Our libraries are a fun and stimulating place for young people to enjoy. As well as holding extensive collections dedicated to children and young adults, we run regular children's events in all our branches, and support the popular national annual Summer Reading Challenge. There's always something new to discover!
For younger children
No child is too young to join the library. The library offers a large range of board books, picture books and younger reader books that are perfect to share with young children and emerging readers.
Our libraries host regular Rhymetime and Storytime sessions for children under 5. These are free drop-in sessions in our libraries. Please visit our blog for more details on future events.
We run a dynamic events programme throughout the year. Follow us on social media to stay up to date on all of our events and activities. You can also find digital activities, old and new, on our blog.
Story Sacks and Bag Books
We provide a range of special resources to share with younger children:
- Story Sacks are fun, interactive storytelling resources, including activities designed to stimulate literacy skills. Only early years practitioners and settings, childminders, children's centres, toddler groups and Rainbow Resource Card holders can borrow Story Sacks.
- Bag Books are specially designed sensory storytelling boxes for readers with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Only Rainbow Resource Card holders can borrow Bag Books.
You must be a member of Bath and North East Somerset Libraries to borrow these items.
We work in partnership with the BookTrust to deliver the Bookstart scheme. The Bookstart scheme helps families to access libraries, have books at home and support literacy and language development. The packs also offer guidance for parents to build their confidence as storytellers and readers at home.
BookTrust work with a range of partners, including health visitors, children’s centres and early years settings to deliver this programme. BookTrust offers a targeted programme of support for toddlers and pre-schoolers. These packs are gifted via children's centres.
You can access Bookstart Baby packs via the health visitors.
Children with additional needs
BookTrust also offers the following packs for children with additional needs:
- Bookstart Shine for children who are deaf
- Bookstart Touch for children with a visual impairment
- Bookstart Star for children with conditions affecting their fine motor skills
All packs are free to parents and carers of children aged 0 to 5 years, there are a limited number of packs available. Please ask staff for more information.
As the local BookStart coordinator, we also provide packs to other local organisations such as Children's Centres to gift to families.
You can find out more about the Bookstart programme by visiting the BookTrust website.
For older children
We have stories suitable for children and young adults of all ages and abilities. If you enjoy listening to stories, or need to access literature in an alternative format, why not try our audiobooks for children and young adults? School students will find a wide range of factual and non-fiction books covering a variety of subjects to help with homework and coursework.
Facilities for digital learning
Our libraries offer a safe and quiet place for children to learn and do their homework: we have computers that children can use free of charge, and many also have printing facilities and free wifi. Members can access a huge variety of children's e-books, e-audiobooks and e-comics on the LibrariesWest website, or via our free mobile app.
Reservations and renewals of all items are free on an Under 18s library card. If you can't see what you're looking for, we may be able to find it for you.
How to join
It's free to join the library and we encourage children and young people to become members. You can join online or by calling in to any library branch in person. If you are under the age of 16, then you must have the permission of a parent or guardian who is willing to act as your guarantor and sign your membership card on your first visit. We look forward to welcoming you.