Miss More Thought Otherwise,” How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children is a story of how one woman made it her life’s mission to make libraries a place where children were included, and had a place in libraries for themselves.
Anne Moore grew up at a time where unmarried women usually tended house, but Anne Moore didn’t want to “Stay inside and do quiet things such as sewing and embroidery.” She dreamt of becoming a lawyer like her father, and when she heard that New York libraries were hiring female librarians, Anne moved to the big city of New York and enrolled in the Pratt Institute library school.
In New York Anne helped changed the way kids books were handled in libraries. She developed a children’s room at her library where children could check out books – something that had not been done in libraries before, because libraries feared children would destroy books if they were allowed to take them home. In order to make sure that books were taken care of while checked out, Anne developed a system where children would sign a pledge in a special book where they promised to obey the rules of the library and take care of the books while checked out.
People began to talk about Anne Moore’s special kid’s section of the library and she became head of children’s sections of all branches of New York Public Library. In order to make it so that all libraries allowed children to check out books, she convinced librarians in all of New York’s public libraries to adopt the pledge.
In 1911, she was instrumental in making Central library on 5th and 42nd streets the best children’s room that anyone had ever seen. Even President Taft showed up for the opening of the Central branch of the New York Public Library.
From then on she continued making the library great by replacing dull books with those that were more interesting to children. She made book lists to help parents, teachers and other librarians find good books for kids, and she organized reading clubs and brought special guests to the Central branch of the library that included Dr. Seuss. Anne Moore continued to make a difference for libraries even after she stop working at age 70, she traveled across America to teach others how to make libraries great for children.
Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children is a great book to read for National Library Week which has is celebrated next week. Celebrate books by going to the library and reading with your child this library week! For more information on events celebrating the event, visit http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks/natlibraryweek