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.
Familia Actividad ~ Adornos de Aluminio
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Cuarto de Conferencia B
Marker Spin Art!
11:00 am - 2:30 pm
Council Bluffs Public Library
Stories Alive for Under Five
9:45 am - 11:00 am
Council Bluffs Public Library
10:30 am - 11:00 am
Council Bluffs Public Library
Stories Alive for Under Five!
10:30 am - 11:00 am
Council Bluffs Public Library
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.
The Losers ClubMore Staff Picks +
Alec is in sixth grade, and he loves to read. He'd rather lose himself in a good book than do anything else in the world. However, it's his love of reading that gets him into trouble at school. As punishment, he has to join an after-school program; in particular, he has to become a member of a club. Thinking he can outsmart everyone, Alec attempts to start a club that only HE can join; a club where all he has to worry about is reading. Unfortunately, another kid joins his ranks. Then another. And another! Pretty soon, Alec finds himself the president of The Losers Club -- a club only HE could join, but that now boasts several members! Although he tries to resist, Alec slowly discovers that real life can be just as interesting as the stories he reads.
Finding FortuneMore Staff Picks +
Angry with her mother and waiting for her father to return from Afghanistan, twelve-year-old Ren runs away to a boardinghouse in the nearby ghost town of Fortune. Ren sets out to solve a mystery that will keep the town from fading away.
Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and DinosaursMore Staff Picks +
What's better than ice cream? Dinosaurs and ice cream!! This book is on heavy read-aloud rotation at my house. The story is simple and repetitive and if you have a child who likes to chime in and finish sentences when you're reading, this is the book for you! As with most of Litwin's books, head to the Internet to learn the jazzy tunes to go along with the story.
Ellie’s Story: A Dog’s PurposeMore Staff Picks +
Ellie has been trained as a search-and-rescue dog, but her most difficult task may be to help her handlers find comfort and love.
The First Rule of PunkMore Staff Picks +
Malu, a middle school student who is a fan of all things "punk", takes note that she is a "misfit" (no relation to the band) when she moves into her new Chicago neighborhood and school. However, after finding a couple classmates that share the same love for punk, Malu and her new friends form a band for the school's talent show. Others, including the school staff disagree with the "loud music," but Malu is determined to show that she has every right to express herself and her interests. "The First Rule of Punk" is a collage art and zine-filled middle grade story that shows readers to be themselves, and to stand up for their passions and beliefs.
The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut HouseMore Staff Picks +
When it's time for bed, Wally and Hazel Nut just can't help it...they're nuts! Singing and dancing and howling at the moon are so much more fun than sleep! This book is a fabulously fun bedtime story. A read aloud tip? Check out the sing along version available online for a snazzy tune. You and your kids will be reading and singing along with the Nuts for days!
CrenshawMore Staff Picks +
Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. Back into Jackson's head comes Crenshaw, the imaginary cat, who helps him and his family through the difficult times.
The Bear Ate Your SandwichMore Staff Picks +
Alright...who really ate that sandwich? Follow the bear's adventurous quest throughout the city. Readers will discover a silly surprise at the ending that shows that the truth can easily be stretched!
7 Ate 9: the Untold StoryMore Staff Picks +
We all know that rumor about how the number 7 tragically ate 9, in which the number 6 now realizes that 7 is after him. Worried that his days may be numbered, he seeks a detective, Private "I", to help discover the truth of the missing number 9. With so many puns and jokes scattered throughout the story, "7 Ate 9" can easily be read many times in order to catch them all. This book is great for readers who would like to improve their math skills, but also have a "punny" sense of humor.
ShortMore Staff Picks +
Julia, a girl who happens to be short for her age, discovers that she is cast as a munchkin for an upcoming production of "Wizard of Oz." As she experiences theatre life for the first time, Julia realizes that she wants to stand out in the crowd. Luckily, Julia's height is helping her highlight her talents, in which she learns that it's okay to be different. "Short" is an enjoyable book for readers who have an interest of what goes on behind-the-scenes in drama/theatre, but the story shows that there's so much to learn than just your lines when taking on a new role for a performance.
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.