Planning Your Visit

Please call the branch directly to set up an appointment for your group to visit. Visits could include a tour of the Children’s area, time to browse for and borrow books, time to do research, a read-aloud, and a craft project.

Planning Your Visit: EDUCATORS and groups


Please call the branch directly to set up an appointment for your group to visit. Visits could include a tour of the Children’s area, time to browse for and borrow books, time to do research, a read-aloud, and a craft project.

Library Cards:

To register the kids in your group for library cards, obtain a “student/group library card” application from the branch you plan to visit (Ask the librarian you arrange your visit with to help you with this.) Copy as many applications as you need and distribute them to the children in your care. The parent or guardian must fill the form out neatly and completely and return it to you. The teacher or counselor should review the applications before returning them the library. Library cards are then processed and mailed directly to the child’s home. This can take up to three weeks, so please plan accordingly!

Before you arrive:

Decide what your children will be allowed to do during your visit. Review the number of computers at the branch you will visit. Are you going to let your kids use the computers if they are available? If you are not, talk to them about your expectations ahead of time. If you are, please plan a strategy for turn-taking!

  • Checking out books? How many are they going to be allowed to take when they are with you? Are you going to let them check out DVDs or puppets, or just books? Any books? Or just books that meet the goals of your class?
  • Are they allowed to do puzzles or draw when they are done choosing books? Or do you expect them to be reading while they wait for other students to finish?
  • Do they need to bring a bag to carry their items?


Although libraries are no longer silent places, students are expected to speak quietly and to walk from place to place so as not to disturb other patrons.

It is expected that the teachers or counselors will break their children into small groups, each under the constant supervision of an adult. Chaperones are expected to participate in the activity their group is engaged in.

Planning Your Visit

The Children’s collections housed in each branch of the Springfield City Library are geared for babies through age twelve, as well as their parents and caregivers.

Library cards:

You do not need a library card to attend a library program, make a craft, participate in the Summer Reading Club, look for books or articles in the online catalog, or just to stop by and read for a while.

You do need a library card to use an internet computer or to check out an item. If you forget your card but have your picture ID, Circulation staff can look up your number (or your child’s number) for you.

If you have a card from another C/WMARS library (most cities and towns in Western Massachusetts belong to this group), your card will work in Springfield too. If you are visiting from another town, you can borrow our items and return them to your home library.

If you don’t have a library card at all, but would like to sign up for one, bring a picture ID with your current address. For more information visit our “How Do I… Get a Libray Card” page.

Not sure of the status of your library card? Haven’t been here since you were a kid? Stop by the Circulation Desk of any library location with your library card or your photo ID for assistance.


Check your neighborhood branch page for information about parking.


We have a lot of fantastic books, puppets, music, and movies. Visitors can have up to 50 items on their library card at one time. Plan ahead! Pack along an empty canvas bag to carry your treasures! Walking or taking the bus? Consider an empty backpack!

The Children’s collections housed in each branch of the Springfield City Library are geared for babies through age twelve, as well as their parents and caregivers. People of all ages are welcome to use the children’s collections, but use of the children’s spaces is reserved for children with their parents or caregivers. (Children age 8 and up may use the library on their own.)

From board books for babies to books on the Civil Rights movement for fifth grade homework assignments, our collections have something for every kid. In each children’s collection you can expect to find:

