We want you to grow up with the library and blossom into readers! We recognize how important literacy is to children’s development and we are committed to providing opportunities to help improve and develop literacy skills. Explore this page to see some of the programs, books, and activities we offer for kids birth through 6th grade!
Use the links below to find top choices in each of these categories below.
Jun 01 - Aug 01
UNlike any Other Summer!
Jun 01 - Jul 31
Summer Lunch @ the Library!
11:30 am - 12:00 pm
Council Bluffs Public Library
Jul 13 - Jul 19
Celebrate Stories Challenge!
Storytime Online with Miss Anna!
Jul 20 - Jul 26
Community Picnic Challenge!
Kids InfoBits meets the research needs of students in Kindergarten through Grade 5. It features a developmentally appropriate, visually graphic interface, a subject-based topic tree search and full-text, age-appropriate, curriculum-related content. Search here.
Multi-media encyclopedias and dictionaries for kids of all ages. Includes thousands of images, videos, and links to reliable internet resources. Search here.
Some Places More Than OthersMore Staff Picks +
The only thing Amara wants for her 12th birthday is to visit her Dad's family in Harlem, to see where he grew up and spend time with the family she hardly knows. But something happened 12 years ago between Amara's Dad and Grandpa and she doesn't know if it can be fixed. While she tries, she also finds herself on a journey of self-discovery--finding out about her place in her family and in the world.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward TulaneMore Staff Picks +
Edward Tulane is the beloved china rabbit of a young girl named Abilene. When they are separated Edward embarks on an epic journey to the depths of the sea and the top of a garbage heap. But more importantly, he journeys through love and loss and back again. This is a beautifully written story that would be wonderful for an independent reader or as a child/caregiver read aloud.
Hello, World!More Staff Picks +
If your child enjoys I-Spy or Look and Find style books, this new title is super fun! The book explores a place called Happy County in a bit of a nod to Richard Scarry. There are lots of cute, quirky animal characters and tons of fun stuff to find!
BobMore Staff Picks +
When Livy arrives at her grandmother's Australian farm after 5 years away, she soon discovers Bob--a creature living in the closet--a friend--whom she had forgotten all about. An alternating narrative reveals a story of enduring friendship as Bob and Livy try to solve the mystery of Bob's presence at Gran's house. I always love a book that helps me believe in a little magic in the world.
To Night Owl from DogfishMore Staff Picks +
This book is a modern-day twist on one of my all-time favorite movies, The Parent Trap (original Haley Mills, not the remake with Lindsay Lohan!). Avery and Bett are the daughters of single gay dads who have fallen in love. They are first pushed together and later torn a part. Then the tables turn and they are covertly pushing their parents together! This is a sweet story of friendship and of families that are built with the people we choose.
For Parents & Teachers
Reading with Infants
Sharing books is a gift you can give infants from the time they are born. The warmth of being held, the singing of lullabies and the melodic sound of a parent’s reading voice can soothe and entertain even the youngest child.
- Set aside a special time each day, such as nap time, bedtime or after meals when both you and the baby are relaxed and can enjoy a story.
- Take advantage of “waiting” time to share books; for example on trips or in the doctor’s office.
- Find a comfortable place to sit and hold the baby so that you can both see the book. Turn off the TV, computer and music.
- Vary the tone of your voice, sing nursery rhymes, bounce your knee, make funny faces or whatever special effects you can do to stimulate your baby’s interest.
- Don’t worry if your baby’s attention span is short. Sharing books with infants can be brief, but should be often.
Reading with Toddlers
Is it possible to share a book with a toddler who seems to be permanently in the “on” position? With the right book at the right time, reading can become a cherished activity for both the adult and the child.
- Share a book everyday, even if it is only for a short time. Help your toddler become comfortable with books and learn the value of them. Teach them that books have a right side up and how to turn the pages. If you worry about torn pages, practice “reading” and turning pages with board books or old magazines and catalogs.
- Read slowly enough for your toddler to grasp what has happened in the story and to talk about it. Encourage your child to touch or find things in the pictures. As you read point out and discuss what is happening in the story.
- Paraphrase parts of a story that have sentences which are too long or contain ideas your child cannot yet comprehend.
- Be flexible and adapt your reading pace to the moods of your child. Never force a child to share a story in which they have no interest.
- Do not become upset if your toddler continually interrupts the story with questions or observations. Stop reading and let him/her talk and share with you. A toddler can learn just as much by looking and talking about the pictures as by reading the story.
- Register your child for a library card. Toddlers need new books week by week as well as old favorites.
Reading with Preschoolers
One of the nicest and best ways to enhance your child’s language learning is to read books. Reading time is when you can introduce your child to words—how they sound, what they mean and also how they combine into sentences and stories. It is also a time to expand your child’s awareness of the world and to explore shared feelings. Reading time with a preschooler is packed with learning potential all in the name of fun.
- Encourage a reading habit. Read at a regular time everyday. Read with enthusiasm. Adjust your pace to the story and your child. Use tones and expressions to portray the mood or characters in the story.
- Talk about the books as you read or after you have finished. Let your child act out or draw a picture of the story. Listen as your child retells you the story.
- Be flexible. You or your child may not always be receptive to reading or may not be interested in every story. Choose a good time, place and story both of you.
- Have fun. Keep in mind that story times are fun times. The real purpose is for you and your child to enjoy yourselves and share each other’s company. Learning is important, but the joy of reading and sharing is the lesson you want to teach.
Reading with School Age Children
Reading both fiction and nonfiction can offer children a mirror of their own world as well as a window into the worlds of others. Reading for pleasure stimulates children’s imaginations, can help them develop empathy, improve relationships, reduce symptoms of depression, and results in higher academic achievement.
- Let your child choose what they want to read. Lifelong readers read because they enjoy the experience.
- Show your child that you are reading. They will want to model your behavior. If you read newspapers, magazines, or books on an e-reader, be sure you tell them that you’re reading, not just scrolling Facebook or shopping online!
- School age children need to read for information as well as entertainment. Encourage them to seek out magazines or nonfiction books on topics that interest them.
- Don’t worry if your child is interested in reading favorite books over and over again. Re-reading builds confidence and comprehension.
The Library offers a wide variety of programs for all ages of children, including tours, reference instruction, and story times. Class visits must be scheduled. Drop-ins cannot be accommodated.
Any child requesting a Library Card or checking out materials as a part of a class visit must have his/her parent complete and return to class an Application/Check-out Permission Form. These forms must be faxed/mailed/delivered to the Library at least one week before the class visit for processing.
Please remind children who already have Library Cards to bring them on the day of your visit. Children without a Library Card will not be able to check out materials.
Although children’s borrowing privileges are not usually limited, during class visits, students may only check out 1 item.
To arrange your visit, please call the Youth Department at 402-323-7553 ext. 114.