18 August 2010

The Favorite Libraries Challenge

This Challenge is simple. 

Help us create a comprehensive list of Books for Walls Project Reader's Favorite Libraries!

Tell us about your favorite librarypast or present:
  • Please give the location of the library
  • know of a link -share it
  • have a story about the library -tell us
(And don't worry if your library has already been listed, tell us again! 
We'll note who the library was suggested by.)

Come back often and check on our Official Books for Walls Project Favorite Libraries List made by you, our readers! Click here to watch the list grow. 

Remember there are many ways to follow the project and share this challenge with friends (use the handy tools at the bottom of each post)help us learn about favorite libraries all over the world!

Please use the following format for your commentName of the Library, City/State/Country, link (if available) and tell us more about why it is your favorite!


  1. This is what we used to call the libraries when I we were little: "The Tiny Library" and "The Big Library." When I was very young the "Big Library" over whelmed me, it was so BIG. Now I like the wide selection of books. But the "Little Library" is my favorite favorite!

    "Little Library" = Interlochen Public Library, Interlochen, Michigan
    "Big Library" = Woodmere Branch of the Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, Michigan

  2. Anonymous10:11 AM

    I agree with Sis, and I want to add "The Teeny Tiny-Tiny Library" it's very new and my Daddy's artwork is up permanently in the building!!

    "Teeny Tiny-Tiny Library" Darcy Library, Beulah, Michigan. Note from The Mom -before the new building the library was teeny tiny, now it is pretty big!!

  3. I love the libraries the girls mentioned and I have to add my first love: The Sherwood Forest Library in Detroit.

    I can still feel the handles of drawers that held the card catalog. I remember when I got old enough to move from the children's area to the big tall shelves for the adults, I loved hiding there... and reaching for books as high as I could reach and just flip through them. Sherwood Forest is where I became a bibliophile! (And that name, isn't it wonderful --although the library is named for a nearby neighborhood--I liked to imagine that I hung out with Maid Marion and Robin Hood!)

  4. I grew up using the Redford Township Public Library, and it's always been my favorite in the west suburbs of Detroit. Even more so now that they have a beautiful new building, complete with cafe. Best selection of new releases anywhere in area!

  5. I guess I should be embarrassed to admit that I don't have a favorite library -- that although I've been a member of The Friends of the Detroit Public Library, I don't own a library card. I grew up in a house with a lot of books. where people read books aloud and told stories, so I never really got into using libraries. In my schooling I used school libraries, but primarily for research, and when I couldn't find what I needed, I hung out in local university libraries. However I still want to mention two libraries for specific reasons: 1) the Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library. My family on both sides, and my husband's too, are long time Detroiters so when we got into genealogical searches we relied heavily on the census records stored here (fascinating fun!). Also, for books that are rare and/or out-of-print this is a great resource; plus, the librarians are very helpful. And it's a pretty impressive building. Just climbing the front stairs and entering the door makes you feel like you're in a hallowed place. 2) The Southfield Public Library for donating books. They make it really easy: drive up to the back door, ring the bell, and someone comes to help you unload and gives you a donation receipt. They have frequent book sales so that you feel your books are being put to good use. Also their new building was specifically designed to be user - particularly child - friendly..

  6. I have to first say the Ben Franklin branch of the Detroit Public Library because this is where I pedaled my bike home with a basket full of Enid Blyton and Beverly Cleary books.
    My other favorite is the old Palm Desert California library. It was just a tiny, dusty little place (until they moved into a grand, new building). I was new to California and I would stop there after I took the kids to school. Since it was the first time they were all in school at the same time, I had plenty of time (for the first time in 9 years) to browse the shelves.

  7. The old Traverse City Library, on Sixth Street in Traverse City MI.

    I remember when I was finally old enough to walk up the stairs and go into the adult section on my own. The stern over-glasses look of the helpful but watchful librarian as I walked by and the slight smile on her face when she saw my anticipation, the men quietly reading newspapers and not so quietly clearing their throats across from her desk, the dusty, warm, comforting smell of the books, the heavy feeling of the large, hard bound novels in their protective plastic covers, the spiral staircase that led up to the reference and over-sized book section, the stack of selections I heaved onto the check out desk with my card neatly on the top of the pile...

    I do like the "new" library too. I have spent many hours there with my children reading and exploring the Children's Garden, but the "old" library was where I discovered where reading could transport me.

  8. I agree with Tracey--the old Traverse City Library on 6th street in Traverse City, MI.
    It was a favorite while growing up and before the age of researching online. I liked the feeling of coming into TC for the day and reading old books and creaking on the hardwood floor. A couple of high school research papers were completed, by hand, in the belly of that building.
    Additionally, I am fond of the Alma College Library in Alma, MI. I spent four short years there, reading, writing, analyzing poetry, prose and developing a critical voice in the bubble of my college literary experience. Some important pieces of poetry were concocted in the stacks as well as in the circle of chairs on the lower level.
    The combination of being surrounded by the walls & walls of texts, the serenely quiet nature of the serious students, studying, reading, absorbing, clicking on keyboards; all of it forever holds a sacred space in my heart, for dear BFW fans, I am most certainly a bibliophile (it's no wonder that I did not study library science, so I could 'live' among the books!!).

