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Libraries update:

Like many other council services, Essex County Council has begun a phased approach to re-open libraries in line with government guidelines. Initially, sixteen sites are open from Monday 6 July 2020.

Find out more in our news story. Frequently asked questions.

Babies and toddlers

Introducing children to books and other resources at an early age can have a big impact on their development. No child is too young to join the library so make sure your little one has their own card; its quick and easy to sign them up.

At all of our libraries, you will find a wealth of picture books which they will love. We even have board books especially designed for little hands to hold.

Online Rhymetimes

While our libraries are shut, you can still enjoy the Rhymetime experience with some of our library stars sharing rhymes, songs and stories.

Session 1: 3 April 2020

Session 2: 9 April 2020

Session 3: 17 April 2020

Session 4: 24 April 2020

Session 5 - Pyjamarama Special: 1 May 2020

Session 6: 7 May 2020 Temporally unavailable

Session 7: 15 May 2020

Session 8: 22 May 2020

Session 9: 29 May 2020

Session 10: 5 June 2020

Session 11 - Empathy Day Special: 9 June 2020

Session 12 - Daddy Cool Special: 19 June 2020

Session 13 - STEAM Special: 26 June 2020

Online Story Times

We all love sharing stories whatever age we are and it’s never too early to start. Reading together is so much fun and it’s good for us too! Share a children’s book with us online today.

Story time - Peace at Last: 7 April 2020

Story time - The Snail and the Whale: 14 April 2020

Story time - Little Snow White: 21 April 2020 (This story may not be suitable for younger children)

Story time - The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water: 19 May 2020

Story time - Elmer: 23 May 2020

Story time - The Detective Dog: 26 May 2020

Story time - The Gruffalo: 2 June 2020

Story time - The Paper Dolls: 9 June 2020

Story time - I Hate My Teddy Bear: 16 June 2020

Story time - Cave Baby: 23 June 2020

Baby and Toddler Rhymetimes

Baby and toddler sessions run in all Essex libraries and offer a great opportunity for you and your child to share rhymes, have fun together and join in with other families. To find your nearest session, search for events in your local library.

Some libraries have volunteering opportunities to help with baby and toddler times.

Breastfeeding Welcome

All Essex Libraries support the Breastfeeding Welcome scheme promoted by Virgin Care, and carry a certificate showing our commitment to supporting breastfeeding mothers. Find information to help support breastfeeding when out and about at the Virgin Care website.

Family reading activities

Ideas to extend the fun of your child's favourite story and recommended reads that include ideas for outside activities.

Parent information

Sign up for our parents' e-newsletter, which is produced three times a year, to keep up to date with all our latest news. 

Find out more about books to support parents and carers dealing with those challenging issues associated with bringing up children.


You should receive the Bookstart Baby pack from the Registrar when registering a baby's birth. You should receive the Treasure Pack via their nursery, children’s centre or other early years setting when your child is 3-4 years old. If you prefer you can request either pack from your local library.

Visit the Bookstart website to find out more about the Bookstart project and take part in lots of fun activities.

10 Library Things to do for babies and toddlers

Looking for ideas for things to do with your pre-school child? We’ve put together a checklist of 10 Library Things to do – have a look today and see how many you can check off.

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