Library Storytimes In and Around Iowa City

If you’re new to the area, I humbly suggest you locate the library first. Because once you’ve found the library, you have a gateway to everything else–not only books for the whole family, but also free WiFi; computer, printer, copier, and scanner access; digital items like DVDs, audiobooks, video games, research databases, and e-books; and entertaining and enriching programs for all ages.

What’s more, your local library is a great place to immediately put your finger on the pulse of the community. The free, high-quality programs offer an opportunity to meet other parents and kids. Librarians are eager to connect you with local resources and answer any questions you have about navigating your community. Check out this guide to find a story time or kids’ program at a library near you, and plan a visit soon!

Local Library Story Times and Kids’ Programs

Coralville Library

Story Times

Wee Read (under 3s): Thursdays at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Children under 3 and their caregivers listen to stories, rhymes, songs and finger plays. Gather in the Storytime Room, in the children’s section, for this event.

Preschool Story Times (ages 3-5): Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Children ages 3 and up listen to stories, sing, and participate in a range of activities planned just for them.  Gather in the Storytime Room, in the children’s section, for this event.

Family Story Times: Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. Come to the Storytime room prepared to have fun. These programs are planned with a broad range of ages in mind. Children and their families listen to stories, music, and poems and participate in various activities.

Additional Activities

Family Night at the Library: Once a month from 6:30-7:30 p.m., a program for the whole family that might involve crafts, games, stories, music, or a combination of those!

Kids Create: (K-3rd graders) Join in on the first Thursday of the month, September-April, at 2:30 p.m. for a fun activity. Programs will last approximately 1 hour. Sign up, beginning a week before Kids Create, at the Children’s Desk or on the Kids Create page.


Iowa City Public Library

Story Times

Book Babies: Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This program is a participatory program designed to foster early language development. Parents and caregivers can enjoy this time to play with baby and meet new friends.

Story Time: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. This interactive storytime for all ages and stages combines books, rhymes, songs, and movement.

StoryJAM: Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. StoryJAM is a music storytime program for children and their families. Designed to develop singing and music making as an early literacy skill, come prepared to move, shake, and sing as we take “Joy in Action and Music.”

Preschool Stories & More: Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. Join us for a preschool-oriented program that often features special guests or includes longer stories. Preschool Stories & More is recommended for children who are 3,4, or 5 years old.

There is no registration for library story times – everyone is welcome. These programs last approximately 30 minutes unless otherwise noted. No stringent age guidelines – parents can decide which storytime is right for their child.

Additional Activities

Sunday Fun Day: Sundays from 2-4 p.m. Drop-in craft program for all ages.

After School Minecraft: 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month for school-age kids, 3:30-5 p.m. Registration required.

Totally Tweens: twice-monthly programs for kids just in 3rd-6th grade on various weekday afternoons. Tween programs can involve science and technology, arts and crafts, games, performers, and more.

Friday Flicks: a family-friendly film shown in the Storytime Room every Friday from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Family Night with games, crafts, performances, STEM activities and more; After School Lego Club; and Game On programs also offered at least once monthly, as well as various other one-off special events; please check the calendar.

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten and Belly Baby Reads

If you are expecting, you can track read-alouds to establish an early literacy practice before your baby is born and receive two free board books. As soon as your baby is born and anytime before kindergarten starts, you can sign up for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program to track the books you read to your child and receive small prizes with each level you complete. Sign up for these programs by visiting the Children’s desk at the library.

Bookmobile

The Bookmobile is a mobile library service from the Iowa City Public Library. In addition to a collection of new and popular books, DVDs, toys, and audiobooks on the Bookmobile, you can check out anything from ICPL’s collection by placing a hold and requesting pick-up at the Bookmobile. Check the schedule of stops here.


North Liberty Community Library

Story Times

Baby Story Time (Birth-24 months): Tuesday mornings, 10:30 a.m. A combination of stories, rhymes, and movement.

Story Time (Pre-K): Wednesday mornings, 10:30 a.m. Stories, rhymes, and songs geared toward preschoolers.

Tot Time (Ages 2-4): Fridays, 10:30 a.m. Stories, movement, and music.

Saturday Story Time (Family): Saturdays, 11 a.m. Bring the family for stories, movement, and fun!

Ages listed are just suggestions – try them all and find the best fit for your family! The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is also offered at the North Liberty Public Library.

Additional Activities

Super Tuesdays: Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. for K-3rd graders.

Tweendom: Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. for 4th-6th graders.

Monthly Activity Rotation (All activities are come and go, no registration is required):

  • Science Activity (1st Tuesday)
  • Games (2nd Tuesday)
  • Legos (3rd Tuesday)
  • Crafternoons (4th Tuesday)

Family Movie Night: a family-friendly film is shown on the 2nd Friday of each month at 6:00, with popcorn provided.

Other occasional special events for kids and families are offered; check the calendar.


Solon Public Library

Story Time

Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. 

This is a program of stories, songs, rhymes, fingerplays, and crafts which provide opportunities for young children to develop listening and socialization skills, acquire a love of books and get ready to read, and spend quality time with their parents or caregivers.

Additional Activities

Babygarten: a program which provides stimulating experiences to nurture the bond between caregiver and child, with an emphasis on language enrichment and pre-literacy skills. For infants 0 – 24 months of age. Watch for announcements of upcoming scheduled sessions.

LEGO® Club: meets on the first Monday of each month, except when that Monday is a holiday. Children in Kindergarten and up may attend.


Swisher Public Library

Story Time

Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. This is open to all ages from preschool on up.

Occasional special events are also offered, such as crafts, games, or activities on no-school days.


Tiffin Springmier Library

Story Time

Preschool Story Time: Tuesdays at 10 a.m.

Springmier library is located in the Clear Creek Amana Middle School

Note: Please go to the middle school entrance during school hours.


West Branch Public Library

Story Time  

Thursdays at 10 a.m. (all ages welcome)

Pajama Story Time: Tuesdays at 7 p.m. – September to May (all ages welcome)

Pajama Story Times offer a set of themed stories followed by a quick bedtime snack.  Like Preschool Story Times, the books chosen for Pajama Story Time often reflect a season, holiday, or other special topic, like leaves during fall or flowers during spring.  As suggested by the name, kids and adults alike are welcome to wear their PJs to story time.

Additional Activities

Early Out School Days: Wednesdays at 2 p.m. during the school year

There is always some sort of activity at the library for school-aged children on early-release Wednesdays, from crafting to gaming and more.


West Liberty Public Library

Story Time

Toddler Story Time: Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Story Time consists of stories, games, and crafts. Toddler play time follows story time from 10:30-11:30.

Additional Activities

Early Out Wednesdays: Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., special activities for school-aged children each month, including Coding Club, book clubs, craft workshops, and more. Contact library for more information.


Additionally, all of the above libraries offer a Summer Reading Program for children. Sign up at the library, receive program materials, and kids can start tracking their reading minutes while school is out and earn prizes for reaching a goal. Summer also means lots of additional kids programs and activities, too, so call or check back on the website to find out what your library has planned for the summer.


 

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Anne is a kinda crunchy, kinda unapologetically corner-cutting mom who has lived in Iowa City since 2004. She is a graduate student in Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa and works in the Children's Services department at the Iowa City Public Library. Before going back to school, she was a stay-at-home mom to her two daughters for several years, and took her children to the library multiple times a week. Basically, she has lived at the library for about a decade. Which is fine, because her biggest passion in life is books. When not reading, Anne also enjoys hiking, low-budget road-tripping, and drinking craft beer on a patio.

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