The Tulsa City-County Library offers a variety of programs, services, and resources for school-aged children to support their reading joy and growth.
Reading & Learning Events
From kids-only book discussion groups to LEGO building workshops, "messy" art play time to reading to the best audience in the world (dogs!), you'll find the perfect reading and learning event for your child at one of our 24 library locations.
Libraries are for books! Ebooks, audio books, book books - the library has specialized children's collections of both fiction and nonfiction to interest, engage, educate, and entertain school-aged children.
Our Secret Power: Librarians!
But the best resource for children's learning in the library are the people who are dedicated to children's learning in the library: children's librarians and library staff! We love helping children and parents find the perfect book, learn more about a subject, or just help explore everything the library has to offer.
1. Find the right book!
"There is no such thing as a child who hates to read. There are only children who have not found the right book." - Frank Serafini
This is a long-held core principle of librarianship. (It's even a Law in our land! "Every reader his book; every book its reader." S.R. Ranganathan's 5 Laws of Library Science.) More than that, we bet you can identify someone you know for whom this was true. "I hated reading until I discovered 'X'" - X being Harry Potter, books about snakes, or the Little House books.
If you're having a hard time finding that "right book" for a kid, please ask your friendly librarian! We love going on the hunt for the perfect book to awaken a child's interest and discover that reading can meet needs that even video games don't offer.
2. Give kids access to books - lots of 'em!
When you give children an unlimited access to books, their interest in reading will rise.
Reams of research show that the more access to more books kids have, the more they will be interested in reading.
And guess where you can find nearly UNLIMITED books? That's right - at the library!
3. Let kids choose what they want to read.
Free choice in reading is also key. Kids who choose what they read are more likely to become independent readers.
Humans are creatures who cherish our right to choose - what to eat, what to wear, where to go. Children are no different, though they rarely get much choice in many of the daily details of their lives.
Being able to choose what they read (with your guidance) is a game-changer for independent reading. When kids choose their own books, they are far more likely to read, and the more they read, the more likely they will continue to read.
4. Remember that meaning matters!
Books should have some meaning or relevance to a child.
This is related to free choice in that kids who choose what to read are more likely to find books that mean something to them - that tell them more about a subject they are curious about, or take them on an adventure that they enjoy.
5. Share what YOU are reading!
Share what YOU are reading!
You may think your influence is waning, but caring adults and their opinions are always important to children (even if they're not showing it openly). When you talk about what you're reading, what you're learning from books, and the questions that reading has brought up, CHILDREN WILL LISTEN.
Not only that, when you literally share what you are reading by reading together - either as a bedtime ritual (yes, school-aged children still want you to read to them!) or listening to books together in the car - you have a common experience to talk about.
PAWS for Reading
PAWS for Reading is a literacy program that matches young readers (children ages 5 to 12) with certified therapy dogs in order to improve reading confidence, motivation, fluency, and joy. Supported by the Raymond and Bessie Kravis Foundation.
After-School Homework Club
During the school year, students in grades 3 through 8 can register to receive homework assistance at six libraries. For more information, click here.
Books To Treasure
Every year, the library celebrates the beauty and power of children’s literature with the Books To Treasure program. Sponsored by the Anne and Henry Foundation since its inception in 2003, Books To Treasure has grown into a Tulsa tradition for all second-grade students in Tulsa County. These youngsters receive a free copy of the featured illustrator’s book, the chance to get their very own library card, and an opportunity to see the illustrator in person. To learn more, click here.
Children's Summer Reading Program
Summertime is the best time for reading! Research shows that children who read in the summer retain the skills and knowledge they gained during the school year and come back ready to learn. That's why the library offers a Summer Reading Program for children, with programs, prizes, and more to support the love of reading.