Library Week: Picture Books about Library History

Continuing with Library Week, today let’s take a look at some picture books about the histories of libraries and the people who made them possible.


Libraries have changed through the ages, but there is a common thread of dedicated individuals who want to share books with others.

Thomas-Jefferson-builds-a-libraryThomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by John O’Brien reveals Thomas Jefferson’s early obsession with books and his contributions to the Library of Congress (see previous review.)


Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children by Jan Pinborough and illustrated by Debby Atwell chronicles the life of one woman who helped change the policy of not allowing children in the libraries. She not only allowed children inside, but also created separate children’s rooms filled with child-friendly books and activities to welcome them and encourage them to come back (see previous review).

That Book Woman_

That Book Woman by Heather Henson and illustrated by David Small is a tribute to the Pack Horse librarians who delivered library books to rural areas via horseback during the Great Depression.

Cal’s sister likes to read, but Cal doesn’t see the point in it. That is until “that book woman” keeps showing up, even in the worst blizzard. Maybe he should give it a try.

In researching this book I found people who complained that it was written in dialect. It seems that in our modern world of television and the Internet, children don’t hear regional dialects as often and don’t know how to respond to them. I thought it was interesting that the author incorporated subtle changes in Cal’s speech as he learned to read.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (October 7, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1416908129
ISBN-13: 978-1416908128

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile by Gloria Houston and illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb is a fictional picture book based on a true story. Dorothy wants to be a librarian, but when she goes with her husband to North Carolina she finds there isn’t a library. That doesn’t slow her down and soon she has raised enough money to buy a bookmobile. The book concludes with letters from patrons who benefited from her dedication to books.

Tribute to bookmobiles

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (January 25, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0060291559
ISBN-13: 978-0060291556

Tomas and the Library Lady

Tomas and the Library Lady (Dragonfly Books) by Pat Mora and illustrated by Raul Colón is the heartwarming story of a young boy whose parents are migrant workers. He is welcomed to the library in a small town in Iowa by a kind and considerate librarian and learns the joy of reading books. Based on the real life story of Tomás Rivera, who grew up to become the chancellor of the University of California at Riverside.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: Dragonfly Books; 1st Dragonfly Books Ed edition (February 22, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0375803491
ISBN-13: 978-0375803499

Disclosures: These books were from my local public library. I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


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