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?

Does the library have a collection of eBooks for kids?

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 reading, singing, and playing together to caregivers and their babies. Hope you can join us!  

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Q. Does the library have a collection of eBooks for kids?

A. Absolutely! Ramsey County Library offers eBooks through the CloudLibrary app where you will find a diverse collection of picture books, juvenile fiction, teen fiction, and a small collection of kids non-fiction. Click here for more info, or ask a librarian!

 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, eBooks, 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.

The library in Roseville also has a Children's Reading Garden that is always open for outdoor exploration. 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 a program called Paws to Read. Paws to Read gives beginning readers the opportunity to practice their reading skills with registered therapy dogs (or rabbits, or horses, or just about any type of therapy pet!). 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. Each child must register for a chance to read, so contact your library to learn more.

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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. However, Ramsey County Library does hold 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. Check with your library to find out when in-library gaming is available! Each library also has a selection of video games that can be checked out for play at home.

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

 A.  Homework Help with a volunteer tutor may be available at the library in Roseville. Call for more information. Ramsey County Libraries also 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 try to build our programs around weekend and after school hours, including clubs for anime and geekery, video gaming, technology classes, and art projects. We also have time set aside each week for hands-on creation and exploration in our makerspaces, The Brain Box. With access to 3D printers, sewing machines, vinyl cutters, basic robotics, and hand-held tools, everyone can find something to do in The Brain Box, located at Roseville, Shoreview, and Maplewood. For more information about The Brain Box or any of our classes and clubs, check out our events page on the Teens site 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 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 for children of all ages. 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.

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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 Youth Services Librarian at your branch:

Amy Boese, RCL - Maplewood: Teens

Anna Haase Krueger, RCL - Maplewood

Mary Wetterlin, RCL - Mounds View

Tami Lee, RCL - New Brighton

Monica Stratton, RCL - North St. Paul

Jennifer Dietrich, RCL - Roseville

Nicole Brinkman, RCL - Roseville

Marcus Lowry, RCL - Roseville: Teens

Angie Miller, RCLShoreview

Paige Fuller, RCL - Shoreview: Teens

Ann Wahlstrom, RCL - White Bear Lake

 

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