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Service Alert

The Anacostia Library will be closed from Monday, July 22 - Sunday, Aug. 4 for a scheduled facilities project. Learn more on the Anacostia Library page.

Month of the Young Child

Month of the Young Child is a fun-filled month that emphasizes our littlest readers, children ages birth to five. Your child is born ready to learn and as their caregiver, you are their very first teacher! The best way to set your child up for success is to think STAR, Sing, Talk and Read. By incorporating singing, talking and reading into your daily routine you will help your child grow into a confident and joyful reader. Throughout the month, DC Public Library invites you to learn more about early literacy practices, check out great books to read with your child, stop by your neighborhood library for story time and more.

Library Events

Group of toddlers enjoying a library story time

The Library hosts a variety of events that support your child's early learning from newborn through preschool and beyond. These programs are not only fun for your child but they are also helpful for you as you build your toolkit of stories, activities, songs and dances that will fill your together time with your little one. These programs are also a great time to connect with the expert staff at each of our neighborhood libraries. They can answer questions, provide recommendations and help connect you with other great resources in the community!

Learn more about the types of programs we have below and see what is coming up at your neighborhood library!

All Events for Children Ages Birth - 5



Baby Lap Time

A story time experience for our youngest library users and their caregivers. These 20-to-30-minute story times introduce books, songs, rhymes, tickles and bounces developmentally appropriate for children from birth to when they start walking. Baby Lap Time is a wonderful way to introduce your child to the joys of reading in a positive and fun atmosphere. This story time is designed so the baby will be in their caregiver’s lap and the grownup is actively involved in the program; it is recommended that each child have their own adult with them.

See Upcoming Baby Lap Times

Baby and Toddler Story Time

These 20-to-30-minute story times are full of books, songs, rhymes and fingerplays for children from birth to 2 years old. Our Baby and Toddler Story Time is a great way to introduce your child to language skills in a positive and fun environment. With slightly more activity and movement than our lap times, children and their grownups are encouraged to engage with the books and songs and to actively participate in the program.

See Upcoming Baby and Toddler Story Story Times

Toddler Story Time

Get up and get moving at our Toddler Story Times! These 20-to-30-minute programs are full of books, songs and fun activities designed to help develop your child’s language skills. Children ages 18-36 months are encouraged to engage with the stories and activities, and their grownups to participate in the program along with the children.

See Upcoming Toddler Story Times

Preschool Story Time

Share the fun of reading with your children ages 3-5 years! Children and their grownups will explore stories and activities to encourage children to develop a lifelong love of reading and learning. These 30-to-40-minute programs are designed to promote language and listening skills, expand children’s imaginations and arouse their curiosity about the world around them.

See Upcoming Preschool Story Times

Family Story Time

Story time fun for the entire family, these 30-to-40-minute story times are packed full of books and activities designed to be enjoyed by all ages. Promoting language and literacy skills, these story times are a great way to further your child’s lifelong love of reading and learning. Children and their grownups are encouraged to actively engage and participate with the stories and activities during the program.

See Upcoming Family Story Times

Pajama Story Time

An evening story time where pajamas are encouraged but not required. These 30-to-40-minute evening programs are designed to delight children of all ages. Filled with stories and activities that promote and develop language skills and imagination, these programs encourage children to develop a lifelong love of reading and learning.

See Upcoming Pajama Story Times

Sensory Programs

Sensory programs help little ones build both their fine motor skills using their eyes hands and fingers and gross motor skills like crawling, standing and walking! During these programs children may play with sand, building blocks, scribble with crayons and other fun activities! 

See Upcoming Sensory Programs

Special Events

Grey wolf wearing a purple t-shirt that says Wolf Trap

I Like to Be Me...When I Grow Up! A Wolf Trap Family Arts Experience 

Tuesday, Apr. 9 at 10:45 a.m. | Northwest One Library

Bring books, rhymes, and songs to life with movement, instruments, scarves, and streamers -- singing and dancing together while exploring what makes each of us special!

wooden blocks stacked to spell "Sign"

ASL Story Time

Tuesday, Apr. 9 at 11:30 a.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Join us in the Children's Room for our American Sign Language (ASL) Story Time! We'll both sign and vocalize our stories and songs; no prior knowledge of ASL is required.

