Do You Work With Young Children?

…then you’ll appreciate our new and updated early literacy resources!  Whether you are looking to use a Storytime Kit for the first time, refresh an existing program, or simply want to explore new titles and fun resources, we can help you. We’ve invested lots of time and effort purchasing new books and materials to refresh and update our Storytime Kits.

The kits are based on Every Child Ready to Read, 2nd edition, and feature books, songs, rhymes, early literacy tips for parents, and hands-on activities that correspond with the critical early literacy activities of reading, talking, singing, writing, and playing.

For a list of the 48 Storytime Kits available for check out and an inventory of each kit, please visit our Storytime Kit page! Storytime Kits are available for checkout by licensed daycare providers, Head Start staff, ECFE staff, and school staff.

New Storytime Kits to Go Added

We’ve got a problem.  Our Storytime Kits to Go are such a hit it’s hard to find one on the shelves!  But what a wonderful problem to have.  So we decided to add more to the collection.  Twelve more kits have been added to the library catalog.

The new kits include:  Camping, Cowboys, Fairy Tales, Fishing, Happy Birthday, Imagination, Minnesota, Nursery Rhymes, Teddy Bears, Toys, Weather and Wolves

Remember the kits include 5 books, a musical CD and a manipulative (puzzle, puppet, etc.)  Simply stop by any East Central Regional Library branch or search the catalog using the terms “Storytime to Go” and place a hold on one today!  You and the kids will love them.

New Storytime To Go Kits Promote Early Literacy

Storytime to Go Kits aim to bring the storytime experience into a preschooler’s environment, wherever that may be.  East Central Regional Library recently put together over 45 Storytime to Go kits for checkout by anyone registered as an East Central Regional Library borrower.

The kits were created for use with children ages two to five to promote early literacy development. Each kit based on a theme contains five picture books, a children’s music CD, a manipulative (educational game, a puppet, puzzle, felt set, etc.) and an Early Child Ready to Read activity sheet.  The activity sheet provides examples of how to incorporate each of the five Every Child Ready to Read literacy skills – talk, sing, write, play and read with the contents of the kit.

The Storytime to Go kits include themes such as alphabet, colors, dogs, feelings, health, monkeys, ocean, shapes, trains and many more.  They may be checked out for 3 weeks. Each East Central Regional Library branch has a limited number of kits.  However, if there is a kit you can’t find at your local ECRL branch, place a hold on a specific kit at your local library or online at by simply searching by the keywords, “storytime to go kit.”

Whether a parent, grandparent, daycare provider, or anyone who works with children, the Storytime to Go kits provide you with all the necessary materials needed to spend some quality reading time with a child.  What you do as a parent or as an important figure in any child’s life makes a difference in preparing a child to learn to read and the Storytime to Go kits make it easy for you to foster their love for reading.

Play & Learn Space Open House at North Branch Area Library

All kids love cars, trucks, trains and everything that moves.   The new “Moving All Around” North Branch Area Library Play and Learn Space focuses on everything transportation and includes a Duplo table along with My First Duplo sets (a train, boat, plane, bus, etc.), a wall-mounted submarine, a sky pilot and safety road manipulative, a transport hub rug with chunky vehicles, a car activity center, train station seating and more.

The Play and Learn Space focuses on one of the five basic literacy skills established by the Early Child Ready to Read program – PLAY –  developed by the American Library Association.  Those skills include playing, talking, singing, reading and writing.  Play is not only inherently valuable as a pleasurable activity, it is how kids learn and is integral in the development of the other four literacy skills.

The Play and Learn Space will encourage adults, caregivers, children and families to discover that the public library is a “community center” where families can visit, play and learn; recognize that the library shares in the commitment to the healthy development of their children, including their physical, emotional and educational well-being; engage children in many of the early literacy skills including talking, singing, reading, writing and playing; and encourage them to visit the library more often and stay longer.

We invite you to join us for Play and Learn Space special open house on Wednesday, November 2 at 11:00 am (following storytime) to celebrate this new learning area at the library.  Refreshments will be served by the Friends of the North Branch Area Library.

Funds for the Play and Learn Space were made possible by an anonymous donor.