Early Literacy

Children learn about reading and writing far before they actually begin to read and write, and this early literacy sets children up for a lifetime of success – and a rich, imaginative, creative world. The Evanston Public Library offers families many resources for their infants and young children to play, learn and explore their world through early literacy programs and services.

Library cards

It’s never too early to get a child a library card! A library card gives your child access to a wide variety of books and DVDs that can support your child’s learning from their very first day, and young children enjoy presenting their very own cards to check out materials.

Plus, our librarians are always available to help pick out books your little ones will love to read again and again.


Listen, sing songs, play games – even come to the library in your jammies! We offer storytimes for infants through elementary school, in English and Spanish, that make listening to stories tons of fun and spark an interest in reading. Look up for upcoming storytimes: 

Talk, Read, Sing

Sign up to receive text messages or emails, in English or Spanish, with tips to help you support your child’s early learning.

To sign up for messages, text:

COE TRS1 to 468311(English)

COE TRS2 to 468311(Spanish)

Or click here

Welcome, Baby! Kits

The Evanston Public Library partners with  City of Evanston Clerk Susana Mendoza to provide Baby’s first book and other resources to new parents in Evanston. Welcome, Baby! Kits are distributed when birth certificates are issued.

More Resources and Partnerships

The Library works with organizations throughout Evanston and the surrounding area that support young children and their families:

Childcare and Social Services

Infant Welfare Society Full-day child care and early education services, as well as parenting support with dedicated family support specialists, family events, screening and intervention services, connections to other resources, and more.

Childcare Network of Evanston Head Start and Early Head Start childcare programs, home visits to support parents as Baby’s first teachers, and help paying for childcare through the DCFS Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) for low-income, working families.

Mental/Emotional Development and Counseling

Strong Start to Kindergarten This parent activity guide developed by District 65 is designed for parents of 4- and 5-year-olds preparing for kindergarten, beginning with developmental milestones from birth to the kindergarten years.

Talking to Kids You Love | Family Institute Strengthen the bond with your children, build their emotional intelligence, and promote their self-esteem through the lessons in this video series designed to walk parents through common (but tough!) interactions with their children.

Affordable Counseling Program @ The Family Institute Through the Bette D. Harris Family &  Child Clinic, therapists-in-training provide services to clients who qualify at sliding scale or no cost, with team therapy including experienced therapists for complex cases.

24/7 Parent Stress Line Trained volunteer counselors are available 24 hours a day in an non-judgmental sympathetic environment. 

Reading Rockets Tips for parents teaching reading to their children, including in multiple languages and with many different abilities. 

Storytime from Space Storytime from Space sends children’s books to the International Space Station, where astronauts read them aloud (and conduct science experiments!) for children stuck on Earth. 


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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