Dad and young son reading in a public library
  • Public libraries allow you to borrow books, music and movies to enjoy in your home.
  • There is on-site computer access and free Internet.
  • Reference books are provided for you to research just about anything, such as laws, health issues and biographies.
  • Newspapers, films, magazines and musical recordings can be used during your visit.

Free Community Events for All Ages

Many libraries offer a variety of storytelling, poetry and craft events for younger children year-round. Programs for older children usually occur in the evenings and during summer break. Calendars of library events can be found online, and paper calendars are typically at your local branch’s circulation desks for you to take home.

Libraries also may offer other free opportunities, such as after-school homework help, adult education classes, author visits and book signings, and special exhibits. A public library may have book sales as new volumes become available or books become too old for circulation. There is usually a small charge for these books, but sometimes books are given away for free!

Tips for Your Library Visit

  • Each time you visit the library, allow your child to choose her own books. Giving your child control builds self-confidence and encourages individual interests. You can help teach your child about things that could guide her book choices: talk about how you choose books for yourself; talk about topics, other books, or specific authors your child has enjoyed before. The children’s department will have books easily reachable by even the youngest readers, and children’s librarians often have a wealth of information about all kinds of children’s literature.
  • Take a moment to read some books with your child before leaving. Let a younger child find a place where you can sit next to each other and explore a book together. Encourage an older child to check out his selections with his own library card. Bring a bag or backpack for your child to carry the books home.

Family Activities Before Your Library Visit

  • Personalizing a library bag will make the trips to the library more special. Encourage your child to be responsible for the materials. Teach that it is important to take care of the library books. Place books back in the bag when not reading them to have them ready to go when traveling or returning to the library.
  • Exploring a different library location with your child can be a fun experience for everyone. Although most public libraries’ offerings are similar, each branch is set up differently. Even if your family already enjoys the benefits of your neighborhood library, you can make your next trip an adventure with our Public Library Scavenger Hunt! Click to view and print a copy before you go!*


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