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

Two New Permanent StoryWalks®!

The library’s Youth Services team is delighted to announce the installation of two all-new, permanent StoryWalks® in Eau Claire. 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.

Andy Neborak, Executive Director of the United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley, says, “We’re honored to support this project. The StoryWalk® project advances the development and learning of children and also supports the mental and physical well-being of these children and their families. These were all primary goals of our recovery grant process. After a long year, people are eager to get outside and enjoy a wonderful Wisconsin summer.”

Open now, locals will find the walks in Owen Park and Carson Park. The Carson Park walk is located around the main playground. The Owen Park walk can be found along the Chippewa Valley State Trail, starting near the playground. Each park features a different story, which will be switched out on a regular basis.

Extra, extra! The library’s popular BookBike and Dabble Box team will be visiting the StoryWalks® this summer so you can check out books, sign up for a library card, register for the Summer Library Program, grab a take and make bag, ask reference questions, and more. 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, weather permitting. Learn more about the BookBike here.

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.

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.

Meet the Parenting Collection

Parents and caregivers, let me introduce you to Youth Services’ new(ish) parenting collection!

Launched at the end of 2019, this collection contains materials for both children and adults on a range of family topics. You’ll find picture books for children about welcoming a new baby, potty training, adoption, divorce, and managing emotions. You’ll also find informational books for parents and caregivers of children ages 0-8 that focus on four main categories:

Click on the links above to see book suggestions in each of those categories.

Browse the whole parenting collection online, or visit the library in person during our appointment-free library service hours. Find our current schedule here.

Building Brains by Playing with Your Children

Parents, did you realize that children develop essential skills that help them learn how to read long before formal reading instruction begins? These are called early literacy skills, and they include vocabulary, print motivation, phonological awareness, print awareness, letter knowledge, and narrative skills.

How do children gain these skills, exactly? The answer is simple. Through everyday nurturing interactions with you! When you talk, read, sing, and play with your children, you are helping them build these foundational skills, and you’re strengthening your bond with your child in the process. Win, win!

*This is the fourth post in a series of blogs about utilizing the early literacy practices (talk, read, sing, play) to foster your child’s development. This entry focuses on the practice of playing.

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.” –Fred Rogers

Research has consistently shown the positive impacts of play on child development. Through play, children practice and develop social skills, language skills, cognitive skills, and motor skills.

Play takes many forms and evolves throughout a child’s early years. Exploring their surroundings, building with blocks, creating art or music, dancing, and pretending are just a handful of the myriad ways in which young children play.

If you’re like the average parent, time and energy are precious commodities. Rest assured that setting aside just a few minutes a day to play with your child will strengthen your relationship and yield benefits that extend far beyond the years they’re interested in pretending you’re a dinosaur.

Make the most of playtime with these tips:

  • Let your child take the lead.
  • Make observations (“You built a structure with 7 blocks.”).
  • Ask open-ended questions (“What are you making?”).
  • Pose challenges (“I wonder what would happen if…”).
  • Focus your praise on their effort, rather than the outcome. This is key to developing a growth mindset.
  • Set up invitations to play by arranging a few enticing materials in a play space for your child to discover.
  • Add variety. Take it outside, add movement, create art, make a sensory bin, read a book and pretend to be the characters afterward, etc.

Want some fresh ideas for playful activities to enjoy with your young child? Check out this list of books from our parenting collection that will inspire YOU to ask your child, “Wanna play with me?”