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The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries

The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries

5.0 1
by Julie Cummins, Roxie Munro (Illustrator)

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Libraries collect materials that reflect the past and imagine the future, opening windows to the world. Here is a selection of libraries from across America, presented with intriguing shifts of perspective that are the trademark of Roxie Munro’s acclaimed Inside-Outside series.


Libraries collect materials that reflect the past and imagine the future, opening windows to the world. Here is a selection of libraries from across America, presented with intriguing shifts of perspective that are the trademark of Roxie Munro’s acclaimed Inside-Outside series.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Munro adds to her Inside-Outside series with this portfolio of libraries located throughout this country, lavishing on each her customary affection for architectural details. Two spreads are devoted to each site; the first shows the building's exterior, the second provides a bustling, often brightly hued look at the interior of the library and its patrons. The choices here are imaginative: the tiny one-room library on Ocracoke Island, N.C.; the library tucked below the flight deck on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln; and the library in California's Folsom prison. Other selections expand popular perceptions of libraries: there's a lending "library" that circulates tools instead of books; and the Internet, "a library without walls." Cummins, the coordinator of children's services for the New York Public Library, throws in intriguing nuggets (e.g., the collection at the Library of Congress grows at the rate of 10 new volumes each minute), but she often writes as if she were addressing other librarians, not children: "The value of a library is measured not by floor space or number of books but by its usefulness to the community it serves." The volume boasts one particularly neat element: a segment about New York City's Andrew Heiskell Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped includes a close-up page of a braille bookcomplete with the raised dots. All ages. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Celebrate Children's Book Week by sharing The Inside Outside Book of Libraries to appreciate the variety of libraries and their services. You'll visit a one-room library on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, a library on an aircraft carrier, a prison library, a library for the blind and handicapped, a tool lending library in Berkeley and others. Tour your own library and taste the delights that are there, free to everyone.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Libraries, big institutions like the Library of congress or small local libraries with children's rooms or a single room open a few hours each week, all serve patrons by making books and other materials available. Special libraries for the blind and physically handicapped, special libraries that house unique collections and libraries in special places, are highlighted as is new technology and the future role of libraries. It is an enjoyable look at library services with wonderful illustrations by Munro. They are filled with detail, but have a warm and informal quality. One quibble, from a Librarian who worked there, the Library of Congress does not keep one copy of every book copyrighted.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4From the cover's imposing view of one of the New York Public Library's lion guardians to the picture of a small table of books in a child's room, this title covers a vast array of libraries whose holdings, regardless of their size, open up whole new worlds for their users. Thirteen very different U.S. libraries are explored, most in a double-page spread that introduces the architectural exterior of the building, followed by another two-page illustration highlighting its interior features. The concise text explains the major facets of each facility that distinguish it from other types; often fascinating facts are included. For example, Cummins explains how the Library of Congress's collection grows "at the rate of ten new items per minute." She tells of "down home" libraries, such as the one-room facility on Ocracoke Island, NC, and explains that the World Wide Web connects library patrons across continents. This book will appeal to an older audience than Gail Gibbons's Check It Out! (Harcourt, 1985) or Anne Rockwell's I Like the Library (Dutton, 1977; o.p.). Cummins's text flows smoothly and is easy to comprehend, and the vast array of facilities discussed will add greatly to children's understanding of the concept of library services. Munro's excellent watercolor illustrations are extremely detailed and reveal an incredible sense of each architectural space. Her paintings are colorful and bright, and the patrons with which she peoples each library represent a balance of genders, races, and ethnic backgrounds. An excellent portrayal of libraries as the important and exciting places that they are.Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Kirkus Reviews
Normally a soloist on the series, Munro (The Inside-Outside Book of Paris, 1992) has a collaborator for this entry that shows all kinds of libraries, from behemoths like the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library to collections on navy ships and in prisons, on bookmobiles and home bookshelves. Among the places included along the way: the Internet, a library for the handicapped, school libraries, a tool-lending library, and a branch library in New York City's Chinatown. The diversity of libraries will be a revelation to young readers and will surprise adults, too. What also comes through clearly is the importance of books and libraries in every place and segment of society. An adequate treatment of a surprisingly fascinating topic.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.43(w) x 10.87(h) x 0.18(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Julie Cummins was coordinator of Children’s Services at New York Public Library.

Roxie Munro has created 30 acclaimed children’s books.

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The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book tells you about the different kinds of libraries there are. Great style of writing and shows many different types of libraries from gradening to ships to the Library of Congress. This is a MUST for a library dealing with children and a great addition to the family library.