Monthly Archives: August 2013

Guide to fictional Libraries #11 The Ghost Library

Following the lead of The Matilda Project The Alibi Library has decided to produce a short series highlighting the work of some of the best fictional libraries:



Bo was reading her favorite book, when without warning …

the lights went out!

Bo felt a cold chill.

Whispers sniffled and snuffled in the dark. Shadows shivered closer.

A clammy hand grabbed Bo’s book . . .

“GOT IT!” squealed a voice!

A book for younger readers, The Ghost Library is about enjoying books and stories, and about making up your own stories:

Bo is a little girl who loves to read stories before bedtime. One evening, as she is reading an especially funny tale about a witch with stinky feet, all the lights go out. Before she can recover, a clammy hand grabs one end of her book. Unable to let go of her book she closes her eyes and holds on tight to the other end.  Bo and her story book are whisked away to a strange place where she has never been before. When she opens her eyes, she finds herself standing in the Ghost Library.


The Library:

This is a room full of empty shelves!!!  A gigantic, spooky room, but nonetheless filled with empty shelves.

The clients:

The Ghost Library is where the ghosts go to listen to stories borrowed from unsuspecting children. The ghosts who regularly visit this place are constantly looking for more good stories—but their shelves are always empty. Bo…Bo teaches them that stories exist everywhere, not just in books. Her head is full of ideas. She dreams up the perfect way to help the ghosts fill their library with wonderful stories.


This clever story involves effort on the part of young readers as there are two sections where the story is told in pictures so you have to make it up while you read it. There is also one gigantic flap to show the tall tower where the library is (I would love to have that many book shelves!) and it’s like getting three stories in one with the stories within the story – these are drawn in different styles too so the book maintains interest on all sorts of levels.



Coming up;  The Plume Library, Charlie Higson, Carole Boston Weatherford


Guide to fictional Libraries (non-fiction section) #10 Walmart Library

Following the lead of The Matilda Project The Alibi Library has decided to produce a short series highlighting the work of some of the best fictional libraries:

This article from WebUrbanist (by Steph) gives us a modern day retelling of the Ugly Duckling fairy tale where, hard as it is to believe, a Walmart supermarket is transformed by the crisis into a public library.  Quite the opposite of what is happening in the UK!

There are thousands of abandoned big box stores sitting empty all over America, including hundreds of former Walmart stores. With each store taking up enough space for 2.5 football fields, Walmart’s use of more than 698 million square feet of land in the U.S. is one of its biggest environmental impacts. But at least one of those buildings has been transformed into something arguably much more useful: the nation’s largest library.


Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle transformed an abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, into a 124,500-square-foot public library, the largest single-floor public library in the United States.


The design won the International Interior Design Association’s 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. MSR stripped out the old ceiling and walls of the building, gave the perimeter walls and bare warehouse ceiling a coat of white paint, and set to work adding glass-enclosed spaces, bright architectural details and row after row of books.


The library even has an acoustically separated lounge for teens as well as 6 teen computer labs, 16 public meeting spaces, 14 public study rooms, 64 computer labs, 10 children’s computer labs and 2 genealogy computer labs. Other new features include self check-out units, an auditorium, an art gallery, a used bookstore and a cafe.


While you can still see hints of what the library once was in its sprawling shape and industrial ceilings, it seems like an entirely new space. According to PSFK, the library saw new user registration rise by 23% within the first month following the new library’s opening.



Coming up;  The Plume Library