The Artivist by Nikkolas Smith book cover

"The Artivist" Author Talk with Nikkolas Smith

Saturday, Apr. 13 at 10 a.m. | Martin Luther King. Jr. Memorial Library

DC Public Library is excited to host author and illustrator Nikkolas Smith for an author talk about his children's book, The Artivist, which serves as a call to action for young readers to heal the world through art.

image of an open book with mountains and oceans and trees coming out of it with the text "Off the Page" above

The National Theatre Live! at the Library: Storybook Adventures, Off the Page

Saturday, Apr. 13 at 11 a.m. | Cleveland Park Library

The magic of books can transport us to new worlds; illustrations and entire adventures can lift right off the page. Join us for this 45-minute creative drama class for young children and their families, exploring the worlds inside books through movement exercises and drama activities, facilitated by Arts on the Horizon.

Morning at the Library

Morning at the Library: An event for children with disabilities and their families

Sunday, Apr. 14 at 11 a.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library 

Join us for our first Morning at the Library! Morning at the Library is a sensory-friendly program for children with disabilities and their families. Families can explore the library and participate in activities at their own pace for two hours before the library opens to the general public.

STAR Fest 2024

You are invited to Starfest: Celebrate singing talking and reading with the whole family!

Saturday, Apr. 27 at 10 a.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

DC Public Library's Books from Birth program proudly presents STAR Fest 2024! STAR Fest is a FREE family festival that celebrates all the ways you can help your child grow into a confident learner as you complement reading with singing, talking, writing and playing. At STAR Fest your family will learn about all of them as you go to each station to enjoy:

  • Live music at the outdoor Sing station outdoors with performances by local family favorites!
  • Imaginative play experiences at Talk station that will get you and your little ones creating their own stories, characters, and worlds.
  • Fun family story times at the Read station in the Children's Room!
  • An interactive Write station where your child can play, scribble, write and draw in exciting ways to build their fine motor skills.
  • A Play station wonderland with soft play activities that will allow your child to run, roll and jump around as they build their gross motor skills.
  • A great opportunity to connect with local community and education partners at our Partner station where you can speak with experts from Ready for Pre-K, DC Childcare Connections, and more while your child enjoys games and activities, including face painting and a bubbleologist.
  • Sign up for Books from Birth and Beyond the Book, DC Public Library's next step for developing readers as they turn five. 
  • Grab-and-go snacks (while supplies last).
  • An exclusive STAR Fest tote bag that you can fill with tips and great giveaway prizes that from each station that will help you incorporate STAR into your everyday routine at home!

Learn More about STAR Fest 2024

Read Together

Caregiver and child enjoying story time

Reading together each day is a wonderful way to bond with your child. As you build your story time routine you are helping them understand how books work, they learn new words and how they are pronounced, they learn how sentences work and how you string them together to tell a story and so much more. The DC Public Library has curated some great books that you can check out with your library card that will engage young children of all ages!

In addition to the great titles available to you at the library, D.C. residents with children ages birth to five can also get a FREE book delivered to their home each month with Books from Birth in partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library! Families that join Books from Birth when their child is born will receive 60 high-quality books for their home library by the time their child turns five. Click the button below to sign up for Books from Birth today!

Sign Up for Books from Birth

Books for Babies

The babies and kitties book by John Schindel and Molly Woodward book cover

The Babies and Kitties Book

John Schindel, Molly Woodward

Count to Love by Andrea Davis Pickney book cover

Count to Love!

Andrea Davis Pinkney, Brian J. Pinkney

Hello, Farm by Amelia Hepworth book cover

Hello, Farm!

Amelie Hepworth, Cani Chen

Baby, sleepy baby by Atinuke book cover

Baby, Sleepy Baby

Atinuke, Angela Brooksbank

Books for 2 Year Olds

Off to See the Sea by Nikki Grimes book cover

Off to See the Sea

Nikki Grimes, Elizabeth Zunon

Play This Book by Jessica Young book cover

Play This Book

Jessica Young, Daniel Wiseman

My Hair is Like the Sun by St. Clair Detrick-Jules book cover

My Hair is Like the Sun

St. Clair Detrick-Jules, Tabitha Brown

Strollercoaster by Matt Ringler book cover


Matt Ringler, Raúl the Third, Elaine Bay

Books for 3 Year Olds

Firefighter Flo! by Andrea Zimmerman book cover

Firefighter Flo!

