From it’s bookshelf inspired end-papers to it’s card-catalogue dedication, every aspect of this picture book has been tailored to appeal to bibliophiles. With the high profile Love Libraries campaign now well under way the publication of ‘The Library’ is very timely.
The book is a biographical account of book lover and philanthropist, Mary Elizabeth Brown (1920-1991) documenting the life long affinity she felt for books and for reading. Whether depicting the means through which books allow our imaginations to soar, manifested here by pigeons in flight, or the shelter and shade the interior world of books are able to provide, David Small’s illustrations brilliantly capture the highly personal dynamic opportunities for thought and reflection that books provide without diminishing its meaning.
Framed pictures and the rapid encroachment of books outside the parameters of each frame emphasise the extent of Elizabeth’s collection enabling an understanding of how sizeable an endowment this was eventually to be for the town. Reading is a gift and libraries, offering access points to almost every book ever published, are in a unique position to keep on giving endlessly A powerful reminder as to the remarkable community and cultural resources libraries are.