 39: by Heather (new)

Heather omg these places look amaizballs!

message 40: by Diane (new)

Diane I like the east Hampton library!!!

message 41: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Wish someone could include the Kansas City Library Children's section!

message 42: by Hamed (new)

Hamed pourkabir سلام
ایده جالبی واسه فضا سازی و ایجاد انس به مطالعه کتاب و کتابخوانی است

message 43: by heidi (new)

heidi I'm so happy that a library from Malaysia (Raja Tun Uda) is on this list!!! :D

soɥǝıๅɐ📚 Very exciting
I am in love with this library. I would like to go

message 45: by Melanie (new)

Melanie I am so proud to work at the Laramie County Library in the children's and outreach department. The staff's dedication to children and adults is as impressive as the layout. Come visit us any time!

Strona po stronie They all look great and really peaceful :)

message 47: by Angela (new)

Angela I would love to take my daughter to any of these fantastic libraries! We unfortunately live in Maine, so it would be too far to travel to any of these cool places.

message 48: by Linda (new)

Linda What a change from secondhand metal shelving, tatty threadbare rugs, and floor-to-ceiling windows. And card indexes in old gray file cabinets (Am I dating myself? Does anyone remember those?).

The first library I remember as a child was a converted Victorian "mansion" in downtown Salt Lake City. You had to go up a sweeping flight of stairs to get to the entrance, and then the most interesting books were either in the basement or on the second floor. I THINK I remember a small, creaky elevator, but my memory could be faulty on that one, as it was over sixty years ago.

The point being ... if that library had looked like any of THESE, I would have spent a LOT more time there!

message 49: by Nikita (new)

Nikita Okay, seriously, why can't library's like those be found near me?!

message 50: by Julia (new)

Julia Oooh Brentwood library is where I'm headed

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