Andrea Zimmerman, Dan Yaccarino

Time for Kenny by Brian Pinkney book cover

Time for Kenny

Brian J. Pinkney

Construction by Sally Sutton book cover


Sally Sutton, Brian Lovelock

Books for 4 Year Olds

10 Cats by Emily Gravett book cover

10 Cats

Emily Gravett

This is a Story by John Schu book cover

This is a Story

John Schu, Lauren Castillo

Still This Love Goes On by Buffy Sainte-Marie book cover

Still This Love Goes On

Buffy Sainte-Marie, Julie Flett

Sing and Dance

Two caregivers playing the guitar and singing with a toddler

Singing with your child slows language down so they can hear all the small sounds in words, helps them learn new words, and provides comfort. And when you can incorporate wiggling and dancing into it it is just plain fun! Incorporate singing into your day, by associating songs with different parts of your routine, like diaper changing, clean up, and bedtime. You can also find great children's artists on Freegal, including some of the great children's artists below! Just log in with your library card to start listening.

Sign Into Freegal


Talk and Learn

Talk and Learn

Even when your child can't respond, talking with your child throughout the day is crucial as it helps your child hear how conversations are structured, hear new words and learn how language works. Don't be afraid to narrate your actions to your child or just tell them about your day! Respond to their babbles and as they learn to speak on their own use conversations as opportunities to ask them what they see, hear, smell, taste and feel.

The library has some great online learning tools that can help foster conversations as you listen to and discuss video story books, play educational games and enjoy video content for young children by trusted creators like PBS and Sesame Workshop! 

Click the button to see all online resource for kids or check out some of our favorites highlighted below!

Online Resources for Children



ABCmouse helps children 2 and older learn to read through phonics, and teaches lessons in math, social studies, art, music and more.
Library card required


Kids can explore educational topics through animated books, read-alongs, puzzles and games.
Library card required
Just for Kids Access Video

Just for Kids Access Video

Stream popular children videos and TV shows including Sesame Street, Arthur, Reading Rainbow, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Franklin and more.
Library card required
Watch & Learn Library

Watch & Learn Library

Watch & Learn Library is made especially for young learners, pre-k through 3rd grade, to help expand their vocabulary and comprehension.
Library card required

Caregiver Resources

Caregiver and child playing with finger puppets

In addition to DC Public Library, D.C. has many incredible resources for young families! Learn more about some of our amazing partners below and how they can be a support to you as your child grows.

  • DCAEYCThe District of Columbia Association for the Education of Young Children supports early childhood educators, and the families they serve, through advocacy, professional development opportunities, resources, and more. They have developed an excellent calendar of local and virtual events and activities to celebrate Month of the Young Child!
  • DC Childcare Connections | DC Childcare connections connects families with early care and education opportunities including educational and financial resources.
  • Early Stages | Early Stages helps children between ages 3 and 6 make sure they have a strong start to school by acting as a resource for all families who have concerns about a child's development and a support to families seeking to make sure their child is ready for school.
  • MySchoolDCMy School DC, in partnership with DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the majority of DC public charter schools, makes it easier for families to take advantage of DC's many school options, including Pre-K 3 and Pre-K4. This helps simplify the process for families and helps match students with the schools they want most.
  • Ready for Pre-K! | Ready for Pre-K! is a DC Public Schools (DCPS) initiative designed to support families and caregivers of toddlers and two-year-olds through monthly, virtual learning sessions. Each session provides information about growth and development, shares ways to support your child’s learning at home, and helps you to feel confident that your child is ready for Pre-K! 
  • Strong StartStrong Start DC Early Intervention Program is a statewide, comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary system that provides early intervention therapeutic and other services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays and their families. 
  • Thrive by FiveThrive by Five's mission is to create the best possible start for DC children by connecting families and caregivers with a community of resources, education, and support that all children need to thrive by five.