Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Road Trip and A Library Pit Stop

Yesterday was another beautiful January day in sunny Southern California.  Cold, but sunny. 

Driving back home along the coast after a visit with my sister and her family, I decided to make a quick "pit stop" just five minutes off the 101 freeway to the Camarillo Public Library.

I have a friend who just raves about the children's area. Well, the children's section isn't the only amazing thing this library has to offer: the outside of the library and the entryway have the feeling of a nice hotel!

This library was designed by TDS (The Design Studio).  They have created several other beautiful civic buildings in California, including nine libraries.  Click this link, to see if there is one near you. This 65,000 square foot library in the Spanish style has areas inspired by Antonio Gaudi, the California Craftsman, and a children’s area reminiscent of the Spanish explorers and the great children’s novels.

I walked across the parking lot, and was pleased to find a nice "friends of the library" bookstore and patio eating area.

No, this is not Peet's Coffee & Tea (though it is served here), it's the Library Cafe!  I got a sandwich and a latte, then set off to explore...

Walking inside, I was greeted by the sight of fresh flowers and a check-in desk. The columns in the children's section were made of huge volumes of books.

Peter Pan and Captain Hook looking down over the story time area that is centered around a huge sunken ship, complete with a tattered masthead.

The ship's hull is full of bookshelves...

And a lantern that stays lit night and day...

Before I left, I looked in this nook that feels like a submarine, complete with portals, where audio books and DVDs are displayed.

All in all, I'd say that was a perfect pit-stop!  Would you like to read about other libraries I've visited in Southern California? Click the links below:
Huntington Beach Central Library
Los Angeles Public Library
Placentia Public Library
Orange Public Library
Tustin Public Library


  1. WOW. That library is AMAZING. What a beautiful children's section. and a coffee shop!?! Get out of town! I've been going to my same town library since I was six years old. There is something nice about knowing all the nooks and crannies. But I'd love to explore a place like this!~

    1. I. Love. Libraries. Many modern libraries here in California, being municipal buildings, have lost the warm feeling I remember libraries having when I was a child in Tennessee - I recall dark wood bookshelves and glowing desk lamps. I get so excited when I find a new library with a children's area that feels welcoming and even a little bit whimsical...

  2. What an imaginative library. Well done to those who had the vision for it.

  3. I love visiting different libraries and this one looks amazing! I live near a big city and it's fun to visit all the libraries. I love seeing their various decor and learning opportunities, especially in the children's area.