Paris Library

In Family-friendly, Paris
The role of the library as a refuge through life is an important one: a place to dodge the popular kids at lunch, a haven of Internet when an ice storm downs your lines at home, the location of a writers group for several years which becomes a facilitator of friendships, conversation and skills, the place to take your stir crazy child when the rest of the winter landscape is unwelcome. These are all purposes that real libraries have served in our lives over the years.

With no exaggeration, the Paris Library is our favourite. We lived for years across from the very excellent Toronto High Park Library, we have been to the British Museum – the library of all libraries, and we have visited stateside libraries that all fall short of their northern neighbour’s counterparts.

Maybe the Paris Library feels special because it connects to our own history. After we began the Paris Lectures series, we discovered that in the 1800s a group in Paris held similar town lectures. And where did they first gather? At the Paris Library, which they established after buying a lot of land from the town founder for $150.

The Paris Library also fits the ideal of what we expect a library to be. It is quiet and welcoming with excellent programming for both young and old. It has a quality selection of books (and where it does not, there is a willingness to order), and the kids section is frankly the best we’ve ever known: toys and activities everywhere, the most amazing staff (we are crazy about Adele, such a lovely, warm and fascinating woman), and so so many great books. Although the computers are not our personal favourites, since we spend all day at ours, we recognize their presence provides such a good opportunity for children to learn and practice digital skills in an inviting environment.

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Model Librarian Adele

Adele says we’ve been bringing Moo to the library since before she could open her eyes, and it’s true that we have found nearly all her favourite stories there, so we thought we’d share some of them here. Beyond the popular series Fancy Nancy, Clifford, Curious George, Hello Kitty and Strawberry Shortcake, we’ve found some truly clever and beautiful works of art in the library.

Here are some titles we’ve enjoyed reading as much as Moo:

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Moo’s favorites

  • Nightbear by Rebecca Patterson
  • What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson
  • Superworm by Julia Donaldson
  • When You Were Small by Sara O’Leary
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback
  • Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett

Beautifully illustrated

  • Quest by Aaron Becker
  • Journey by Aaron Becker
  • Have you seen my dragon? Steve Light
  • The Moon is Going to Addy’s House by Ida Pearle
  • Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler
  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
  • Fraidyzoo by Thyra Heder
  • Cinnamon Baby by Nicola Winstanley

Fun to read

  • Qui a Croque Mon Gouter? by Fabienne Teyssèdre
  • Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy
  • Whopper Cake by Karma Wilson
  • Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman
  • Tummy Girl by Roseanne Thong
  • The Snuggle Sandwich by Malachy Doyle

If you’re not a regular at the library, we encourage you to become one. Check out some of those books we mention above. Go sit and play with the giant red Clifford dog or lounge around on the couch in your bathing suit, like Moo.

Jane & Jury illustration for upcoming Paris Poster
Jane & Jury illustration for an upcoming project

On our own to-do list is to take advantage of their toddler programming (we’ve heard such great things about it), and the Library’s upstairs conference room will soon serve as our classroom for two upcoming photography workshops (Digital Photography for beginners and Photography for Blogging) that we are offering via Paris Lectures. Hopefully we’ll see you there!

2 Comments

  1. Miss Ann is a keeper as well. As a grandma I have had very positive experiences at the Paris Library with my girls.
    Well written, very interesting, accurate article about one of Paris’ treasures.

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