  9. The Bookmoblie that came to Empire every week in the summer when I was a kid! I used to love going in and looking at all the books...finding "the perfect book" for that week. And the whole idea of a library on wheels was amazing to me! A lot of times we would go across the street to the little ice cream shop and get ice cream afterwards. An added bonus!
    But one of my favorite regular libraries is the Parchment Public Library, near Kalamazoo. We lived there for 4 years and I used to take my day care kids there all the time. They had a great kid's section, lots of cool wooden toys to play with, and a great selection of books and magazines. And the librarian was super-cool and friendly. I went there all the time. I still miss that place.
    But as long as it has books....ANY library is my favorite!

  10. Anonymous10:24 PM

    As I have traveled with my book, I have visited a number of libraries for readings. I loved the Southfield Public Library (that children's department!) when I read there, and the Sherwood Forest branch was the one I went to as a child, so I have very warm feelings about that. I also love the Oak Park, IL, Public Library--both the main and the Maze Branch, so small and intimate. My all-time favorite I think though, is the Frederick Douglass Branch of the Detroit Library.


    I had a reading there in March (because it's on Grand River), and it was such a warm and welcoming place. I've written about the place and the reading a couple times on my blog. http://ethnicwords.blogspot.com/

    Going into that neighborhood seemed at first to be outside my comfort zone, but the afternoon was wonderful. The staff has made that library into a community center. They have a special collection for the blind and physically handicapped, and they sponsor a book group for these residents. Also, can you believe it? The staff went out in their van and picked people up to bring to my reading. It was great. People were so open and honest with me about their lives in Detroit and my book.

  11. The Librarian11:12 PM

    One feels content in the world when a small, isolated community has two public buildings...a general store and a library. The Bliss Branch (of the Mackinaw Area Public Library) exists in an old but still used township hall, and functions well beyond your typical quiet library. And bonus, its located about 4 miles from the best beach in Michigan, Sturgeon Bay. Not an amazing collection, but wonderful community interaction...around books no less.

  12. The Dad7:27 AM

    Small libraries are great and cozy, and I am in them offten. I really love big libraries with rows and rows of book shelves, many levels and large outdoor aeras to sit or walk around in. But my favorite library the Berkley Public Library in Berkley Michigan.I haven't been there for 30 years but I can still feel the comfort and ease of the place.

  13. My favorite library is the Cass District Library, namely the main branch. When I was a kid it was my favorite place to be. The staff were always so helpful and nice (my family was one of those "regular" families that always gets late fees waved and such) and it was just a great, friendly place... no scowling and saying "Sshhhh!" if a kid got a little too excited. I liked our librarian so much that as a young child I sometimes got her confused with my grandmother. When I was a teenager I started volunteering there and a year or so later they offered me a paying job (fortuitously, just a day after a quit a corn detasseling job). I've been working there ever since.

  14. Anonymous4:23 PM

    The Roslindale Branch of the Boston Public Library, 4238 Washington Street, Roslindale MA, wwwfriendsofroslindalelibrary.org. Celebrating its 50th year in a unique, semi-circular building in the middle of Roslindale Village. Library is friendly and cozy, a big assest and help to the community. You can always find a good book and receive a friendly smile.

  15. Anonymous9:34 PM

    I really love so many of the libraries that we have visited over the years. My hometown of Charlevoix recently renovated the old middle school building into a beautiful library. It feels like a library you would find on a large college campus. The children's area is really large with a large activity room leading out into a beautiful garden.

  16. My favorite is the Cora J. Belden Library in Rocky Hill, CT http://www.rockyhilllibrary.info/
    They always have the latest books and great programs.

  17. Anonymous10:22 PM

    The Henry Carter Hull Library - Clinton, CT - www.hchlibrary.org
    The HCH Library has the best staff around - very friendly and they sure know their stuff! They've been serving the folks of Clinton and surrounding towns for 101 years!

  18. always loved my primary school library. the same room for seven years, it felt good to know it so well. Enoggera Primary School. Could find all my favourite books instantly. Love any library with a cat, visit ironfrog.com for the library cat map. =^..^=

  19. Barbara12:52 PM

    The entire Chicago Public Library system.
    It's fun to go into the different branches and see displays of books written in the languages that you hear in the different neighborhoods. The Walker and Beverly branches had unbelievable range in their fairy tale collections (398.2). Woodson Regional is a children's collection jewel hiding in plain sight and also on the southside.
    "http://www.chipublib.org/">Chicago Public Library

  20. Barbara1:14 PM

    Camden Public Library, in midcoast Maine, has a wealth of local children's authors and illustrators who enrich the children's dept. by their visits and support. The community wholeheartedly supports the library
    (financially as well as emotionally)thus ensuring a fantabulous collection and staff. Did I mention how great it is to picnic in the amphitheatre next door or roll down the grassy hill to the village harbor? Generations of kids have done both activities as part of their weekly library visit traditions.
    Camden Public Library