They say “It takes a village to raise a child.” Consider the library a permanent member of your village.
For every stage in a child’s development, the library has resources to help you answer questions, find advice and solutions, and be proactive with your child’s physical and behavioral health, social life, academics and all around well-being. As you know, strong parenting begins at birth, and the library is committed to providing useful and applicable resources to help guide you from day one all the way through every milestone you and your child will reach together.
Ask a Librarian
If you have a homework question, want to create a reading list catered to your child’s interests or want help locating the right organization to address the specific needs of your family, our information specialists can get you connected.
For parents of kids birth – age 5
The library’s first Community Impact Goal is “Every child ready for kindergarten.” When children enter school ready to learn, their chances for academic and life success have already taken root. Here are some of the ways you can ensure your child is ready to enter school.
Bee a Reader (0-18 months)
First things first, get baby a library card! Your child’s first library card comes with the gift of an adorable Read With Me t-shirt.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Register your child (0-5) to receive a free book a month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Visit our Imagination page for details on this great program.
Help your child get ready to read
With talking, singing, reading, writing and playing, you can prepare your child to read. Incorporate these simple activities into your child’s life and increase their success when it’s time to start school.
Pre-reading classes for babies and toddlers
Get baby started on the path to reading with our Baby Bookworms classes, then graduate to Toddler Time 1 and 2. Storytimes happen almost every day at the library, where kids can talk, sing, play, clap and dance! Our kids librarians make books and reading time into fun and play time.
StoryWalks® in the Park
A StoryWalk® encourages reading by placing pages of a children’s picture book along a popular walking trail. It’s literally a walk in the park! Walk with your kids, read the story and do the activities along the way. Young children will have fun with the activities and the story while getting some physical activity.
- Oh Baby – Healthy mom, healthy baby resources.
- Parents as Teachers
- Zero to Three – Provides information and tools to support parents. Download the app on your device.
- BabyWebMD – From baby bottles and bedding to development and sleep, WebMD’s Baby Center helps parents know what newborns need during the first year.
- Child Care Aware of Eastern Kansas – A local resource in the areas child care, child development, and school readiness (plus much, much more).
For parents of kids 6-11
Personalized Reading Lists
Kids’ tastes change day-to-day. Our expert kids librarians can anticipate what your child will want to read next based on a few questions. Bring your child into the Kids Library to talk to our librarians, find a list we’ve already created on the catalog, or email us.
Screen Time Resources
- K-State Research & Extension Shawnee County – A local resource that provides information on meal ideas, kitchen tips and food safety.
- Shawnee County Health Agency – Reliable, local health information.
- Think Big, Start Small – Nutrition, active play and screen time guidance from Kansas Action for Children
For parents of teens
TRIO College & Career Assistance
TRIO Education Opportunity staff assist with financial aid applications, school application, career exploration, GED referral and English as a Second Language referral. All services are free. The KU TRIO Education Opportunity Center is a federally funded college access program available to U.S. Citizens or permanent residents who:
- are interested in enrolling in technical school, vocational school, community college or college/university;
- live in Douglas, Shawnee or Wyandotte counties; and
- have low to moderate household income or have parents who do not have a 4-year college or university degree.
Get your teen connected with the resources that matter to them. Visit our teens page to find out what we offer.