  • Board books: These have thick, sturdy pages that your baby or toddler can turn themselves.
  • Picture books: These illustrated books feature stories that are generally geared towards children birth through age 8, though there are picture books geared toward older children as well. Classic examples include Tikki Tikki Tembo and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • Early readers: For children who are just learning to read! Ranging from just a short sentence on a page to a few very short chapters, these books help your child get comfortable as a reader.
  • Chapter books: From Junie B. Jones to Percy Jackson, these are the books that kids spend the majority of their childhoods reading. Some titles are available in Large Type editions.
  • Graphic Novels: Essentially comic book novels, kids love delving into these series.
  • Nonfiction: From outer space to dinosaurs, dolphins to the human body, grammar to sports, poetry to history, this collection attempts to answer the questions posed by every kid—and teacher!
  • Audiobooks: Would you rather listen to a favorite story? Some titles are available in audio. Picture books and audio CDs are borrowed as a set; the audiobook version of chapter books is available just as adult audiobooks are, though the book can also be obtained for readers who like to follow along.
  • Magazines: From “Highlights” to “Sports Illustrated for Kids”, children’s magazines are here!
  • Music: Child-friendly tunes on child-friendly themes!
  • Puppets: Ever wished to have a three-headed dragon visit your home? You can! Low-maintenance and completely returnable.
  • DVDs: Movies with a G/PG rating that are of most interest to children are found here.
  • Video Games: Games for Xbox, Wii, and Playstation are available through some libraries, including the Springfield Central Library and the Sixteen Acres branch.
  • Early Childhood Resource Center: Central Library only, though all items are available to patrons anywhere in Western Massachusetts via interlibrary loan.  Is the item you need at a different branch library? No problem! We can use interlibrary loan to have it sent to the library closest to you.


Click here to see our children’s programming schedule.

Other things to do:

Besides plenty of books for browsing, you will find puzzles, drawing paper, toys and games, a puppet theater, and very often a craft project to complete. Each branch has a different flavor, so try them all and see which ones best suit your family’s needs.


No food or drink is permitted in the library, unless provided as part of a program.

If you are visiting the Central Library, the Blake House Café located on the Quadrangle includes child-friendly meals.


Although libraries are no longer silent places, once they are no longer infants or toddlers, children are expected to use quiet voices and to walk from place to place so as not to disturb other patrons.

Note: Babies cry. Toddlers lose control. This is not a problem!

Direct and constant adult supervision is expected for children under the age of 8. Children ages 8 and older may use the library by themselves, at their guardian’s discretion.

Please finish phone calls before entering the library.

Recommended Reads

Age appropriate books recommended from the Children’s Librarians for infants, toddlers and children up to grade five.

Recommended titles:

Books for Infants and Toddlers
A Kiss Means I Love You
Kathryn Madeline Allen

Vibrant color photographs of children and caregivers explore different actions, expressions, words, and sounds, from a kiss and a clap to a wave and a yawn. Babies love to learn from our faces!
Big Fat Hen
Keith Baker

This version of the familiar rhyme “One, two, buckle my shoe” gives everyone lots of things to count, including newly hatched chicks!
Ten, Nine, Eight | Diez, nueve, ocho
Molly Bang

A young girl gets ready for bed in this gentle countdown lullaby.
My Car
Byron Barton

Sam tells us all about the car he loves while vivid illustrations, full of eye-catching primary colors, show him taking care of it and driving it to work.
Goodnight Moon | Buenas noches, Luna
Margaret Wise Brown

Soothing rhythmic tone and gently darkening illustrations come together in this classic, comforting bedtime story where a little bunny says goodnight to all the familiar things in her world.
From Head to Toe | De la cabeza a los pies
Eric Carle

This interactive story asks young readers about the different actions each animal does, and invites them to imitate their movements. Kids will have a great time stomping like an elephant and wiggling like an alligator, all while building their vocabulary.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar | La oruga muy hambrienta
Eric Carle

A caterpillar eats through all the days of the week and an amazing variety of foods on his way to a wonderful transformation.
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?
Nancy White Carlstrom

”Jesse Bear, what will you wear/ What will you wear in the morning?" The joyous answers include the predictable (pants and shirt) and some terrific surprises in this wonderful rhyming book.
What Shall We Do with the Boo-Hoo Baby?
Cressida Cowell

A dog, a duck, a cat and a cow do their best to soothe a crying baby. Which animal’s solution will work? Bright, uncluttered illustrations and repeated animal sounds invite lots of fun toddler participation!
Freight Train | Tren de carga
Donald Crews

All aboard! Join us on a train ride as a colorful train goes through tunnels, cities and over trestles. Great for young train fanatics and talking about colors.
Bruce Degen

A little boy walking in the forest meets a lovable bear who takes him on a berry-picking adventure in the magical world of Berryland. This cheerful ode to jam features plenty of counting and rhyming.
Where Is the Green Sheep? | Dónde está la oveja verde?
Mem Fox

