During childhood the magic and inspiration found within books is perhaps more alive than it is during any other stage of life. The Athenaeum celebrates the way in which children can become competely lost in a story, and the way they can emerge having found out so much about the world and themselves.
The Sayles Gorham Children's Library is a sanctuary designed to help children do what comes naturally to them around books: alternatively get deeply lost and significantly found. Tucked away in the back corner of the Athenaeum, the Children's Library exists in its own world. Behind glass doors and amongst mountains of books, DVDs, stuffed animals and toys, the Children's Library is a place that kids can confidently call their own.
The Providence Athenaeum has a history of encouraging children to participate in the library experience. Even in an age when children were expected to "be seen and not heard," the Athenaeum allowed space for them to learn and grow.
To that end, in 1977, as part of the three story addition to the library, the Sayles Gorham Children's Library was completed.
Since that time hundreds of children have grown-up with books, in this cozy space designed just for them. Now when they visit they have children of their own!
The Sayles Gorham Children's Library collection includes a lively and diverse collection of illustrated children's books, fiction, non- fiction,reference and periodicals for children. Non-print formats include unabridged audiotapes and books on CD, video cassettes and DVDs.
Young adult fiction is housed just outside the doors of the Children's Library.
All additions to our collection are reviewed for relevancy to age and interest of the children's library patrons and are based on reputable review media and recognition such as the Newberry and Caldecott Awards.
Our non-circulating "Old Juvenile" collection consists of rare and first edition juvenile titles in all genre dating from the 19th century through the 20th century. Selections from this collection can be accessed by appointment and viewed in the library.