girl with book

Babies and young children can’t read, but they are still developing the early literacy skills that will make learning to read much easier when they are older. That’s what drives the Build A Reader program at the Tulsa City-County Library, which includes:

  • Weekly storytimes at library branches enhanced with early literacy tips and suggestions for parents and caregivers based on the “Every Child Ready to Read” program developed by the Public Library Association,
  • Build A Reader Centers (formerly Family Place Libraries) that offer specialized programming, parenting collections, and learning resources for families based on the “playing is learning” concept,
  • “Stay and Play” sessions where parents and caregivers are invited to support their children’s play using developmentally appropriate toys in a social setting,
  • Regular communication to parents and caregivers with tips, resources, and Readers’ Advisory on the Kids Read blog,
  • A “Build A Reader” app with book suggestions and demonstrations of songs and fingerplays,
  • A variety of special programs for and communication with parents and children about early literacy topics. 
Build A Reader Storytime Programs

Build A Reader Storytime: Babies

Learn and enjoy songs, stories, and activities that are just right for your little one at this lapsit storytime. For newborns to 2-year-olds and their caregivers.

Build A Reader Storytime: Babies & Toddlers

Ready, set, READ! This beginning storytime focuses on helping your baby or toddler develop important literacy skills while emphasizing the fun of reading.

Build A Reader Storytime: Toddlers

Join us for songs, stories, and movements geared to your toddler.

Build A Reader Storytime: Preschool

The best in children’s literature, songs, games, finger plays, rhymes and other reading-related activities are shared with your preschooler.

Build A Reader Storytime: Family

Bring the whole family for this 0-to-5 storytime! There’s something for everyone – simple songs and books for the little ones, more interactive stories and activities for your older children.

Build A Reader Storytime: Sensory

Does your child have difficulty sitting through storytime? If so, this inclusive program of stories, songs and activities may be just what you’re looking for! Designed for children with a variety of learning styles or sensory integration challenges.

Build A Reader Storytime: Mother Goose on the Loose

A fun-filled, interactive storytime series that uses rhymes, songs, puppets, musical instruments and more to stimulate the learning process of babies and toddlers.

Build A Reader Activities


When you talk with your child, you are helping them discover the world! Oral language is a critical early literacy skill that underlies all learning.


Singing is fun, but it’s also the perfect way to increase a child’s awareness of sounds in words, which is essential when they start to decode print or written language.


The single best way to help your child build the skills to become a reader later on is to read a wide variety of interesting and developmentally appropriate books.


In the case of children, writing is any activity where they use their hands to communicate. That means something as simple as waving hello or goodbye up through making marks and scrawls on a page to writing their names. This process helps them learn that letters and words stand for sounds and that print has meaning.


For children, playing is learning! Children learn and develop cognitive skills, physical abilities, new vocabulary, social skills and literacy skills.

Build A Reader Centers

What are Build A Reader Centers?

We are building readers at every library location in Tulsa and Tulsa County! But four libraries – Hardesty Regional Library, Herman and Kate Kaiser Library, Martin Regional Library, and Owasso Library – offer even more specialized programming, parenting collections, and learning resources for families based on the “playing is learning” concept.

Toys in the Library

Build A Reader Centers feature developmentally appropriate toys for babies and young children, with an emphasis on non-commercial toys like scarves, baby dolls, blocks, and stacking cubes.

Parenting Collection

Have a thorny parenting problem? Consult our dedicated collections of books specifically for parents about a variety of issues, from potty training to bedtime routines.

Parent-child play workshops ("1-2-3 Play With Me")

Every fall and spring, the Build A Reader Centers offer 3-week workshop series for parents and young children. Each program offers opportunities for children to play with developmentally appropriate toys in a play group atmosphere. Early childhood specialists are there to talk informally with parents on the topics of child development, speech and hearing, and movement and music.