Lively rhyming text plenty of opportunities to point out daily objects and activities as young readers discover different kinds of sheep: up and down sheep, moon and star sheep, near and far sheep. But where, oh where is the green sheep?
Time for Bed
Mem Fox

As nightime approaches, this soothing picture book shows parents throughout the animal kingdom, from cats to ducks to the tiniest mice, trying to get their children ready for sleep.
Toot Toot Beep Beep
Emma Garcia

This board book follows cars throughout their busy day in the city.
Where’s Spot? | Dónde está Spot?
Eric Hill

Spot is everyone’s favorite! Lift the flaps to find eight different animals hidden around the house as Spot’s mother looks for her lost puppy.
Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes: A First Book About You
Judy Hindley

Play along as these toddlers discover various parts of their body. Energetic cartoon-style illustrations invite repeated readings and help develop vocabulary.
Black on White
Tana Hoban

This board book features black illustrations against a white background depicting objects including an elephant, butterfly, and leaf. This is a great way to use a book to start a conversation with your little one.
Peekaboo Morning
Rachel Isadora

A playful toddler greets everyone and everything with a game of peek-a-boo. This board book features simple text and warm pastels that illustrate the beloved children’s game as a charming toddler moves through a new day naming everything in view, including their parent.
This Little Chick
John Lawrence

Children will love guessing what sound the little chick will make next as he visits his neighbors and hops, jumps and swims with the different animals. This board book’s engaging artwork and rhyming text (featuring plenty of animal sounds!) will delight both children and parents.
Everywhere Babies | Bebés en todas partes
Susan Meyers

Frazee’s wonderful illustrations portray all kinds of babies everywhere — their moods, their expressions, their activities — as they grow and are loved every day.
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes
Ann Morris

What do your shoes look like? Clear photographs and simple text show children and their families from various parts of the world wearing different kinds of shoes.
The Baby Goes Beep
Rebecca O'Connell

A baby makes various sounds as he explores the world around him. Also available as a board book.
My Very First Mother Goose
Iona Opie

Charming illustrations by Rosemary Wells accompany this collection of over sixty Mother Goose rhymes. Use it for your own sing-along!
(Libraries have plenty of other Mother Goose titles. Ask us about others!)
Higher! Higher! | ¡Más alto! ¡Más alto!
Leslie Patricelli

A young girl swings as high as her dad will push her, and her imagination will allow. Bright illustrations complement the story’s energy and enthusiasm. Also available as a board book.
Five Little Chicks
Nancy Tafuri

Warm, colorful illustrations and simple counting text accompany five little chicks and Mama Hen throughout the day. This works great as a one-on-one read aloud.
Carry Me!
Rosemary Wells

Three short poems and soft pastel watercolors capture the curiosity of a toddler who wants to be carried, talked to and sung to, to find out all about the world around her.
I Went Walking | Salí de paseo
Sue Williams

A child encounters with one familiar animal after another in this pleasing book with rhythmic text and illustrations that burst with life. A great title to use for building vocabulary, and encourages little ones to make animal noises.
Me Baby You Baby
Ashley Wolff

Simple rhymes and gentle illustrations describe a day in the life of two babies and their mothers, including visiting the zoo and seeing baby animals with their animal parents.
Download the Infants and Toddlers Booklist
Books for Kindergarten
The Little Girl with the Big Big VoiceThe Little Girl with the Big Big Voice
Kristen Balouch

A little girl tries unsuccessfully to make friends with various animals until she meets one who is not frightened by her loud voice.
Count the MonkeysCount the Monkeys
Mac Barnett

It’s time to count the monkeys, but they’ve been scared away by some other creatures. Can you get rid of them and find the monkeys?
A Visitor for BearA Vistor for Bear
Bonny Becker

Bear does not like visitors. Will a tiny and persistent mouse who keeps popping up at Bear’s house make Bear reconsider?
The Little HouseThe Little House | La Casita
Virginia Lee Burton

A sturdy little house on a hill sees her countryside turn into a big city as the years pass by.
Diary Of a Worm
Doreen Cronin

A young worm discovers, day by day, that there are some very good and some not-so-good things about being a worm in this great big world.
Arthur Dorros

