FAQs for Parents

Do you have questions about Ramsey County Libraries?  We have the answers!

Do you have weekly storytimes or read-aloud programs for young children?

My kid is a visual learner.  Do you have DVDs?

My child can be loud and rowdy; can we still come to the library?

It's raining and I need to get out of the house with my kids! Is there anything to do at the library?

Why is there a dog in the library?

How old does my child have to be to get a library card?

Why do you have video games in the library?

My child is struggling with school.  Does the library offer any homework help?

Does the library have fun stuff for my teenager?

What library services do you offer for middle and high school students?

Can my child's group get a tour of the library?

Did you visit my child's classroom?

What activities do you offer for kids during the summer?

Is there a children's specialist I can go to for more help?

Ramsey County Library Policies and Procedures


Q. Do you have weekly storytimes or read-aloud programs for young children?

 A. Ramsey County Library is committed to early literacy. We host storytimes every weekday somewhere in our system.  Family Storytime (ages 2 to 5) generally lasts 30 minutes and includes books, songs, fingerplays, storytelling and movement activities to get kids fired up about reading.  Baby & Me storytime (infants 6 to 23 months) is shorter with a playtime afterwards and is intended to introduce the joys of books.  Hope you can join us!  

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 Q. My kid is a visual learner.  Do you have DVDs?

 A. Yes we do!  We are very proud of our juvenile DVD collection. We offer an excellent selection of educational videos and the very best in popular favorites.  We also have "talking books" on CD, magazines for kids, storybags*, storykits**, graphic novels, board books, beginning readers . . . and of course every kind of fiction and non-fiction book for ages 2 to 12! 

*Storybags are kept at several of our branches and consist of two picture books and one toy, puppet or puzzle. They can be found in the online catalog under the keyword 'storybag'.** Storykits are large tubs kept at the library in Roseville that contain books and objects/toys that center on a theme (such as Seasons or Dinosaurs) and are intended for ages 3 to 5.  These unique kits can be found in the online catalog under the keyword 'storykit'.   Still have questions?  Ask a librarian!

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Q. My child can be loud and rowdy; can we still come to the library?

A.  Ramsey County Library invites all children to enjoy our facilities.  That said, you may want to view outings with children to the library as great opportunities to model appropriate library behavior.  While the children’s section of the library is generally a bit noisier than sections intended for adult use, “inside” voices are still encouraged!

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 Q. It's raining and I need to get out of the house with my kids!  Is there anything to do at the library?

A.  Each library offers a special section dedicated to children's books and media as well as places for families to read and play together.  Each children’s area offers a variety of puzzles, puppets and other toys intended to encourage creative play between kids and their caregivers.  These spaces also have computers for kids to use BookFlix -- an online literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks -- or just search the Internet.

And when it's not raining, the library in Roseville has a Children's Reading Garden that is open for outdoor exploration in the spring, summer and fall. It is accessible only through the children's room, and families are encouraged to use this space as an extension of the library.  You can even come have a picnic outdoors!  Come, explore and enjoy the kids’ spaces at Ramsey County Library!

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Q. Why is there a dog at the library?

A. It can be surprising to see a pup at your local library, but the pooch in question is most likely part of an exciting program called Paws to Read.  Paws to Read gives beginning readers the opportunity to practice their reading skills with registered therapy dogs.  The relaxed atmosphere helps kids develop fluency and confidence as they read out loud to a friendly, non-judgmental (not to mention soft and furry) listener. 

Paws to Read is just one of many programs Ramsey County Library offers to school-aged children. Throughout the year, there are opportunities to join book clubs, attend family movie nights, work with artists, and play games.  Check with the children’s librarian at each branch to find out about upcoming opportunities!

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 Q. How old does my child have to be to get a library card?

 A. Children are encouraged to have their own library cards starting at any age.  Ramsey County Library holds an annual event to facilitate and celebrate kindergartners in obtaining their first library card.  Ask your children’s librarian for more information about this program! 

Minors under 16 are required to have a parent or legal guardian with picture ID and proof of current address present in order to obtain or replace a library card.   Additionally, children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian in order to assign or change their PIN. With proper identification, a parent or legal guardian is authorized to impose specific restrictions on the library records of their minor children.  Parents are responsible for their children's library use. The Library staff will attempt to honor those restrictions where technologically feasible.

