The Norelma Walker Youth Library is a curated and highly regarded component of both educational programming and community outreach at the UU Church of Fresno. Congregants of all ages can find books on every imaginable subject, and our amazing team of Library volunteers is there to help!

The Norelma Walker Youth Library (NWYL) was established at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno in 1997. In her role as Director of Religious Education at the UU Church of Fresno, Norelma truly delighted in her work with and on behalf of children. By bringing literature into their lives, expanding their vision of their world whilst all the while instilling a sense of possibility, compassion and the importance of kindness, Norelma truly exemplified the Mission of Unitarian Universalism. This was evident in her teaching at the Fresno State University Early Childhood Education program where she later became the Director of the CSUF Children's Center. Following her passing in 1994, her family donated 40 books from Norelma's personal collection, all of which are treasured to this day.

Our collection is highly curated to assure that books meet the criteria of the beliefs and values of the UU Church. Over 1800 books are all catalogued and shelved with the Dewey Decimal System, an internationally recognized classification system.

Within this library are multiple collections of remarkable works such as the Wizard of Oz, Freddy the PIg, Tin Tin, Harry Potter and many more. We have sections dedicated to various types, and local authors are especially treasured!

Featured Author: Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, memoirs, and picture books, including The Surrender Tree, Enchanted Air, Drum Dream Girl, and Dancing Hands. Awards include a Newbery Honor, Pura Belpré, Golden Kite, Jane Addams Peace Award, and NSK Neustadt, among others. Margarita served as the 2017-2019 Young People’s Poet Laureate. Her theme as Poet Laureate was “Peace.”

Featured Collection: The Wizard of Oz (14-Volume First Edition)

The 14-volume Wizard of Oz Series: The Norelma Walker Youth Library has all 14 first edition facsimile editions published by Books of Wonder. What makes these books facsimile first editions is that they have all of the original illustrations, both color and black-and-white. The Road to Oz has seven sections of different colored pages depicting the lands through which the travelers journey. The green illustrations in The Emerald City of Oz are highlighted with green glitter. These Books of Wonder editions are no longer published.

The Wizard of Oz books, published 100 years ago, have never been out of print and are still relevant today. Something that will be of particular interest to UU readers is that a theme of Equality and Egalitarianism runs throughout them. Everyone, no matter how different or unusual looking, is accepted.