chapter  8
A vital space for children and young people
Pages 4

The early children's libraries or reading halls made an attempt to provide a more domestic atmosphere than that found in the adult libraries. This was largely achieved by providing armchairs as well as wooden chairs, along with flowers in vases on the shelves or tables, and a selection of framed pictures hanging on the walls. These often depicted national myths, historical events, famous people, romantic landscape scenes or reproductions of paintings such as John William Waterhouse's The Lady of Shalott or John Millais' The Boyhood of Raleigh. There were elements here of creating an image of the ideal home, even a national home, as imagined by worthy designers and idealistic local politicians.