Very young children as users of the children’s section in libraries

French public libraries have opened their doors wide to very young readers over the past forty years. An ethnographic study of a children’s section reveals the rhythm of library use by children aged three to six. Story times and borrowing books show how children of that age become familiarised with books and reading and how they handle the social codes of the library as an institution and those of their parents, partly by copying and partly by enjoying their freedom as library users.