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Celebrating libraries

The first 'Take your child to the library' Day was organised seven years ago by children's librarians in the US, and the event has spread around the world. This year, it takes place on 9th February. As well as encouraging parents and children to make the most of their local library, the event celebrates the extraordinary and unique libraries found around the world. Did you know that the world's oldest library is in al-Qarawiyyin University, in Fez, Morocco? This spectacular library has been in constant use since the year 859 - that's a staggering 1,160 years. And some of the world's smallest and most eccentric libraries are the 'Little Free Libraries' found at more than 75,000 sites across America. Spare shelves, shoe lockers and any manner of other spaces have been converted into miniature libraries where users can come and swap an old book for a new one. A similar idea is taking hold in the UK, where many old red telephone boxes are being turned into tiny community libraries.

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