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Location Closure The Forest Park, Washington Village, and Herring Run branches are closed for renovations. Learn more here.

Children's Department

Come down to where stories are told, songs are sung and young minds are exposed to the wonders of the world. The Children's Department serves children from birth through age 12, their caregivers, teachers, and members of the general public interested in children's literature.

Children's Department main room - tables and chairs

The Collection

Materials in the Children’s Department span a wide range, and include over 70,000 items for early literacy, beginning readers, and tweens, educator resources, homework help, computers reserved specifically for children 12 and under, and a fish pond with a fountain.

In addition to these physical resources, the Children's Department provides educational programming, both in the library and on visits to schools and other institutions in Maryland. Join us for preschool science and art programs, weekend family programs, and librarian-led presentations for visiting classes.


The Children's Department has resources for patrons from around the state of Maryland. Anyone in Maryland can browse an unparalleled collection of folk and fairy tales useful to parents, caregivers, and other practitioners of the art of storytelling, and hard-to-find items to support home school curricula. The Department also has a retrospective collection dating from 1930 that contains out-of-print authors and titles unavailable in the rest of the state.

Children's Department - fish pond and sculpture with a storytime event visible in the room beyond
Children's Department - storytime with a librarian, parents, and toddlers
Children's Department - a fish themed mosaic and vintage water fountain on a wall by the exit
Children's Department room entrance
First Card
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Pratt Library card in hand

First Card

Children up to age six can borrow books using their own library card with the Pratt First Card.

Guide to Picture Books
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Grandpa reading to young children

Guide to Picture Books

Learn more about the different types of picture books and the benefits of pictures books in child development.