Early Years

Early Years

We know the importance of early childhood development, and public libraries in Northern Ireland offer a range of services and activities designed to engage and inspire young minds, developing a love for reading and learning from an early age.

Amazingly, 90% of your child’s brain growth happens before 5 years of age so every moment you spend sharing rhymes and reading with your child from the very beginning, you are building their brain.  You are making a huge difference to their development, helping them learn to communicate, develop confidence and make friends. 

You are never too young to join the library and Libraries NI has a great welcome for all the family – including those who haven’t yet learned to read! You can join online or by visiting your nearest library,

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Libraries as spaces

Our libraries provide safe and welcoming designated spaces for babies and toddlers, as well as their parents and carers.

Every library has low browsing areas which are ideal for young people to look through and to choose their own books. This is important in developing a love of reading.

We understand the needs of families, which is why we have even provided baby changing facilities for your convenience.

Our friendly and approachable staff are always ready to engage with your little ones, offering a variety of activities specially designed for babies and toddlers. Additionally, they are more than happy to assist you in selecting the perfect books for your children, providing valuable recommendations based on their expertise.

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Rhythm and Rhyme sessions

All public libraries in Northern Ireland offer Rhythm and Rhyme sessions.  These sessions are designed to help little ones develop a love for language and provide them with an opportunity to interact with other children in a fun and engaging way. Our dedicated members of staff will assist and guide your child through these sessions, ensuring they have a wonderful experience,

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Books for babies and toddlers

Libraries across Northern Ireland provide an incredible array of board books that are sure to captivate and delight young readers. Our collection boasts a wide variety of bright and colourful stories, perfect for sparking the imagination. Additionally, we offer a selection of first fact books that are not only sturdy and durable, but also designed with little hands in mind. These books are the perfect starting point for young readers as they embark on their reading journey, fostering a lifelong love of reading, literacy, and learning.

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Other resources to help with early years

Rub A Dub Hub is our dedicated area on the website where you can discover tools, tips and fun activities to enhance your child’s reading experience. The hub is designed to provide you with all the information, support, and ideas you need to to dive into the wonderful world of books!

Dr Hippo recommends is a selection of helpful book titles to support children in various situations. Whether it’s their first day at school or a visit to the hospital, these books are here to lend a helping hand. With engaging stories and relatable characters, the titles are sure to provide comfort and guidance during these important moments in a child’s life.

Books to help with parenting

We have an abundance of parenting books that are specifically designed to provide you with the guidance and ideas you need to navigate through the various stages of your child’s development. From expert tips on developing healthy habits to strategies for effective communication, our books offer a wealth of knowledge to support you on your parenting journey.

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