About my life in Armenia, about being a mom and an activist, working for women's rights.
The challenges and benefits of raising a family in a post-soviet republic.
Finding a place, my place and calling it HOME.


Khnko Aper Children's Library

"We are homesick most for the places we have never known." - C. McCullers

It was too cold today to go skating at the open air skating ring near the opera, so we decided to spend some time at our favourite children’s library, Khnko Aper. Vayk, my son was very excited, he likes the big format books in French and the enormous chandelier hanging in the middle of the high ceiling between the staircase. The old lady who has been working at the reception since the soviet times shows him how the lights on that magical chandelier are turned on to gradually illuminate the whole floors.

Although I never had a soviet Armenian childhood, going back to this library is always a kind of reminiscence to something I have never known; yet it felt so familiar and homey.  
The Library is named after the Armenian children's author Khnko Aper (1870-1935). I have been going there since 2003, with my older kids. At that time the library was not renovated yet, and since there was not much to do for younger kids at that time, we used to spend hours with my little girls (1 and 3 years old at the time) watching short soviet Armenian cartoons and partaking in Heqiat Morkur’s (fairytale Aunt) long story hours. 

It is among the magnificently decorated walls of that library, filled with magic and innocence, embedded with Tumanyan-inspired adventures that we had an easy and charming introduction to eastern Armenian storytelling. We were addicted to the smell of old bookshelves filled with worn-out hardcover albums of dogs and cats and little children dressed in 1950s dresses.

Over the years, Khnko Aper became one of our favourite places in Yerevan, and we often go back as if visiting an old family member or a grand-parent's welcoming house. 

Recently they renovated most of the floors, but the books stayed the same. Some new collections are added occasionally. The Library needs more books, especially in the international cornerThey accept donations from abroad.

The building has 4 working floors; the basement hosts a small arts and crafts center, the 2nd floor (also main entrance) has a very nice story hour room and a small theater where book discussions and short events are held throughout the year. On the 3rd floor, you can find activity rooms (activity groups; theater, origami and crafts). 

On the 4th floor, the rooms are divided by age groups (or class level) as well as the international language corner with books in English, French, German, Russian, Italian and Spanish ( for children and adults). The Library has also a large study room for older students to read and do research. We usually hang out at the international corner reading French books or watching movies and sometimes end up at the storytelling room.

Upcoming story time in Armenian for January 2013:

24 January at 1pm for 6-7 year olds
25 January at 1:30 pm for 8-10 year olds
30 January at 12 pm for 6-7 year olds

Some rules:

The Library is open from Monday to Saturday from 10-5pm, but on Saturdays they close around 4:30. To take out books, you can get a library card for 300 AMD per year per child but you need to have a local address or a registration address.

To get an updated schedule of the educational activities and story hours you can call: 010-54 75 48
Address: Teryan street 42/1, Yerevan, Armenia


  1. amazing! loved the article and the photos. and many thanks for writing about children's activities in Yerevan - who knows, i might finally learn to love this city and decide to move with my child there.

  2. I'm planning a summer trip to Armenia with my friends and I have a ton of English-language children's/young adult books I can donate to this library. Thanks for the information.

    1. I think they will appreciate it a lot! great initiative.