We welcome families with children of all ages to the library! We’re here to provide programming, materials, and resources to support your family’s growth. Take a look at just some of the amazing programs that we offer through the Children’s Department, but also take a look at our event calendar for the most up-to-date events being offered for people of all ages (including adults!). We focus on providing hands-on, interactive learning opportunities for kids from birth – 12 years old.
Storytime Classes are a good way to introduce children to the library. At storytime, our trained staff present stories, songs, rhymes, and more. Storytime Classes teach social skills, listening comprehension, and early literacy skills.
Although each storytime is presented by a different storyteller, a common plan is shared throughout. During the 30-45 minute class, 2-4 stories are shared. Songs, fingerplays, such as the Itsy Bitsy Spider, and counting exercises are spaced around the stories. The use of puppets, musical instruments, and flannel boards are often incorporated into storytime.
Check out the event calendar for the most up-to-date storytime dates and times!
What is a Family Place Library?
The first three years of a child’s life lay the foundation for learning. Get the tools and resources you need to give your child the best possible start. A Family Place Library is a center for early childhood information, parent education, emergent literacy, socialization, and family support. Family Place builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parent involvement, and supportive communities play a critical role in young children’s growth and development.
Key Features of a Family Place Library:
Each Family Place Library features the following core elements:
- A bright, colorful, and welcoming space for young children and their parents.
- A collection of books, toys, videos, music, and other materials for babies, toddlers, parents, and service providers
- Access to resources that emphasize emergent literacy, reading readiness, and parent education.
- Developmentally appropriate programming, such as baby and toddler story times for younger children and their parents.
- Outreach to new and underserved populations.
- Family Place is a multi-week parent/child workshop featuring local professionals, such as nutritionists, speech and language therapists and child development experts, who serve as resources for parents.
The core program at each Family Place Library, this multi-week series brings together toddlers (ages one to three) and parents in an informal, interactive setting with professionals from local agencies to support the role of parents as first teachers, facilitate early intervention, and teach strategies to promote healthy child development and literacy.
Parent/Child Workshops run for multi-week series during the year. Check the Upper Merion Township Library’s Event Calendar for more information.
Why Read 1,000 Books?
Parents can help even very young children learn the five early literacy skills that reading research has determined children must know before they can learn to read. These essential skills needed for school success are:
- Phonological Awareness – is being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words
- Vocabulary – is knowing the name of things and concepts
- Print Convention – is noticing print, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow the words on a page
- Background Knowledge – is prior knowledge, things our child has learned
- Letter Knowledge – is knowing letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere
The library staff presented a Parent Workshop titled More Than a Bedtime Routine on the importance of reading aloud. If you’re interested, you can view the presentation as a .pdf file.
How Does It Work?
- Any child from birth to the day they enter Kindergarten is eligible.
- Sign up for the program by visiting the Children’s Department or signing up online through Beanstack.
- Log your reading through Beanstack or fill out a reading log!
- Stop by the library every time you have completed 100 books to receive a small prize.
- When you have finished 1,000 books your child will be able to select a new picture book to add to the collection. The book will include a bookplate with the child’s name on it. Your child will be the first one to check out their honor book and will be invited to a graduation party in August of that year.
What Books Count?
- The easy answer is everything counts!
- Books may be read more than once and recorded
- Books from home or the library – even other libraries
- Books read at Story Time
- Books read on an iPad or e-reader
How Long Does It Take To Reach 1,000 Books?
- 1 book per day x 3 years = 1,095 books
- 10 books per week x 2 years = 1,040 books
- 3 books per day x 1 year = 1,095 books
READING BUDDIES is a literacy development program that builds skills and confidence in young readers by pairing them with responsible, older students for weekly reading practice together at the library. Reading Buddies is NOT a tutoring program to teach children how to read. This program focuses on mentorship and reading practice.
BIG BUDDIES are strong students in grades 5th – 12th who like children, enjoy reading, and are willing to read one-on-one with a Little Buddy for 30 minutes weekly at the library. This volunteer option provides great leadership, community service, and mentoring experience for middle & high schoolers as they help improve the confidence of a young reader!
To become a Big Reading Buddy, fill out the Big Buddy application form and look for an email from our Reading Buddies coordinator!
LITTLE BUDDIES are emerging readers in Kindergarten – 2nd grade who are paired with a Big Buddy to practice their developing reading skills. The Big and Little buddy will enjoy reading fun books aloud together for 30 minutes weekly while also working on improving pronunciation and comprehension skills.
To become a Little Reading Buddy, fill out the Little Buddy application form and look for an email from our Reading Buddies coordinator!
Do you dream of becoming a writer? Here is your chance to get published! Enter Upper Merion Township Library’s Annual Write & Illustrate Your Own Book Contest!
Make sure to follow all contest rules.
What is Junior Friends?
Students in 5th – 8th grades who are interested in community service projects can join the Junior Friends of the Library.
The Junior Friends:
- assist Township Librarians in the Children’s Department
- participate in programs
- run book sales to raise money
- participate in the Reading Buddy program
- write book reviews
- have fun!
Volunteers may pick and choose to help with one or all of these tasks. This is a great group for students to join who are interested in fulfilling community service requirements in a fun and meaningful way.
If you would like to join the Junior Friends of the Library, register for a meeting by visiting our Event Calendar! If you have any questions, please call the library at (610) 265-4805.
Book Lists & Suggestions
If you’re looking for great suggestions for encouraging a love of reading in kids and tweens, check out our extensive selection of book lists!
Want to start a book club with friends or neighbors? You can check out multiple copies of the same title from our Book Discussion Sets!