Adult and baby reading


No-one is too young to join the library and belonging to a library opens up a wealth of free books, information and activities for families to enjoy.

  • With warm, safe and comfortable spaces; the library is the perfect place to share books with your baby or young child
  • All libraries have special children’s areas with books, toys and more
  • All libraries hold regular sessions for children, including our popular Totstimes for under 5s
  • Every library has a Parents’ Collection covering issues from teething to teenagers.

Just 10 minutes reading a day can dramatically improve your child’s lifelong language, literacy and numeracy skills.

Mother and child sharing a book

The Library for under 5s

Libraries are the perfect place to share and read books with your baby or toddler. Young children love songs, rhymes and stories and they’re never too young to join the library.  There are lots of resources and activities to keep them occupied, and all libraries have special children’s areas with books and toys.

Research shows that sharing stories and rhymes from the earliest age gives a child the best start to learning and encourages reading for pleasure so that it becomes an enjoyable skill for life.

Family time at your local library

Why not come along to one of our FREE regular activities and events for under 5s? Join us at Totstime for some musical fun where babies and toddlers can sing, count, play and listen to music and rhymes using instruments that even the smallest of hands can hold and shake. It’s a great way for you to meet other parents, grandparents and carers too. We also hold special activity sessions throughout the year for under 5’s.

Nottingham City Libraries also works with Bookstart, a national scheme that offers free books to every child, which helps families to read together every day to inspire children with a love of books.

Dad and toddler reading together

Top tips for reading with your child

  • Snuggle up, away from distractions.
  • Let your child choose the books, children love to hear the same story again and again.
  • Books with rhyme and repetition are great for little ones to join in with and will help with learning to read when they are older.
  • You don’t always have to ‘read’ the book, looking at and talking about the pictures is a great way to tell the story.
  • Children love it when you use funny voices and sound effects!
  • Don’t worry if you think you aren’t the best reader in the world. Babies and toddlers will love to hear the sound of your voice.
  • Just 10 minutes reading a day can improve your child’s language, reading and numeracy skills.
Little girl reading.

The Library for 5 – 11 years

We have a huge selection of stories and information books, for those just beginning to read to those about to enjoy Harry Potter for the first time!

We also have a digital library full of children’s  eBooks and eMagazines  free for you to access as a library member, that you can download at home.

Regular activities in Libraries for children

Group reading books and writing notes outdoors

The Library for 12 – 19 years

Nottingham City Libraries prides itself on being a welcoming, free and friendly place for teens and young adults. A place to socialise, learn and seek guidance.

Every library has a collection of great reads for young people and we run various events and activities in our libraries for teenagers.

Little boy at the library, reading a book on the floor

Accessible Library

All Nottingham City Libraries work to make our services as accessible as possible for everyone. To find your nearest library and to talk about any requirements for yourself or your child, please talk to a library team member at your nearest library.

In Hyson Green Library, we also have a range of accessibility tools to help children and adults with sight loss, ensuring they are able to enjoy reading & learning with books.

Discover & Get Involved

Little girl reading.

Children’s wellbeing

Reading Well for Children provides quality-assured information, stories and advice to support children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Art and craft activity in Nursery. Preschool kids hands working in day care center. Group of children engaged in handcrafts

Craft Clubs & LEGO!

We have fantastic craft clubs going on in our city libraries, as well as LEGO available to be used for building and play! Come take part and enjoy the seasonal crafts that occur within the library spaces for free.
Little boy stacking multicoloured building blocks. Children dressing up. Bottles of paint Several peoples hands holding up Lego Minifigures.
Little boy stacking multicoloured building blocks.
Children dressing up.
Bottles of paint
Several peoples hands holding up Lego Minifigures.

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