Open wide the doors: The children's room as place in public libraries, 1876-1925

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The word 'place' can mean both the physical brick-and-mortar and the concept of 'appropriate space,' defined functionally. This article examines the language of children's place in public libraries from 1876 to 1925 in order to understand debates around the establishment of children's rooms. Debates over the proper place for children encompassed the establishment of practices allowing children to enter the doors of the building as well as the creation of physical 'children's rooms,' although these rooms were policed in ways that restricted and defined their use. Examining the rhetoric of place and physicality illuminates some of the emerging cultural ideas about libraries as children's places, their purposes, and their limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-529
Number of pages11
JournalLibrary Trends
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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