New Activity Backpacks

You may be familiar with the Nature Backpacks in Youth Services. Well, we have some exciting news.  There are 8 all-new backpack themes available to check out! Activity backpacks are a collection of approximately 3-5 books and various activities based on a theme. Learn a new magic trick using sleight of hand in the Magic Tricks and Illusions Activity Backpack. Interested in an outdoor scavenger hunt and fun game of Capture the Flag? You’ll find that in the Outdoor Adventures Backpack. Check out the Engineering theme for building challenges with Keva Contraptions.  Take a look at all the new themes here:

  • Animals
  • Boredom Busters
  • Engineering
  • Family Game Night
  • Magic Tricks and Illusions
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Puzzler
  • STEAM

Books and activities in the Activity Backpacks are curated for children in elementary school to early middle school. Newly updated Play Kits for children approximately ages 3-5 are coming soon! Contact Youth Services at 715-839-5007 or ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us for more info.

Boredom Busters

When is the best time to play on a pogo stick? Springtime!

While spring isn’t here quite yet, Spring Break is fast approaching, and with it a whole week of your kids looking for something fun to do. Here at the library we have lots of books with activity, experiment, craft, recipe, and game ideas for kids of all ages. Check out some ideas here.

We also have some great activity and craft videos from past years that demonstrate fun ideas to do with your family. Even though materials are no longer available from the library for most of these videos, you can still gather materials around your house and plan a fun crafting session with your family. Check out the playlist here.

Finally, the library is planning a week of activities for Spring Break including special scavenger hunts, take and make activity bags while supplies last, live online storytimes, and our always popular Family Bingo Online program. Learn more here!

Art Week at the Library!

Chase away the February blues with Art Week at the library! Most Eau Claire schools are off Thursday and Friday, so we are celebrating!

All week long, the Youth Services division will offer drop-in art stations and scavenger hunts in the library.

We are also hosting professional artist Dan Gogh who will be teaching two free art workshops online! The “Drawing Animals Workshop” is offered for elementary aged students, and tweens and teens in 5th grade can attend the “Drawing Manga Workshop.” Both are on Friday, February 25. Register here to receive the zoom link.

But, wait, there’s more!

On Thursday, February 24, join us on Zoom for Pajama Storytime Online at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to snuggle up in your snazziest PJs! This Storytime will feature bedtime stories, songs, and all the Storytime fun you’ve come to expect. Register here to receive the Zoom link.

And, of course, we always offer books, movies, video games, maker kits, and so much more, so stock-up for chilly weather and family time. Be sure to stop down – we’re always happy to see you!

Snuggle up for Pajama Storytime

Snuggle up in your snazziest PJs on Tuesday, December 28 at 6:30 p.m., and join us online for Pajama Storytime! Featuring bedtime stories, songs, and more.

This storytime is geared for kids aged 0-4 and their families, and kids of all ages are welcome. Storytime will take place live via Zoom—a free online and mobile video conferencing app. Registering for Pajama Storytime signs you up for all of our Virtual Storytimes. Feel free to attend any or all of the events! Learn more.

Registration is required. Participants will receive a Zoom link to connect.

Thanksgiving Break Week is back!

It’s approaching…that week of school-free delight (or horror, depending on who you are): Thanksgiving Break! Whether you’re looking forward to November 20-27 with joy in your heart or with trepidation, be sure to stop by your library for a feast of fun activities during our special Thanksgiving Break Week.

All week long, the Youth Services division will offer take & make activity bags (while supplies last) and scavenger hunts in-library, as well as kid-friendly recipes and how-to videos online.

But, wait, there’s more!

On Tuesday, November 23, join us on Zoom for Pajama Storytime Online at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to snuggle up in your snazziest PJs! This Storytime will feature bedtime stories, songs, and all the Storytime fun you’ve come to expect. Register here to receive the Zoom link.

But, wait, there’s even more!

On Wednesday, November 24, we’re offering Family BINGO Online, 1-2 p.m., on Zoom. All materials and prizes provided, while supplies last. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link and a BINGO bag. BINGO bags may be picked up from Youth Services starting on November 8. Register here!

And, of course, we always offer books, movies, video games, maker kits, and so much more, so stock-up for chilly weather and family time. Be sure to stop down – we’re always happy to see you!

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with VOX Books

Just in time to help you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve received a large selection of bilingual Spanish/English VOX books. VOX books are picture books that talk! Each of these beautiful story books has an audio player that lives inside. They are USB-chargeable, and are perfect for car rides, bedtime, lazy time, or anytime! And our new bilingual VOX books can be a great aid in your family’s language learning endeavors.

Learning a new language can be tricky, especially for adults. Starting young offers many rewards for children.  Research supports starting bilingual education as young as preschool, or even younger. Very young children are quick to learn and pick up a new language. It is clear that learning and hearing a second language helps cognitive development, communication, reading skills and cultural awareness. Start learning today with bilingual Spanish/English VOX books!

