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Drop-In Playdates

Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. through June 15

Children ages 0-5 and their caregivers are invited to join us on Thursday mornings from 10:30-11:30 for an hour of socialization and open play with our story room toys.
No registration is required.

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2023 Summer Reading Program
for Families and Children: Oceans of Possibilities

How It Works

Visit the library to pick up your registration kit, which includes your reading log, a scavenger hunt card, and your first summer reading badge. Start logging the minutes you read on or after June 14. Each day you read 20 minutes or more counts towards your summer reading goal. Earn prizes and new badges each time you reach 5 days. Logging can be done through the ReadSquared portal on our library website. You can also pick up a lined journal at the library to write down the titles of your books or a sticker sheet to log your minutes if you prefer. There are plenty of other ways to earn badges besides reading. You can adopt a shell from the library, vote in our "Who Would Win?" contests, or take a picture of your favorite place to read in the summer.
Registration for all programs begins on Tuesday, May 30 at 10:00 a.m.


Summertime Stories (ages 0-5)

(Mondays at 10:30 a.m., June 26, July 10, 17, 24, 31)

Join us in our Mary Flood Room to enjoy stories, rhymes and songs about the ocean and its many animals. A craft project will be offered at the end of the program.


Ocean Adventures (going into grades K-2)
(Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., June 21, 28, July 12, 19, 26, August 2)

Come on an ocean adventure with Ms. Patty as we explore animals and games about ocean life. We’ll do some crafting, experiment with chemical reactions, make edible aquariums, and even crack some pirate codes to escape a deserted island!


Mysteries Under the Sea (going into grades 3-5)

(Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., June 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, August 1)

The ocean is full of mysteries, legends and lore. Over the course of this six-week program, we’ll use the ocean and its stories and inhabitants as inspiration for projects such as creating coral reef crystals, making bioluminescent paintings, exploring aquatic cryptids, and analyzing unsolved shipwrecks.

Thank you to the Friends of the Portland Library for sponsoring all of our
Summer Programs for Children and Families.


Wednesday, June 14 at 6:00 p.m.
All ages welcome!

Join us in the Portland High School Gymnasium for a one-of-a-kind BMX
demonstration. Chris is a world champion athlete and youth motivational speaker who shares powerful life lessons as he demonstrates amazing bicycle stunts.

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Wednesday Night Family Shows @ Portland Library

Every Wednesday night from June 21 through August 2 (no program July 6), Portland Library will host FREE family shows! Call 860-342-6770 or visit to register and get
updated times and location
s. Registration begins on Tuesday, May 30 at 10:00 a.m. 

June 21: Comic Mime Robert Rivest
Through spoken word, physical comedy, and a zany cast of characters, Robert Rivest brings pure hilarity!

June 28: Touch Tanks from Mystic Aquarium
Get up and close and personal with some live sea creatures! Guides from Mystic Aquarium will be on hand to answer questions and provide info.

July 12: Pirate Night @ Portland Library
Ahoy, maties! Come build a pirate ship, sing some pirate songs and walk the plank!

July 19: Meet Ariel and Moana!
Disney princesses Ariel and Moana will be at the library with songs, stories hula lessons, and of course, plenty of photo ops!

July 26: Magician Ed Popielarczyk
Magician Ed Pop will make you laugh as he entertains you with stories and magic tricks. This interactive show involves A LOT of audience participation.

August 2: Stuffed Animal Sleepover
Leave your favorite stuffed animal at the library after a special storytime and then pick them up the next day to hear about their adventures!

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Reading Lists

Not sure what to read next? Check out these book lists for some new ideas.

Adventures for Children

Books for Animal Lovers in Grades 3-5
Character Counts: Picture Books about Kindness and Caring
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Readalikes
Historical Fiction for Children
Mysteries for Children
Ready for School

Scary Stories for Kids
Science Fiction for Children

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1000 Books Before Kindergarten


Raise a reader! 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a national reading initiative that encourages parents and caregivers to provide positive, nurturing early experiences by reading aloud daily to their children from birth to age five. Reading to children builds important vocabulary and language skills that are needed for kindergarten. We invite you to participate in this exciting, free program open to children birth to age five.

How long will it take to read 1,000 books? This is a self-paced program that depends on how often you read together. Reading three books together a night—approximately 15 minutes—will mean you will have read 1,095 at the end of one year.

Come into the library and pick up your 1,000 Books Before Kindergartenwelcome packet in the children’s department.

Thank you to the Friends of the Portland Library for funding this program. 


Not able to come to the library but want to get started on your next reading journal? Print them out here!

Books 1-100

Books 101-250

Books 251-500

Books 501-750

Books 751-1,000

Computers in the Children's Area


Early Literacy Computer Station Added

In September 2014, the Youth Services Department added an AWE Early Literacy Computer Station to its list of services. Stocked with more than 40 games that build skills in the areas of reading, words and phonics; science and nature; math and problem solving; reference; music and arts; writing and computer skills; and social studies and geography, this colorful touch-screen computer is great for kids between the ages of 2-8. Users may sign up at the children’s reference desk to use the computer.


Portland Library Computer Information

We have two computers with Internet access in the Children's Department that can be used by patrons under the age of 11. Only children or others accompanied by children are allowed to use these computers. 

Please note the following when using the computers:


  • Parents and guardians will have to sign a Public Computer Procedures form the first time their child uses a computer.

  • If others are waiting, use is restricted to 30 minutes per user. 

  • There is filtering software on the computers in the Children's Department. 

  • Please, no eating or drinking at the computer. 

  • Our printing rates are as follows: Each user is allowed two free black and white pages. Additional pages are $.15 per page. Color copies are always $.50 per page. 


Recommended Websites for Children: 

BookFlix (Portland Library database subscription, requires library card number)

Cool Math Games

Fun Brain

Highlights Kids

Lego Play Zone

Nat Geo Kids

Scholastic Go! (Portland Library database subscription, requires library card number)

Homework Help

School Websites:

Valley View School

Gildersleeve School

Brownstone Intermediate School


Discovery Education

DK FindOut!: This secure search engine from published DK has information for young children on many different subjects. 

Math and Science:

Math Baseball Learn how thousands of things work

NeoK-12:  Fun videos and lessons on science subjects

Social Studies:

Social Studies for Kids

Social Studies Games: for younger children

Scholastic News Online

English and Spelling:

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