While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the sights of New York City.
Muncha!Muncha!Muncha!Muncha!Muncha!Muncha! | Ñam! Ñam! Ñam!
Candace Fleming

Mr. McGreely finally plants the garden he’s always wanted. But can he find a way to keep three hungry bunnies from eating his veggies?
ChrysanthemumChrysanthemum | Crisantemo
kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum is ready for Kindergarten but is not ready for the teasing she receives about her unusual name. Will she ever feel comfortable?
Grandma Lena's Big Ol' TurnipGrandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip
Denia Hester

When Grandma Lena sets her mind to growing turnips, she gets a lot more than she expected. The whole family will need to pitch in to get one giant turnip out of the ground and into their bellies.
Amazing GraceAmazing Grace | La Asombrosa Graciela
Mary Hoffman

Grace sets her sights on playing Peter Pan in her school play. Some classmates think a black girl can’t play Peter Pan. Are they right?
Old Mikamba Had A FarmOld Mikamba had a Farm
Rachel Isadora

Discover the animals on Old Mikamba’s African farm, from wildebeest and zebras to lions and rhinos.
The Hello, Goodbye WindowThe hello, Goodbye Window
Norton Juster

Looking through the kitchen window, a little girl and her grandparents watch stars, play games, and, of course, say hello and goodbye.
 This is Not My HatThis is Not My Hat
Jon Klassen

A tiny fish has stolen a hat from a big fish. He is sure that he will swim away with his crime, but trouble might be following close behind.
A Color of His OwnA Color of His Own | Su propio color
Leo Lionni

Every animal has a color – except the chameleon. Tired of always changing, one chameleon sets out to find a color of his very own, but may find something even better.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? | Oso pardo, oso pardo, qué ves ahí?
Bill Martin, Jr.

Meet animals of all types and colors, from a yellow duck to a blue horse, and be inspired to find out what you can see when you look around your world.
Peeny Butter FudgePeeny Butter Fudge
Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison

Even though Mom leaves behind detailed instructions, Nana and the kids follow a different schedule: dance time, story time, nap time, and fudge-making time.
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction SiteGoodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site | Felices sueños, camiones grandes y pequeños
Sherri Duskey Rinker

As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight.
John Rocco

A family finds itself in the dark on one hot summer night in the city. See what fun goes on once the power goes out.
Yes Day!Yes Day!
Amy Krouse Rosenthal

On one special day a year, a little boy gets everything he asks for. From pizza for breakfast to staying up really late – it’s all okay on Yes Day.
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?
Susan A. Shea

If a duckling grows and becomes a duck, can a car grow and become a truck? See if you can tell which things will grow and which ones won’t.
My Little CarMy Little Car
Gary Soto

Teresa receives the gift of her own little car from her grandfather. Is she ready to take care of it?
Pete's A Pizza
William Steig

It’s raining, so Pete can’t go out to play ball with his friends. His dad thinks of a creative – and delicious – way to cheer him up.
Can You Make A Scary Face?Can You Make a Scary Face?
Jan Thomas

Get ready to stand, sit, wiggle, dance, make a scary face, and have tons of fun as you follow the instructions of one bossy ladybug.
The Cazuela That The Farm Maiden StirredThe Cazuela That The Farm Maiden Stirred
Samantha R. Vamos

Discover how a farm maiden and all the farm animals worked together to prepare arroz con leche, or rice pudding, for a fiesta.
A Chair For My MotherA Chair for My Mother | Un sillón para mi mamá
Vera B. Williams

After their home is destroyed by a fire, Rosa, her mother, and grandmother save their coins to buy a really comfortable chair for all to enjoy.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! | Lā tadaʻū al-ḥamāmah taqūdu al-bāṣ | ¡No dejes que la paloma conduzca el autobús! | Đừng Đẻ̂ Bò̂ Câu Lái Xe Buýt!
Mo Willems

The pigeon really wants to drive the bus. You’re in charge of telling him “no.” Can you do it?
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry BearThe Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear | El ratoncito, la fresa roja y madura, y el gran oso hambriento
Don Wood and Audrey Wood

Find out the only sure way to save a tasty strawberry from being eaten by a big hungry bear.
Download the Kindergarten Booklist
Books for Preschool
Giraffes Can't DanceGiraffes Can't Dance
Giles Andreae

