The (awesome) Children’s Play Information Service, London

I’m back in the USA (and recovered from an unpleasant flu, for which I totally blame the arctic temperatures at the V&A Olympia archives where the librarians were sitting under BLANKETS but I had to check my coat in the locker!) so there will be be several follow-up posts from the London playground chat, which turned out to be a lively discussion amongst a diverse group of architect/landscape architects, representatives from playground charities and playground corporations,  independent playground builders and other interested (and interesting!) parties.  Thanks to all of you who attended, and do remember to keep in touch.

After the chat, some of us moved on to the Children’s Play Information Service, whose library contained Every. Book. I have ever wanted to read about playgrounds.  Including all those hard to find vintage titles from the heady self-building, mustache-growing 1970s.  It was all I could do not to break out a pillow and settle in for the weekend.  But I will save that for my next visit.

PLUS they provide a monthly newsletter for those in the play sector (subscribe or view archives here), AND a series of helpful factsheets on aspects of play and playsite development,
AND maintain a database of scholarly research into play.
The ‘latest news’ section of the website always has interesting links, like this one to a new pdf on play and toys for the blind and partially sighted, by the British Toy and Hobby Association.

Unfortunately they don’t have an online catalog, but they do have Michael, Incredibly Nice Librarian, who is happy to help.  Just email them if you have an enquiry or want to stop by…you may bump into me there!

P.S.  CPIS is in danger of closing due to government cutbacks…they are only funded through the end of February, just in time for me to return and camp out in the stacks.  If they were here I’d say ‘write your congressman’!  Can’t do that, but using their services to show how valuable they are over the next two months can’t hurt.  If you’re in the UK, get thee to the library, and the rest of you, sign up for the newsletter.

UPDATE:  if you have a UK postcode you can sign a petition to save the CPIS here!

One Response to “The (awesome) Children’s Play Information Service, London”

  1. Come Out to Play said:

    Sign our OnLine Petition:


    December 17, 2010 at 3:48 am

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