Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/377

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physical features of localities in determining human settlement, industries and commerce.

It is as practicable to annihilate time as space by the use of model groups, therefore when our children study colonial history the miniature scenes at the museum carry them back into the period when the nations of Europe were establishing permanent colonies in this country. The men and women, dress, homes, social life and customs of those early days become a reality to the child who lives in imagination among these little "doll people" with whom he delights to be. The relics, manuscripts, pictures and arms, in other parts of the historic collection have a new interest for him after he has learned to relate them to their respective historic periods.

A children's museum library occupies two rooms in the museum building, and is a part of the museum work. Its 5,000 volumes comprise the best works on natural history, in its broadest sense, and closely related subjects. The library supplements the work of the museum in providing books useful to its staff in preparing collections, in furnishing additional information to visitors and in offering books on the lines of school work for the benefit of teachers and pupils. Two trained librarians in constant attendance enable visitors to consult books without formality; and through an acquaintance with the contents of school curricula, the exhibition materials of the museum, and most important of all, the children themselves, the librarians not only furnish desired information, but guide and direct the tastes of young readers. Further than this, the library shows to parents and teachers the most interesting and helpful nature books, and aids them in selecting those best suited to the needs of their children.

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Children's Museum Library occupying less than 600 square feet of floor space, yet accommodating at times between 300 and 400 readers in one day.