Gerald the giraffe is sure he is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle
Dance, until he finds the right music.
We're Going On A Lion HuntWe're Going on a Lion Hunt
David Axtell

Join two brave sisters on their journey through the African savanna as they go looking a
Farm FluFarm Flu
Teresa Bateman

When a boy is put in charge of the farm while his mom’s out of town, all of the animals get
the flu! Luckily, he knows just what to do.
Bedtime at the SwampBedtime at the Swamp
Kristyn Crow

A young boy, his siblings, and their cousins all try to avoid both bedtime…and a swamp
Cha-Cha ChimpsCha-Cha Chimps Julia Durango

Ten little chimps sneak out of the house to go dancing with their animal friends – until
Mama Chimp finds out!
Bark, GeorgeBark, George
Jules Feiffer

George is a puppy, but he doesn’t sound like one. Can his mom and the vet get to the
bottom of the mystery?
Can't sleep without sheepCan't Sleep Without Sheep
Susanna Leonard Hill

Ava has always fallen asleep with the help of her trusty sheep. What will she do if they quit?
The princess and the peaThe Princess and the Pea
Rachel Isadora

This retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale is set in Africa.
The snowy dayThe snowy day | Un dia de nieve
Ezra Jack Keats

Peter wakes up one morning to find that snow has fallen during the night. Join him on a winter
adventure through the city.
Please, puppy, pleasePlease, puppy, please
Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis-Lee

Two young children meet their match with their energetic pup!
Tap the magic treeTap the magic tree
Christie Matheson

The tree on these pages magically responds to your tapping, rubbing, shaking, and more as
it changes through the seasons.
I Stink!I stink!
Kate McMullan

With ten tires, one big appetite, and an even bigger smell, this garbage truck is ready and
eager to eat up your trash.
Lola reads to LeoLola reads to Leo | Lola le lee al peque ło Leo
Anna McQuinn

Lola is a big sister now, and she knows just what she will do when the new baby arrives – read
him stories!
If you give a mouse a cookieIf you give a mouse a cookie | Si le das una galletita a un ratón
Laura Numeroff

If a hungry little mouse shows up on your doorstep, you might want to give him a cookie.
Find out what could happen if you do.
If I had a raptorIf I had a raptor
George O’Connor

Could a raptor be the perfect pet? After all, they are small and cute, right?
Where's Walrus?Where's Walrus?
Stephen Savage

Walrus has escaped the zoo! Can you spot him in the big city before the zookeeper does?
Saturday Night at The Dinosaur StompSaturday night at the dinosaur stomp
Carol Diggory Shields

Dancing dinos! Dinosaurs of all types gather to twist, twirl, and tromp at a prehistoric
Caps for SaleCaps for Sale | Se venden gorras
Esphyr Slobodkina

A peddler who sells caps encounters a group of mischievous monkeys. Can he outwit them
when they get up to some monkey business?
Jonathan and His MommyJonathan and His Mommy
Irene Smalls

Take a fun and silly stroll around the city with Jonathan and his mother! Zigzag steps, big giant steps, and slow motion steps turn this walk into a special adventure.
Round is a TortillaRound is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes
Roseanne Greenfield Thong

Discover the shapes found in everyday life, from a rectangle ice cream cart to triangle slices of quesadillas.
Bunny CakesBunny Cakes
Rosemary Wells

Max and Ruby each want to make a special cake for Grandma’s birthday. Which bunny’s dessert will take the cake?
Bear Snores OnBear Snores On
Karma Wilson

Woodland creatures go to Bear’s cave to keep warm on a cold winter night. Will he sleep right through their party?
The Napping HouseThe Napping House | La Casa Adormecida
Audrey Wood and Don Wood

Everyone in the house is sleeping, until one tiny flea causes one big commotion.
Download the Preschool Booklist
Grade One: Picture Books
Grade One: Chapter Books
Grade One: Early Readers
Grade Two: Picture Books
Grade Two: Chapter Books
Grade Two: Early Readers
Grade Three: Picture Books
Grade Three: Chapter Books
Grade Four
Grade Five