Books and moreBringing stories to life for children

"My world - and my children’s world - would be a lot smaller without the library."

Rachel

Customer, Wakefield Libraries

Young children love libraries. Safe, free spaces where you can pick up any book, enjoy stories and meet other children. 

And you don’t need to be silent.

Parents with their babies at a social group in a public library. The parents are sat on colourful blocks and have their babies on their knees.

Most libraries put on free activities for children. As well as rhymetimes and storytimes, you might find LEGO clubs and crafting workshops that help stoke the curiosity of older children.

Map of libraries and services

Find your local public library

Things youngsters love at the library

Parents, babies and library staff enjoying a group activity.

Rhymetime

Babies and young children love rhymes and songs - helping develop language skills

A librarian reads 'Superworm' to some children at a storytime event.

Storytime

Stories help children develop a love of reading for enjoyment

A child reading to an adult at their public library. They are in the children's section of the library, there are books on shelves behind and book in boxes in front.

Reading challenges

Children love taking part in reading challenges, and to get rewards like stickers, medals and books  

Four ways to build a love of stories in children

Research shows if children see reading as fun, they’ll continue to do it. Good reading and writing skills help children do well at school and live happier and successful lives.

Tracy Hager is a Children & Youth Librarian at Wiltshire Libraries. She’s seen many youngsters develop a love of stories through visiting the library.

Here she shares her tips for parents who want their children to learn to love books:

  1. Read to (and with) children

    “Parents should read with their kids for as long as they can. In the early years, if you’re not sure where to start, ask library staff for the best books to read aloud.”

  2. Let them choose

    “Once they’re old enough, let your child pick their own books from the library shelves. Toddlers like to feel in control, and older children will continue to read if they get to read what they want. It might not always be what you want them to read - and there’s value to challenging them to read different things. But it’s better for them to read something than nothing.”

  3. Surround kids with books

    “If you don’t have many books at home, try to take your child to bookshops, library events, and reading festivals. Make books an ever-present in their life, however you can.”

  4. Set a ‘reading time’ at home

    “Identify a slot of time at home when everyone turns their gadgets off and reads a book. It might be hard at first. But I’ve seen lots of families turn this into an enjoyable part of their daily or weekly family rhythm.”

“The library is a lovely, easy way to spend a day with the kids without spending money!”

Rachel

Customer, Wakefield Libraries