Children's Department

About Youth Services

Youth Services staff strive to meet the educational and recreational needs of children from birth through twelfth grade. Our Children's Services area at each MPHPL location specializes in materials and programming for children from birth through sixth grade.  We work closely with parents/caregivers, educators, and children to provide materials and programming to help match the needs of children at each stage of development.  Below are just some of the services that we offer:


The goal of programming is to provide children with a welcoming environment to have fun, learn, socialize, and develop a love of literature as well as providing an overall positive library experience for both children and adults.  Storytimes are offered for children 12 months to age 5, incorporating stories, songs, finger plays, crafts, and other hands-on activities.  Visit our Storytimes page to learn more.  For our elementary-aged patrons, crafts, Lego clubs, gardening, and special reading and learning opportunities allow children to hone their own unique interests.  Performances by the ROZ Puppets, visits from other special guests, provide fun for the whole family throughout the year.

Class Visits

The Youth Services staff of the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library love when classes visit the library!  All three MPHPL locations can help your students get their first library cards, learn library loan rules, find out how to take care of books, and receive a tour of our Children's Services area.  Students who visit the Mishawaka Library can also visit the Heritage Center and get an up-close look at original Mishawaka Police Station jail cells or learn more about Mishawaka's Sister City, Shiojiri.

Would you rather the library come to you?  We are more than happy to visit classrooms for storytimes, book clubs, book talks, research projects, and more.  

To schedule a class visit, please contact the library location you wish to visit at least two weeks in advance.


The Children's Services area at each MPHPL location has computers for use by children eleven years of age and under. PC stations have Microsoft Office and Internet Access. Children must have a library card in order to access the computers. The cost to print is .15 per page for black and white copies.  Color copies may be made by request for .50 per page.  iPads are available to use (no library card needed) for up to 30 continuous minutes of use per day.  Children must sign in at the Youth Services desk for a computer or iPad. Adults must stay with their children aged eleven and under per the library's Unattended Child Policy.

Summer Reading

The goal of summer reading is to help prevent 'summer slide' and remind children that reading is fun!  By signing your pre-reader up for the summer reading program, you can establish a good reading habit for your child for many years to come.  Caregivers or older siblings are encouraged to read with the littlest summer readers to earn incentives. For those reading independently, the summer reading program encourages a child to continue with their reading throughout the summer months.  Studies have found that a child who continues to read during summer break is better equipped for learning the following school year.  The summer reading program encourages children to read based on their interests - no tests or book reports!

In addition to the reading portion of the program, summer reading provides programming with an emphasis on reaching elementary aged children. Programming is often based on the yearly summer reading theme.  Information about the Summer Reading program and related events is typically available every year in May.


Children's Blog

Curl Up with A Book You Love

Books can take us to distant lands, help us learn a new skill, and bring our imaginations to life. Stories can have a strong impact on our ideas, our hopes, and even what we want to grow up to be! 

All Stuffed with Fluff

Winnie the Pooh Day is celebrated on the 18th of January (A. A. Milne's Birthday). If it’s too blustery to go out and take a walk in your local Hundred Acre Wood, stay tucked into your cozy home. There are many ways to celebrate this fun day with your child without ever stepping outside. 

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Parents can register any child between the age of birth to five (Pre-Kindergarten) for our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program!  Visit your preferred MPHPL location to receive your welcome folder.  You have the option of using a paper log sheet or logging books into ReadSquared, our new online reading program software. Click to learn more about the program.

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