This Olde English rhyme traditionally signifies a bride is preparing for her wedding day, but I’m not a bride. However, like a new marriage, I am in my first month at the Indiana State Library. As a mother of two young children, I am in love with the space where I spend my days. The Indiana Young Readers Center is a quiet, child-friendly room elegantly adorned with chandeliers juxtaposed against Clifford’s doghouse. It’s a space to explore books written by Indiana authors for children and teens, but there is much more to engage children. Allow me to make suggestions for your visit.
When you arrive you can meander through the Indiana Statehouse Education Center toward the grand staircase. Take a moment before walking to the second floor to appreciate the craftsmanship in this 1934 structure. After an elevator ride with a stroller, or a jaunt up the steps to the second floor, look for Garfield sitting on a bench. This bench draws you into the space. Now that you’ve found it, what is the Indiana Young Readers Center?
This man found something old in the IYRC. His eyes visibly widened and he proclaimed his excitement out loud when he found the collection of Garfield books he avidly read as a child. While we do have a collection of older books behind glass cases, young parents can also find stories reminiscent of when they fell in love with reading. You can sit to read a favorite book while your children wander the space.
These two toddlers found something new in the IYRC. There are many books, but there are also developmental toys and interactive exhibits. These two new friends were practicing their sharing skills. They crawled around the space and squealed with delight at the books on the shelves. They might not know yet that all of the books are written by Indiana authors, but they did enjoy the onomatopoeia usage in April Pulley Sayre’s books.
When visiting the Indiana Young Readers Center, many children want to take a book or two home. The Indiana State Library is not only home to the Evergreen system, but serves as an Evergreen library as well. The IYRC purchases two copies of each book, so one copy can be checked out. All residents of Indiana can get an Evergreen card from the Indiana State Library, which allows them to borrow materials from the IYRC.
The Indiana State Library is a beautiful home to valuable tools and materials for scholars and the general public alike. Nestled on the second floor, the Indiana Young Readers Center is a unique space encouraging Indiana’s children to appreciate something old, discover something new, joyfully borrow something and to find something… red.
The post was written by Indiana Young Readers Center Program Coordinator Tara Stewart.