Below are just a few of the benefits of learning a second language during childhood:

Higher Test Scores: Students who learned or studied a foreign language perform much better than their monolingual peers on many standardized tests.

Gives brains a boost: Exposure to multiple languages is an excellent way of building brain muscles! Bilingual children who had been exposed to a second language from an early age proved to have the more grey matter, which is responsible for processing information, including memory, speech and sensory perception.

Better and more advanced reading skills: Bilingual children’s knowledge of a second language gives them an advantage in learning to read.

Natural-sounding, native-like accent: Children are attuned to slight differences in tone and sound. Their sensitive ears pick up on the tricky sounds that adults may stumble over.

Greater grasp of one’s first language: Children use what they learn in one language to reinforce concepts and terms they’ve learned in the other, plus a bigger and richer vocabulary!

There are so many benefits children can reap when they learn a second language. My family loves VOX books! We are excited to utilize the new bilingual Spanish/English VOX books to start our journey of learning a second language. To check out our entire selection of VOX books, head over to the MORE catalog!

New stories available in the parks!

Both of the two StoryWalks® available in Eau Claire parks have recently been updated with new stories! Stop by Owen Park to explore Being a Frog by April Pulley Sayre and Carson Park to check out Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas.

The walks were created in partnership with the City of Eau Claire’s Parks & Forestry Division and made possible through a COVID Recovery Grant from United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley. StoryWalks® combine literacy with physical activity, placing large, colorful book pages at regular intervals along a walking route, encouraging users to walk (or run or skip or hop) as they read the book and/or enjoy the pictures.

Try it out with your littles! Take a pic of your family enjoying the StoryWalks® and tag @ecpubliclibrary on social media or email it to Youth Services (listed below). We may feature your photo on our website and social media pages. 

Be sure to bookmark our StoryWalks® page to find current story and location details – and to take our feedback survey!

Contact Youth Services at 715-839-5007 or ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us to learn more. The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

NEW! In-Person Storytime

Storytime Song (Tune: London Bridge)

Monday morning storytime
Owen Park, Owen Park
It’s in-person storytime
Come and join us!

That’s right, folks! In-Person storytime* returns at 10 a.m. on Mondays, July 12 – August 9 at Owen Park (1st Avenue) near the playground. Enjoy playful stories, songs, rhymes, and movement. This storytime is great for families with children ages 0-5, but the whole family is welcome. No registration required.

Safety: We ask that kids stay with their adults to help with social distancing. We’ll mark off sitting areas to help ensure enough space between groups of attendees. We highly encourage wearing masks while in large groups, even at outdoor events such as Storytime in Owen Park.

Important! If you are experiencing COVID symptoms, please stay home. If possible, consider attending our virtual Storytime.

Extra! Extra! Our BookBike will also be in Owen Park near the playground on Monday mornings (9 a.m. to noon) and our Dabble Box staff will be on hand to offer creative play and projects such as coding and robotics, water coloring, button making, and more. While you’re at it, enjoy a story while you stroll through Owen Park with our new, permanent StoryWalk®.

In-Person Storytime, BookBike, and Dabble Box activities are all weather permitting.

*Virtual storytime on Zoom will continue through July 28 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Dabble Box Joins the BookBike for Summer Fun!


This summer, the library’s BookBike will join forces with our Dabble Box makerspace to visit area parks and help locals connect with library services and materials.

The library’s Dabble Box room—a DIY makerspace offering educational STEAM projects and equipment—is on hiatus while the library is using its temporary location. However, Dabble Box staff will be venturing outdoors this summer to offer creative play and projects through a rotating selection of activities such as coding and robotics, water coloring, button making, and more.

Weather permitting, beginning June 1, the BookBike and the Dabble Box will be in Owen Park on Mondays, 9 a.m.–noon; and in Carson Park on Wednesdays, 9 a.m.–noon.

Read with us this summer!

The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s annual Summer Library Program kicks off today!

Nurture your child’s interest in reading by signing them up for the Summer Library Program. Reading during the summer months helps prevent summer slide, a decline in reading ability and academic skills. Research shows that participation in summer reading programs can increase reading skills, motivation, confidence, and enjoyment. Find out how to get started below!

Summer Reading Program

Youth ages 0 to 18 can earn a free book this summer by participating in the Summer Library Program.

It’s as easy as 1–2–3!

  • Sign up anytime, June 1–August 14.
  • Read (or be read to) and complete activities.
  • Complete your reading goal and activities by August 14 to earn your free book!

How to Start…

Want to know more? Check out our Summer Library Program page to sign-up, download our event flyer, and so much more.

Questions? Call 715-839-5007 or email ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us