University of Arizona Worlds of Words

University of Arizona Worlds of Words


Tucson, Arizona

Part of the University of Arizona College of Education, Worlds of Words is an international collection of children’s literature, the largest of its kind in the United States (currently consisting of approximately 30,000 volumes). Located within the 4th floor of the existing College, this remodel project is designed to efficiently house, display and manage a growing collection, in addition to increasing public outreach programs.

Located along the route of Tucson’s new Modern Streetcar, Worlds of Words takes advantage of a unique opportunity to identify itself to the public. A new panoramic window and large graphic panels penetrate the existing building walls, helping the collection gain exposure beyond the College of Education, as well as providing natural daylight into the space, and incredible views of the University campus and Catalina Mountains. Within the interior, what was once a collection of “hand-me-down” furniture and finishes that expressed age and wear is now a inspiring and secure, yet inviting environment for children, students, faculty, staff, and the community. Areas for storytelling, group discussion and individual study are provided, as well as a Studio space for visiting artists. A Workshop Room is available for children’s literature courses and the new Wong Collection (a private donation of 4,000 1st edition signed books and over 100 original artwork pieces) is housed within a secure, yet transparent room utilizing glass partitions to provide ease of monitoring with minimal staff.

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