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The West Chicago Public Library offers books, programming, and more for children ages birth-11 years old and their families.

The Youth Services department is on the first floor of the library to the right of the main entrance near our main program room. Your Youth Services team is here to help your children develop literacy skills and establish a love of reading and learning at any age. We strive to create an environment that is welcoming, vibrant, and inclusive. We offer activities, programs, and resources beginning with early literacy, creative play, and storytimes, to S.T.E.A.M. activities, family programming special events, to-go bags, a video gaming station and take-and-makes. Our goal is to create a friendly and encouraging environment designed to stimulate learning, creativity, and fun. We also offer games, computers for homework, and spaces for reading and studying. Gender-neutral family bathrooms with changing stations are conveniently located in our department.

Imagination Station Play Area

Our youngest patrons enter an imaginative world of discovery, learning, and cooperative play. This bright and cheerful early childhood space is designed for young ones to make believe, practice social skills, work on fine and gross motor skills, and more. Here kids can just be kids! Enjoy activities like kitchen play, rotating dramatic play bins, magna tiles, puzzles, LEGO table, train set, busy boards, our Creation Station, and more! Activities and toys are changed periodically for new discoveries. Help us take good care of our toys so that everyone can play.

Storytimes & Events/Programs

We offer a variety of free programs for babies, toddlers, children, and tweens almost every day of the week. With everything from arts & crafts, music & movement, family movies, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) to maker programs and adventures for homeschoolers, there is something for every child to enjoy in the Youth Services department. Subscribe to our e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on services and upcoming events for children, or look at programs on our events calendar.

Winter and Summer Reading Programs

We offer seasonal reading challenges to engage our patrons throughout the year. Registration for summer reading begins in June, and winter reading begins in December.

Books & More

Our Youth Services collection has a wide selection of books, audiobooks, Playaways, Vox Books, movies, music, video games, kits, and more for you to check out and use at home or enjoy at the library. We also have a large assortment of free online resources to ensure every child has access to the tools they need to grow and succeed.

If you’re looking for reading suggestions for your kids, you can browse our custom lists of books, perfect for children of all ages. We update these lists frequently, so check back regularly! And that’s not all! We also offer personalized recommendations based on the things you already know and love. Fill out our Book Bundles form, and we’ll get back to you with some special, handpicked books.

Leveled Readers & Phonics

Our Easy Reader collection varies from pre-1 to level 4. The levels do not necessarily correspond to a student’s grade level. Books are organized by level, based on vocabulary, repetition, number of words, etc. At the West Chicago library, we color code our readers as pink dots for beginning readers, green dots for intermediate readers, and blue dots for independent readers. If you are having trouble determining which level is best for your child, ask a staff member or consult our leveled readers guide here.

Phonics Sets

Recommended by librarians and reading specialists, Phonics and Leveled Reading Sets introduce and reinforce beginning reading concepts. Books at each level are carefully crafted to meet the needs of a particular stage in a child’s reading development. Most of the sets include a parent guide to help parents work with their child to reinforce reading skills. West Chicago Public Library’s sets feature a variety of popular characters so children will have fun while also learning to read!

Youth Services Special Collections

We’re known for books, but did you know that our Youth Services department has puzzles, learning games, microscopes, fossils, and more for checkout? Take a peek at some of our featured special Youth collections below!

Our early learning kits are intended for children under the age of five and offer our youngest customers the opportunity to learn about a particular topic through a carefully curated set of books and toys. From farms to construction these early learning kits have been designed with early learning concepts in mind.  Your child will learn early literacy concepts, basic math skills, and be introduced to art and science.   

While children are playing, adults can use these kits to help grow early literacy skills. When you read, talk, and play with your child, you’re stimulating the growth of your child’s brain and developing the connections that will become the building blocks for reading. The library’s Grow a Reader – Early Learning Kits come with a list of activities adults and children can do together to strengthen those connections. 

Interested in checking out a kit or putting one on hold? View our catalog to check availability. 

Bring our creative and educational STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) kits to your home! Each kit comes with different themed activities and books that take learning to a whole new level. Many are available in both English and Spanish. These STEAM kits are intended for grades K-5 but can be adjusted according to different age levels.

Kindergarten Readiness Kits are designed to help your little one practice skills needed for Kindergarten. Each kit has books, multiple activities, games and more that focus on one particular skill set. Choose from fine motor, gross motor, literacy, language arts, math, science, and social-emotional. To check for the availability and/or place a hold on a Kindergarten Readiness Kit, please visit our catalog page.

Grab-and-Go Kits are single-activity bags for families to enjoy at home!  A wide range of bags and activities are made throughout the year and are on a first come first served basis.  Activities may include arts & crafts, brain teasers, games, worksheets, S.T.E.A.M activities and more.  To see which bags are available, please visit our events calendar.

Our Read & Roll story is displayed in/on permanent signs located along the Illinois Prairie Path on Turner Court next to the library. This is a fun and interactive way for children and adults to enjoy reading and the outdoors while you walk, stroll, or bike.  Each month we feature a new story in English and Spanish. Where will your next reading adventure take you? Look at our event calendar to see what stories are coming up.


Any student age 12 and under who visits the library can use the computers in the Youth Services department; they can log in with their library card or use a guest pass from the Youth Services desk. Parents may also us the computers when their children age 12 and under are with them in the Youth Services department or attending programs. Parents must use their own library card or a guest pass from the Youth Services desk.

Computer Capabilities:

  • Microsoft Office products: Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint.
  • Internet access
  • Database access

In-Library Gaming and our Gaming Station

The West Chicago Public Library District offers gaming for all ages. Benefits of providing gaming in the library include social interaction, skill development, and entertainment for the individuals who play. Studies show that games aid perception, cognition, decision-making, and facilitate teamwork.

A variety of new card and classic board games are available for in-library play and checkout by children and their families. The Youth Services department has a Nintendo Switch loaded with games like Super Mario Cart, Minecraft, Super Smash Bros. and more. The Video Gaming Station in the Youth Services department is for children aged 12 and under. Ages Anyone aged 9 and under must be accompanied by someone over 12. Only two players can play at one time on the Gaming Station. All games and game accessories must be checked out by a staff member. To check out games, a patron must present a valid library card, or a picture ID. Patrons may check out two games at a time. No games or extra accessories from home or outside the library may be used at the library in conjunction with library-owned games, systems, and accessories. Please ask at the library for more information on our gaming policies.

Museum Adventure Pass and Explore More Illinois

Your library is your golden ticket to hours of entertainment for you and your family. History and culture that excite and inspire, gardens that engage and soothe, hands-on discovery that educates and entertains – all of these and more are waiting for you. Use your West Chicago Public Library card to receive a Museum Adventure Pass and get free admission or a special discount, depending on location.