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Spring Storytimes 

Registration for spring storytimes opens on March 1 and can be done through our website calendar or by calling the library at 860-342-6770.


Preschool Storytime
Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
March 14, 21, 28, April 4, 18, 25, May 9, 16, 23 (no program April 11)


Join us in our Wagner Room for stories, songs, and rhymes that encourage literacy and social skills and help get your preschooler prepared for kindergarten. We will offer a craft related to the weekly theme at the end of the program that can be done at the library or brought home.


Storytime for Toddlers and Tots:
Mother Goose on the Loose
Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m. or 11:15 a.m.

March 15, 22, 29, April 5, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24  (no program April 12)

Mother Goose on the Loose, a fun-filled interactive session for our youngest patrons, uses rhymes, a
story, songs, puppets, scarves, and more to stimulate the learning process of babies and toddlers. Two sessions will be offered each Wednesday to keep group sizes small and interactions personalized.


Drop-In Playdates

Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. through May 25

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.

Renaissance Days

Thursdays at 3:30 p.m.
March 9, 16, 23
Grades K-2

Hear ye, hear ye! Kids in grades K-2 are invited to journey back to the Middle Ages for some Renaissance days fun. Get ready to go on a noble quest to gather ancient coins, fashion a dragon for a
jousting tournament, prepare a Renaissance Days snack and so much more.  Registration is required and space is limited.


April Vacation Activity: Talent Show! 

Auditions: Monday, April 10 from 5-7:30 or by appointment

Show: Thursday, April 13 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. 

Do you have a special skill that you want to show off? Kids in grades K-12 are invited to join us for a community talent show! Auditions will be held on Monday, April 10 from 5:00-7:30 p.m. or by appointment. Acts should be 3 minutes or less. The show will be open to the public and held from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 13.

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April Vacation Activity: Toddler and Preschool Drive-In

Tuesday, April 11 at 10:15 a.m. 

Toddlers and preschoolers are invited to join us for a “drive-in” movie!  Each child will be given a cardboard box to decorate and turn into their “car.” We’ll then show a 30-minute cartoon that kids watch from their cars.  For children ages 2.5–5 years and their caregiver.  Registration is required.

April Vacation Activity: British Invasion!

Wednesday, April 12 at 1:00 p.m. 

Grades K-5

Explore everything British, from TV shows and music to snacks, books, phrases and more from across the pond! Registration is required.


Family Craft Night: Im"peck"able Birdhouses

Wednesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m.

In the spirit of Earth Day, you are invited to come build an architectural feast for your feathered friends. This activity has steps that are appropriate for all ages, but a parent or guardian must be with children to help with supervision.


Registration is required and space is limited.



Ancient Egyptian Adventure

Grades K-5

Thursdays at 3:30 p.m.

April 20, 27, May 4, 11

 Travel back in time with us as we decode secret messages written in hieroglyphics, learn about mummies and make some of our own, and take part in a forensic  investigation to see whether King Tut was murdered.  Registration is required and space is limited. 



Winter Storywalk® at Riverfront Park: The Mitten

Our StoryWalk® at Riverfront Park has been
updated with a new title! In keeping with our Winter Reading Challenge theme, this winter’s featured book is The Mitten by Jan Brett. Take a stroll around Riverfront Park and read this folk tale about a lost mitten and the winter animals that find it.


The StoryWalk® concept was created as a way for people of all ages to
combine physical activity with books and to help build children's interest in reading while encouraging healthy activity for all.

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2023 Nutmeg Nominees - It's Time to Vote!

NUTMEG VOTING begins this year on April 1st!


Finish up those titles because  YOUR OPINION MATTERS!


This is the only book award in the state where KIDS pick the winner. Let your favorite authors know how much you like their work by voting on your favorites!


Stop into the library to vote on the 2023 Nutmeg Nominees by April 30th.


 Nominees have been divided into four categories: Elementary (Grades 2-3), Intermediate (Grades
4-6), Middle School (Grades 7-8), and High School (Grades 9-12). Visit the Portland Library website for a complete list of nominees.


 Winners will be announced on May 15th and next year’s nominees will be announced on May 1st.

The Nutmeg Book Award encourages children in grades 2-12 to read quality literature and to choose their favorite from a list of ten (fifteen elementary) nominated titles. The award is jointly sponsored by the Connecticut Library Association (CLA) and the Connecticut Association of School Librarians (CASL). Nominees are selected by a committee of students, school librarians and public librarians around the state.

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Congratulations to the 2022 Nutmeg Award winners!

Elementary: InvestiGATORS by John Patrick Green
Intermediate: Wink by Rob Harrell

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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