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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Another ‘World’ awaits children’s book readers

Amy Webb
Amy Webb / Arizona Daily Wildcat A pop-up book stands on display inside the College of Education’s Worlds of Words Library. The library contains award winning children’s books from all over the world.

Even with a collection of more than 30,000 children’s books, this on-campus library is anything but kid stuff.

Located on the fourth floor of the College of Education, The Worlds of Words library is the largest of its kind in the nation. Its main mission is to provide resources used in teaching children’s literature to graduate and undergraduate students and to house a rich and varied collection of international literature for academic researchers from around the world.

Worlds of Words has programs tailored to both local and global missions. The local program maintains a library of now more than 30,000 books as well as numerous workshops. These workshops include professional development, author workshops and outreach to schools. The global program includes an opportunity for graduate students to study abroad and return with the knowledge and ability to more effectively communicate with international students.

Worlds of Words is also active in the Tucson community, making public appearances at the Children’s Museum Tucson, and working with organizations such as Casa de los Niños and the Tucson Festival of Books. Volunteers are also a large part of the library’s efforts, though the library does employ seven graduate students, two undergraduates and a full-time coordinator, all of whom work to keep the library open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, according to Kathy Short, the Worlds of Words director.

Worlds of Words has several goals that it hopes to accomplish within the next year, including renovation of an area of the library, creating a collection room with original illustrations of books a learning environment for children with disabilities. All of these projects have been the focus of five years of work and will be paid for by grants and other outside funding sources, Short said.

To Megan Percell, an education major, the library offers resources that could help in her teaching career.

“I am here at the library all the time,” Percell said. “We future educators need to understand and know different material for the children. These are not just normal books never used.”

Percell said she thinks the most popular books with children were the pop-up ones, but that doesn’t mean children are the only ones who enjoy them.

“Actually, some of the pop-up books are really cool to look at,” Percell said, “and they tell some good stories.”

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