Kids Services


Picture of two kids reading in the library surrounded by books.

Kids Events

Read Away Fines

Kids and teens can read books, ebooks, graphic novels or magazines and earn book bucks for fine forgiveness!

How it Works...

  1. Visit any of our four locations, pick out a great book and check in with library staff. We'll set a timer for you to keep track. (We'll even find you something awesome to read)
  2. Find a spot in the Library and start reading.
  3. When you're done reading, go back to your timer to check your time. Every 20 minutes you read earns you a book buck.
  4. Take your bucks to the circulation desk and pay off your fines.

The Fine Print
Book bucks can only be applied to a kid's or teen's library card. Book buck forgiveness cannot exceed the total amount of the fine. Reading must be done in the library.

If you have questions, just ask one of our friendly staff! Let's read away fines together! 

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Simple concept, priceless rewards!Image representing the 1000 books before kindergarten program.

  1. Read books (any books) to your newborn, infant or toddler.
  2. Use the Beanstack app to record them. You get prizes for every 100 books!

Read 1000 books before your SUPER READER starts Kindergarten!

That’s only one book every day for three years -or- ten books a week for two years -or- twenty books a week for one year!

Get the Beanstack App! Apple App Store Logo Google Play Logo

You can also access Beanstack online.

League of Literary Explorers

Join the League of Literary Explorers!

We are a legendary group of kids ages 5 - 12 who explore places real and imaginary through reading. On this adventure, you'll blast off through space to explore new genres.

After signing up on the Beanstack app, you can visit any Waco Library location to pick up your adventure map. Complete your map and collect your reward by reading books that match each planet and comet's genre and record your progress in the Beanstack app. You'll collect a prize when you've visited and read a book for all 10 celestial bodies (as well as a halfway prize at 5 books).

The adventure ends December 31, 2024.

Download the Beanstack App and set sail today on your reading adventure! Apple App Store Logo Google Play Logo

You can also access Beanstack online.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

At the Waco-McLennan County Library, we are proud to partner with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library!Image of Dolly Parton reading with kids.

What is Dolly Parton's Imagination Library?
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a program that gifts free books to children from birth to age five. Caregivers simply need to register their child once and each month, a free book will be delivered to the child's home!

Who is currently eligible?
Children under the age of five who live in the following zip codes: 76701, 76704, 76707, 76708, 76710, 76711.

How do I sign up?
Stop into any one of our branches to get more information and receive a form today!

Kindergarten Readiness

Early literacy is what children know about communication, language (verbal and nonverbal), reading, and writing before they can actually read and write. It encompasses all of a child’s experiences with conversation, stories (oral and written), books, and print. Early literacy is NOT the teaching of reading - it is laying a strong foundation so that when children are taught to read, they are ready.

The image of the tree reflects: 1. aspects of early literacy, 2. the reading process, and 3. the adult’s role in developing early literacy in children.

  1. Oral language is the foundation for all later language. It includes speaking, listening and communication skills. The roots of language development also include non-verbal language, such as body language, facial expressions, and gestures. These developmental components make up the roots of the tree.
  2. The five early literacy skills in the leaves and branches have been identified by researchers as fundamental to reading comprehension as children learn to read. If children come to school with a solid background in these skills, it will be easier for them to learn how to read.
  3. As the adult, YOU are the sun. YOU make a difference in children’s early literacy development by practicing Every Child Ready to Read®'s five practices with your child every day. As you sing, talk, read, write, and play with young children, you have the opportunity to support their pre-reading skills in little ways that add up to make a difference by the time children enter school.
The Five Early Literacy Practices from Every Child Ready to Read®

The five early literacy practices of Every Child Ready to Read® (playing, reading, singing, talking, and writing) are instrumental in helping teach children the early literacy skills they need to be kindergarten ready. Each time one of these is practiced, the skill your child is learning will be reinforced. Keep practicing with them, and they will be kindergarten ready in no time!

Playing is one of the best ways for children to learn language and early literacy skills. By doing activities that help them put thoughts into words and talking about what they are doing, they are able to create a narrative and associate their vocabulary with their actions. Playing also helps them build social skills through their interactions with others!

Reading together develops vocabulary, comprehension, and a lifelong love for reading. Reading with your child can not only help motivate them to want to learn to read on their own, but it serves as a great activity for caregiver/child bonding! Make a goal to read 15-20 minutes a day.

Singing can help develop language-learning skills and slows down language so children can hear the different sounds in words. Through the repetition and rhyme in music, children can learn new words and comprehend new information. Don't worry about how good you are - your child will love it no matter what!

Talking to/with your child helps them learn oral language skills, one of the most critical! Children learn about language by listening to parents talk AND by joining them in the conversation. Ask your child open-ended questions that start with the 5 W's (who, what, when, where, why) to get them involved in conversations.

Reading and writing go hand in hand. Children learn that the printed letters make up words when they see them in their daily lives. Point out written words on signs and trace them with your child when you can.

Early Literacy Tree