Picture Book Bundles to Go! 

Virtual Storytimes

Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

June 4

Miss Jenn and Miss Patty will be hosting a series of virtual storytimes on Thursday mornings in May and early June. Join us using the Zoom meeting platform for songs, stories and fingerplays. Registration is required for each session and can be done HERE.


A Zoom link and password for extra security will be sent to each registered email address within 24 hours of the event. Camera usage is optional and these sessions will NOT be recorded for future use. 

Summer Reading Kickoff:
Casey Carle's
Virtual Bubble Workshop

Monday, June 15 at 7:00 p.m. 

This is your chance to take lessons from the bubble master himself! Casey Carle will guide participants through controlled bubble art. You will learn how to create specific shapes, including a bubble snowman, snake, flower, spaceship and make bubbles within bubbles! Registration is required and limited to kids ages 7-up. A Zoom link and password will be sent to you within 24 hours of the event.


Register for this event HERE or by calling the Portland Library
at 860-342-6770.

Welcome to Portland Library’s Summer 2020 Reading Program! We’ll go back (and forward) in time, visiting lands both close by and far, far away. This summer, we’ll help you spice up your own story by meeting new friends, going on adventures, and giving you plenty to talk about.


  1. Visit the library on or after June 16 to pick up your reading log and BINGO card and find out if you are assigned to either team Knights or Dragons.

  2. Start reading and completing your activity BINGO sheet on June 16. You will receive one point for every day that you read 15 minutes or for each activity you complete on your BINGO sheet.

  3. Come to the library each week to receive a scratch ticket that will reveal a prize or choose an item to donate to our Portland Food Bank collection.

  4. When you reach 50 points, you have completed the program (but you can still keep reading and racking up even MORE points)! We will donate one nonperishable item to the Portland Food Bank for each person who reaches the 50 point goal! We will also donate one extra item at the end of the summer for each person on the winning team of Knights or Dragons.

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

Adventures in Storytime! (ages 0-5)

Mondays at 10:00 a.m. June 22, July 6, 13, 20, 27

Are you ready for an adventure? We’ll meet dragons, knights, princesses and magical creatures in our journeys to lands near and far during this virtual storytime session. Grab-and-go craft kits for each weekly theme will be available at the library. Registration is necessary for each week. A Zoom link and password will be sent to you within 24 hours of the event. Registration is required and begins on Monday, June 15.

Once Upon a Crime! (going into grades K-2)

Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. June 24, July 8, 15, 22, 29

Join Ms. Patty each week to explore familiar fairy tales through crafts and STEAM activities. Let’s grow a beanstalk, make a flying dragon, decorate the witch’s candy cottage, and more! Each week we will also collect clues and information about fairy tale characters to solve a mystery during our last session. Visit the library in advance of the program each week to pick up instructions and supplies to do the activities at your own pace, or log onto Zoom on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. to do the activities “live” with Ms. Patty. Registration is required and begins on Monday, June 15.

Wizards, Warriors and Beasts (going into grades 3-5)

Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. June 23, July 7, 14, 21, 28
A new adventure awaits you each week in this modified library program. We’ll take target practice with our own crossbows, conjure up spells and create potions, design dragon eggs, and more. Visit the library in advance of the program each week to pick up instructions and supplies to do the activities at your own pace, or log onto Zoom on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. to do the activities “live” with Miss Jenn. Registration is required and begins on Monday, June 15.

Special Programs 

Gnome on the Roam!: Each week, our library gnome will be hiding at a secret location around town. Clues to his location will be posted once per week on our social media pages. Let us know where you found the gnome each week and be entered into our weekly raffle for a $20 gift card to a local business

Harry Potter Trivia Night! (Friday, July 31 at 7:00 p.m.): In honor of Harry Potter’s birthday, we will be celebrating with a family trivia night! Come test your knowledge of all things Hogwarts through a Kahoot –style game played over Zoom.

Community Rock Garden: Decorate a kindness rock and leave it in our community rock garden in front of the library to help spread kindness to the whole community.

Chalk the Walks! (Tuesday, August 18 at 10:30 a.m.): Join us for a morning of sharing smiles by creating upbeat chalk drawings and messages on our sidewalks.

2021 Nutmeg
Nominees Announced!


The Nutmeg Book Award is the only book award in the state where KIDS pick the winner. Voting on the 2020 Nutmeg nominees has concluded.


For a complete list of 2021 nominees in each category, visit our Nutmeg Books page HERE


Learn Magic with
Ed Popielarczyk!

Ed Popielarczyk visited the Portland Library for one of our Summer Reading shows in July 2019 and impressed us all with his magic tricks. He has generously sent us these "how-to" videos that will help kids learn how to do some of his favorite tricks. We can't wait for you to visit the library when we reopen to show us your version of these tricks! 

Breakout EDU and Digital Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are the latest in family fun and that doesn't have to stop while you're under quarantine. Enjoy this list of digital breakout rooms filled with puzzles of all types. 

Family Fun Escape Rooms



Digital Scavenger Hunts


Unplugged Family Activities 

  • Build a blanket fort

  • Let your kids be your hairdresser, manicurists and make-up artists for the day!

  • Set the table for a fancy dinner....then eat dinner by candlelight!

  • Write letters to family and friends

  • Have a picnic lunch outdoors

  • Make an obstacle course

  • Build a house with playing cards

  • Make a time capsule

  • Learn a new card game or board game

Have you done any of these things? Do you have another idea we haven't mentioned? We would love to see photos of how you're spending your family time!

Email us at portlandlibrary@portlandct.org. 

Virtual Events, Field Trip and Activities



English and Other Languages


Outdoor Activities

Art, Crafts and Curious Minds




Social Studies


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: 

American Library Association's Great Websites for Children

Cool Math Games

Disney Fairy Online Games

Fun Brain



PBS Kids Play



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

Homework Help

School Websites:

Valley View School

Gildersleeve School

Brownstone Intermediate School


Discovery Education

BJ Pinchbeck's Homework Helper

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

Math and Science:


Math Fact Games

Math Baseball

HowStuffWorks.com: 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:

Kidsspell.com:  Free spelling games based on selected or custom lists

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