Marl: Little Tower – In this library in Marl, children make the rules

The Little Tower in Marl is for children only. On World Book Day on April 23, we’ve taken a tour of the world of reading from picture books to horror novels.

Leon is a year and a half old, which makes him one of the youngest visitors to regularly visit the Little Tower in Marler. Deliberately rushes to the reading corner for the little ones. Mother Xenia Segal (30 years old) can give up her son. “He knows where he can sit here,” she says and returns the CD and books to Gaby Lutz at the counter. They borrowed their two older kids (8 and 5) here a few weeks ago.

Alicia (15) made herself comfortable in one of the red armchairs in the tower and picked up her favorite book, The Little Prince. © Mike Halls

Reading material on “crawl height”

The little one is already sitting in the kid-friendly reading corner. Next to him at Crawl High, he has a chest with booths full of books, where there are new and well-known picture books to browse and share, along with classics like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Adults should bend their knees. Young children can easily access it. This is the principle, which is similar in other departments of the Municipal Children and Youth Library.

Little Tower (from left) with Maria Paul, Sabrina Lechni, Claudia Colliers, Gabi Lutz and Monica Rathman.
Little Tower (from left) with Maria Paul, Sabrina Lechni, Claudia Colliers, Gabi Lutz and Monica Rathman. © Mike Halls

Libraries, publishers, libraries, schools and reading enthusiasts across Germany celebrate a great reading festival on UNESCO World Book Day. The regional tradition has become an international event: in 1995, UNESCO declared April 23 “World Book Day”, a global holiday for the rights of reading, books and authors. United Nations Culture and Education Organization inspired by Catalan traditions

Distribution of roses and books on the day of the famous Saint George’s name. In addition to this custom, April 23 is also especially important for another reason: it is the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. (Source:

Adults should wait too

“Here, children have priority. This is their home, where they make the rules,” says Maria Paul with a smile. “And the adults have to wait, too.” Since 1977 she has worked in the Children’s and Family Library in Marl. You will retire on May 1st. “It all starts with reading,” she adds. The Türmchen team and the Library Association go to great lengths to ensure that the younger Marler’s love of reading is not awakened on World Book Day on April 23.

A home of their own, with more than 30,000 titles – Not many cities in Germany can afford something like this to communicate the joy of books and other media to children and young adults.

Children’s and Family Library in Insel Türmchen on Creiler Platz © Mike Halls

Meet the snail and read the night

The tower at Marl is a simple rectangular concrete building in the middle of the city, the Town Hall and the Adolf Grimme Institute are right next door. Eduard-Weitsch-Weg 13 Almost every Marl kid knows this title. Because thanks to a dedicated support association, the little tower offers a variety of events and meetings as well as items to borrow. From guided tours of school classes (up to class 8) and kindergarten groups, from snail meetings to long reading nights, there is a wealth of book-related fun activities. Many have had to drop out of school during the Corona pandemic, but not entirely. Even the digital reading hours from the Marl family library were well received. Now the program is working again.

Horror novels for teenagers

Alicia discovered the tower while doing an internship. Now she is an avid reader. 15-year-old Maria Paul, especially enthusiastic about fantasy and horror novels, recommends a novel from the English author Jonathan Stroud’s series, of which there are some titles on the shelf here. Alicia’s all-time favorite book is “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. She also enjoys watching TV series. “But when I read books, I can understand the characters better,” says the 15-year-old.

Housekeeping department

Section marks above well-stocked shelves ensure that older kids and parents can purposefully navigate their way to their interests. The visitor also encounters topics such as “housekeeping”, which one would not necessarily expect to find here. Librarian Monica Rathman explains why this angle is particularly popular. She paints “Cooking with the Mouse” “With Peterson and Vendus” or Vicki from the Closets. “Little kids also care about healthy nutrition,” she explains.

In addition to books, computer games, and CDs, there is something different to discover in every corner of the library. Famous for radio play, quirky manga adventures, and SAMi reading bear promise relaxing listening and reading hours for three-year-olds. “It all starts with reading. Parents will never again have the opportunity to be as close to their children as they are when reading. Children experience language and their imaginations are stimulated,” says Maria Paul.

Correct reading material is available at the Little Tower, open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2pm to 5pm, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am to 1pm.

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