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Children's Library Discovery Center

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  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Children's Library Discovery Center

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Children's Library Discovery Center

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Children's Library Discovery Center

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Children's Library Discovery Center

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Children's Library Discovery Center

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Children's Library Discovery Center

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Children's Library Discovery Center

Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

Children's Library Discovery Center

The brand-new, bright-white Discovery Center wows families with engaging exhibits and eye-popping, kid-friendly design—plus, of course, an impressive selection of books. The first children's library in the country to offer young visitors a hybrid museum-library experience, the spot is also unique in its planning. A new city "construction and design excellence" program allowed the library to hire top-flight firms—1100 Architect and Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership—to bring it to life. Welcoming kids at the entrance is a whimsical, sprawling floor map of Queens neighborhoods, several of which trigger sounds—like the cheer of fans at a Mets game or the sound of jets at La Guardia Airport—that are micro-directed to the listener via speakers on the ceiling. The coolest element, though, is the interactive, science-themed stations designed by the San Francisco Exploratorium where kids can explore concepts like simple machines (pulley, lever, wheel and axle), fossils, lunar and solar eclipses, and electricity. A separate section for tots, with computers fronting a huge aquarium and an electrified simulation of a wave coming in, is just as alluring. 89-11 Merrick Blvd between 89th and 90th Aves, Jamaica, Queens (718-990-0700, queenslibrary.org).



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