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Q. Why do you have video games in the library?

A.  Video games are a great way to promote community and build relationships for kids and teens!  Gaming uses many of the skills kids need to be successful in a technologically focused world -- working collaboratively, problem solving and understanding complex scenarios.  All of these abilities translate into schoolwork and ultimately into being a successful adult.

Roseville and White Bear Lake libraries have regular gaming after school in the teen room for ages 12 to 19.  Maplewood has teen gaming every Thursday from 3:30 to 5 p.m.  Mounds View, Shoreview, North St. Paul and New Brighton libraries offer gaming when possible.

Roseville offers gaming for kids under 12 in the children’s room every day after 1 p.m. and on weekends.

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Q.  My child is struggling with school.  Does the library offer any homework help?

 A.  While we don't offer one-on-one in-house tutoring, we do offer an excellent web-based tutoring site called "Homework Rescue".  Not only can students in grades K-12 use their computer to instant message with a live instructor, you can also download papers for editing help, take sample tests in several subject areas, or get help with a foreign language.  Homework Rescue is an excellent resource. We hope your student finds it useful!

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Q. Does the library have fun stuff for my teenager?

A.  As much as possible, we ask teens what they would like to do and plan around their interests.  We have Book Clubs, Anime and Manga Clubs, Teen Advisory Boards, Video Gaming, Teen Technology classes, and new programs all the time.  You can check out our events page on the Teens site to see what's coming up in the near future, as well as the Explore newsletter for quarterly offerings.   If you have a suggestion for a program or club, please let us know!

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Q. What library services do you offer middle and high school students?

A.  More than you might think!  Our teen librarians are available to visit your school and give book talks on new titles or thematic subjects, teach students about informational literacy, explain how to use our databases for homework research, hold an e-reader workshop, and brainstorm about possible collaborations.  If your school wants to make sure everybody has a library card and knows how the library works, we would be happy to schedule a visit for that as well.  We're open to new ideas, so feel free to contact us.

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 Q.  Can my child's group get a tour of the library?

A.  We would love to show you around our libraries!  Tours of the buildings are available by contacting the children’s librarian at each specific branch.  Tours include a detailed look at the children’s room and its collections and features, and a behind the scenes visit to the book return and check in area.  Let us know if you have a specific focus or need. We will be happy to work with you to customize your tour.

Please allow at least two weeks planning time for any requested tour.

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Q. Did you visit my child's classroom?

A. There are two times when we visit all Ramsey County public schools to promote literacy. We visit Kindergarten classrooms in November to encourage kids to get their first library card as well as invite them to our celebratory Kindergarten Card Party.  In late May/early June, we visit 2nd graders to promote all the fun activities and prizes that go with the Summer Reading Program. Why do we pick 2nd graders specifically? Because these are the kids who are almost, if not already, independent readers, and we want to encourage them at this crucial stage to continue reading as much as we can. Visiting the schools is one way we show students that their school and public libraries make a great team!

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Q. What activities do you offer for kids during the summer?

 A. Ramsey County Library hosts "Bookawocky," the Summer Reading Program. This program is designed to encourage kids to continue reading while out of school by awarding prizes for readers who reach pre-set reading goals. We also offer a variety of programs, workshops and book clubs throughout the summer for children of all ages.

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Q. Is there a children's specialist I can go to for more help?

A.  Each Ramsey County Library has a Children's Librarian on staff that is more than happy to help.  Does your child need book ideas for a report?  Are you wondering how to help your 4-year-old prepare for kindergarten?  Or maybe you just need some ideas for your child who devours books like they're made out of pizza.  Whatever your need, we can help!  Click on these links to email the Children's Librarian at your branch:

Monica Stratton, RCL - Maplewood

Amy Boese, RCL - Maplewood: Teens

Ann Wahlstrom, RCL - Mounds View

Tami Lee, RCL - New Brighton/North St. Paul

Jennifer Dietrich, RCL - Roseville

Nicole Brinkman, RCL - Roseville

Marcus Lowry, RCL - Roseville: Teens

Angie Miller, RCLShoreview

Anna Haase Krueger, RCL - White Bear Lake

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