Libraries - Information for Parents and Carers
Your child can have their own library ticket as soon as they are born and take out up to eight books or story tapes/story CDs for free. There are no fines on books taken out on a child's ticket and no charge for accidental damage to books borrowed by children under 5. Joining the library.
Come along and find out what's on offer:
Young Readers Festival
Young Readers is an annual book festival for children and young people featuring novelists, poets, storytellers and more. It takes place in late May/June and features a week of events during half term in libraries and other venues around the city followed by a week of events for schools (to which home-educated children are welcome) .
When a Book Might Help
Library staff can help you to find books about subjects which might help your child. There is a vast range of books from picture books for the very young to teenage novels which cover such difficult topics as a death in the family, the birth of a new brother or sister or health issues such as anorexia. Visit our When a Book Might Help webpage for links to books on bereavement, bullying, dyslexia, eating disorders and for books with positive images of children with disabilities.
Health and well-being The healthy books site has also been recommended by library staff as a good starting point for books on all sorts of topics from toilet training to hospital visits. www.healthybooks.org.uk
Sex Education Resources for Parents
Birmingham Libraries have also put together a list of books and resources to help you talk about sex education, body changes and relationships with your children. Including picture books for younger children to answer those difficult questions like where babies come from!
Fun with Reading
Find out about Stories from the Web, an exciting website all about books and reading. Children and young people in Birmingham can log on using a special password to gain access to lots of online games and activities. Ask at your local library for the login and password.
There are FREE story sessions and activities for children from tots to teens during most school holidays. See our What's On page for details. Each year Birmingham Libraries also join in with the national Summer Reading Challenge. Children pick up a collector's card at the beginning of the holidays and add stickers as they read books over the summer. It's a great way of encouraging children to keep reading during the long break.
Books for dads to share
Babies and children really enjoy sharing stories with their dads as well as their mums. Have a look at our great list of books to share and get some. Pop down to your local library to find out what's on offer. There are fantastic books top storytelling tips for dads for all ages and most libraries have regular story sessions for kids too.
Using the Internet Safely
Children and young people can use the internet for free in Birmingham Libraries. All computers in libraries are attached to a system which aims to filter out the most undesirable sites, for example pornography. However, no system is foolproof and children should be told to immediately leave any site which makes them feel uncomfortable and to tell a member of library staff. Children should also understand the basic rules of safety, such as never giving out personal details to anyone over the internet. Be Safe on the Net, is part of our Children's Internet Guide and gives more information.
Family Information Service
The Family Information Service is a free service for parents, carers and childcare workers providing information on childcare facilities and activities for children during the school holidays. They also provide general information and signposting to a wide range of organisations that support families. Visit their website at www.birmingham.gov.uk/fis
Birmingham Grid for Learning
BGfL is the portal for the city's education service. The website provides lots of useful information including term dates and a schools directory as well as support with helping your child with their learning and homework.