Libraries - core services

Children and young people's library service

We offer a wide range of services for children and young people, from books to enjoy to books to help with homework. All libraries have collections of books for children from board books and picture books for the very young, to books for teenagers and graphic novels. Central Library also has a dedicated teen zone.

Libraries have collections of coursework and homework books as well as free access to computers to help with homework needs.

Activities take place in all libraries on a weekly basis - with special events such as the Summer Reading Scheme around school holiday times. Look out for storytimes, crafts, arts workshops, quizzes and competitions.

Visits from school classes and playgroups are also welcomed.

Books, E-books and CDs

You can borrow up to 20 books, and keep them for up to four weeks or you can download up to four e-books. Bring books back on or before the date stamped in the book. You can have your books stamped again if nobody else wants them. If you are under eight you won't have to pay fines if the books are returned late - but don't forget other people may want to read them.

There are all sorts of books in the library, including:

  • books for babies
  • adventure stories
  • funny stories
  • information books
  • books for mums and dads

CDs are also available - you have to pay to borrow these except for story tapes for children, which are free.

Online resources

You can access "Britannica Junior for ages 5 to 11" and "Britannica Student for ages 12 to 18" online using your library card.

Some libraries have computers in their children's sections and you can book up to one hour for free. All libraries have computer learning facilities that children can use. Children can also use the internet, but they must have signed permission from a parent or carer and there are other safeguards. Computer sessions can be booked by asking at the library or by phone or you can book a computer online. To do this you need to have your library card number (which you will find under the barcode) and your PIN.

If you do not have a PIN, staff at your local library will provide you with one in person or by e-mail once you have proved your identity. You can change your PIN if you wish by asking in the library. Your PIN is for your security. Please do not tell it to anyone else, as they will be able to get access to your library details.

Sharing books is a vital part of learning to read.

Growing Well toolkit

ASCEL have launched a Growing Well toolkit which includes resources for parents/carers to support children's health and wellbeing.

Families can:

  • read more about why keeping active and healthy eating is important;
  • find free and easy to use ideas for activities to do with their children.

 Access the toolkit.

The toolkit has been commissioned by ASCEL to promote activities to help combat childhood obesity as part of the Universal Health Offer.

Top tips for reading with your child:

  • Books can be shared at any time - not just at bedtime!
  • Your child may want to read to you.
  • Read aloud together - allow your child to lead the speed of reading.
  • Take turns - you read a section, your child reads a section. With young children it is a good idea to follow the writing with your finger, making sure no words are hidden.
  • Help your child when they get stuck.
  • Always be positive.
  • Don't rush your child.
  • The pictures will help.
  • Reading the rest of the sentence may help.
  • It is important to keep the flow, so help your child, then move on.
  • If there are too many difficult words, read the book to your child yourself.

Helpful hints

  • Encourage your child to choose his or her own books.
  • Don't worry if they keep choosing the same favourites.
  • Don't put pressure on your child to get "harder" books or say "that's too easy".
  • Reading should be fun.
  • Find a quiet, comfortable place with no distractions. You can't compete with the television!
  • Reading at bedtime is a pleasant way to end the day but only for as long as your child wants.
  • Encourage your child to guess what's going to happen next.
  • Set a good example by reading yourself, and by choosing books at the library!

For more helpful hints and tips, BookTrust have provided this leaflet which is also available in different languages.

Bookstart Bear Club

Bookstart supports you to enjoy books with your child from as early an age as possible. Bookstart offers the gift of free books to all children at 2 key ages before they start school.

Bookstart in Coventry is co-ordinated by Coventry Libraries and Information Services in partnership with the Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust Early Years and Childcare Service, Coventry Children's Centres and other community services.

For more information on Bookstart please visit the Bookstart website.

Bookstart packs

  • Bookstart Baby for children between 0 and 12 months, which is given by a health visitor at baby's six to eight week health check.
  • Bookstart Treasure for pre-school children which are given out at early years settings such as playgroups and nurseries in the child(ren)'s pre-school year 

Bookstart Bear Club

All Coventry libraries offer The Bookstart Bear Club; a free and fun membership club for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Register your child at your local library and they will receive a free 'Bear Club passport'. Your child can then collect paw print stamps and certificates on their subsequent visits to the library. For further information please contact your local library.

Rhymetimes

Rhymetime sessions are a great place for toddlers to use language in a fun and engaging way. The library service also works with partners at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust who sometimes attend rhymetime sessions with useful health and wellbeing advice for your little ones. Find out about our Rhymetime sessions.

Class visit

The library service welcomes primary school classes, nursery, pre-school and play groups to visit the library during opening hours. We request that group leaders contact us in advance of your visit either with a request to deliver a session, or simply to know you are coming - especially at our smaller libraries where we can temporarily re-arrange the furniture so the session can be run in the children's area of the library or meeting room.

Types of class visit

The library service offers three types of class visit which can be tailored to suit your group. We ask you to provide us with additional information about the subjects you are currently covering so we can prepare materials ready for your visit.

Introduction to your library

This class visit is approximately a 45 minute to 1 hour session. The session can also be shortened depending on time constraints.

Information skills and learning for yourself

This class visit is approximately a 1 hour session. The session can also be shortened depending on time constraints.

Reading for pleasure

This class visit is approximately a 1 hour session. The session can also be shortened depending on time constraints.

Request a class visit

If you request a class visit online, a member of staff will be in contact to discuss your visit and confirm arrangements.

Request a class visit online

Request a class visit over the phone

Request a class visit in person

  • Go to the staff desk

Homework help

If you need help with your homework, you've come to the right place. Libraries have lots of material to help you with your studies.  

Have a look at what we have to offer

  • Computers for free internet access and packages - to help you with your homework presentation
  • Free Unlimited Wi-Fi -  work on your project on your own device. 
  • Free online information resources - music, art and general encyclopaedias, dictionary and online reference
  • Recommended homework websites - an up-to-date list of websites in subject order, recommended by library staff can be found in your local library
  • Information and reference books  - We have up-to-date, good quality information books on most homework subjects to borrow from the library.  If you can't find a book on your subject, staff can order a book from another library for you. You can also use the homework collection in your local library. The books in our Homework Collections aim to cover all subject areas and are not for loan, so you can always find a book about your subject.
  • Study space in most libraries and friendly staff who can help you.

Finally, life is not all about work! 

We have lots of other services you can use in your local library

  • Fiction books for all ages, including teenage and older teenage books
  • Magazines and graphic novels
  • DVDs and CDs to borrow for a small charge (DVDs need to be issued on an adult ticket)
  • Talking books to borrow for free
  • Books on leisure subjects, such as TV and film, sports, arts and craft books.
  • Information about local groups and societies is available at your local library.
  • You can also find family information about young people's events and activities at the Family Information Service

Don't forget - it's free to join your library and you can borrow up to 20 books and four e-books for free!

Libraries - Children and Young People’s Co-ordinator

Email: marie.shipley@coventry.gov.uk

Tel: 024 7697 2676

Floor 9
One Friargate
Coventry
CV1 2GN

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