Children's Department

About Youth Services

Youth Services staff strive to meet the educational and recreational needs of children from birth through twelfth grade. Our Children's Services area at each MPHPL location specializes in materials and programming for children from birth through sixth grade.  We work closely with parents/caregivers, educators, and children to provide materials and programming to help match the needs of children at each stage of development.  Below are just some of the services that we offer:


The goal of programming is to provide children with a welcoming environment to have fun, learn, socialize, and develop a love of literature as well as providing an overall positive library experience for both children and adults.  Storytimes are offered for children 12 months to age 5, incorporating stories, songs, finger plays, crafts, and other hands-on activities.  Visit our Storytimes page to learn more.  For our elementary-aged patrons, crafts, Lego clubs, gardening, and special reading and learning opportunities allow children to hone their own unique interests.  Performances by the ROZ Puppets, visits from other special guests, provide fun for the whole family throughout the year.

Class Visits

The Youth Services staff of the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library love when classes visit the library!  All three MPHPL locations can help your students get their first library cards, learn library loan rules, find out how to take care of books, and receive a tour of our Children's Services area.  Students who visit the Mishawaka Library can also visit the Heritage Center and get an up-close look at original Mishawaka Police Station jail cells or learn more about Mishawaka's Sister City, Shiojiri.

Would you rather the library come to you?  We are more than happy to visit classrooms for storytimes, book clubs, book talks, research projects, and more.  

To schedule a class visit, please contact the library location you wish to visit at least two weeks in advance.


The Children's Services area at each MPHPL location has computers for use by children eleven years of age and under.  Most stations have word processing, Internet access, and games.  The cost to print is .15 per page for black and white copies.  Color copies may be made by request for .50 per page.  Each child must have a computer use agreement signed by his/her parent or legal guardian on file.  Adults must stay with their children aged eleven and under per the library's Unattended Child Policy.

Summer Reading

The goal of summer reading is to help prevent 'summer slide' and remind children that reading is fun!  By signing your pre-reader up for the summer reading program, you can establish a good reading habit for your child for many years to come.  Caregivers or older siblings are encouraged to read with the littlest summer readers to earn incentives. For those reading independently, the summer reading program encourages a child to continue with their reading throughout the summer months.  Studies have found that a child who continues to read during summer break is better equipped for learning the following school year.  The summer reading program encourages children to read based on their interests - no tests or book reports!

In addition to the reading portion of the program, summer reading provides programming with an emphasis on reaching elementary aged children. Programming is often based on the yearly summer reading theme.  Information about the Summer Reading program and related events is typically available every year in May.


Children's Blog

Back to School!

Each new school year brings a mix of opportunities, excitement and struggles for our children. In the mad rush to make sure that supplies are bought, clothes are ready, and lunches are planned, it’s easy to forget that our little ones may be hiding nervousness about their new educational adventure.

Building Blocks of Early Learning

Talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. These are five fun and easy things we can do with our children every day to get them ready to read!

National Bicycle Month

From tricycles to mountain bikes, many children spend a lot of time on their bikes. They explore their neighborhoods, race up and down driveways and around yards, and blaze trails through the forest with their friends. Read on to learn more about bicycles and for a short list of bike-related children's books.

New Arrivals

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