Pflugerville librarian: Plenty of offerings for children under 5

Along with storytimes, the Pflugerville Public Library has many resources available for parents of preschool-age children.

The Pflugerville Public Library offers two different sessions of storytime every week: one on Mondays and one on Thursdays. We have Baby Time twice a week, too, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There is also Pajama Storytime in the evening twice a month.

It is an expectation for libraries to offer storytime and we already do; so, this article is not about how many storytimes the library offers and when they are offered. Parents and caregivers will find that information on our online event calendar at Parents and caregivers correctly anticipate that when they bring their kids to baby time or storytime, someone will read some cute picture books, sing fun songs, count, talk about colors and maybe recite the alphabet with them, too.

This article is about other resources that are available for parents of preschool-age children. We want to help you get your children ready for kindergarten and have a successful school life. In addition to the library’s collection of books and other materials for children under age 5, we have electronic resources, programs and events that support the practices and early literacy components that will secure every kid’s success in school.

With everyday routines and activities, parents develop their children’s phonemical awareness, vocabulary, print awareness, and letter and background knowledge. When you sing together, talk to each other, read together and play together, you boost your little one’s vocabulary and develop their language and social skills. Allowing children to draw pictures and make crafts and play with blocks develops their fine motor skills. The library supports parents and caregivers’ teaching these skills by providing resources that will help them facilitate learning success to their children.

Our Read-to-Me Bundlescollection is meant to promote the parent/caregiver bond with children and to bring the storytime experience home. We have over 50 themed bundles that include an activity sheet with ideas to do at home before, during and after reading. Book selections represent a variety of cultures, ethnicities and experiences that recognize the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Themes feature cats, dogs, dinosaurs and more. They also include holidays from around the world.

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge for children up to age 6 kicked off at the library in September. Staff carefully planned the activities to align with the Kindergarten Readiness Checklist created by the Pflugerville school district. All five pillars of literacy:  singing, talking, reading, writing and playing are supported while you achieve your goal together.

Over the past 12 months, the library distributed 200 kits with board books for babies that included ideas on how best to read them at home with your little ones. We will have 100 School Readiness kits for children ages 3 and 4 for distribution at the end of November. We appreciate the Friends of the Pflugerville Library for their support funding programs like this.

Electronic resources are available for free once you log in to your account in the online catalog. When you set your Hoopla account to kids’ mode, you will find videos, music and books appropriate for little ones. LOTE for Kids includes digital storybooks in over 45 languages. MakeMake provides books only in Spanish. Scholastic Teachables is a database with thousands of printable educational materials such as coloring sheets, worksheets and more. TumbleBooks are animated talking picture books in English, Spanish and French.

For hands-on experiences, the library has some maker kits that are appropriate for our youngest guests to explore with adult supervision. These include a collection of early learning kits that introduce kids to shapes, letters, colors, numbers and more.

As part of our regular programming, we have festivals and events for families with children. The sixth annual Library Con was in September. Winter Pfest will be back in January and a Farm Day will be in the spring. We are scheduling special guests again! We love having artists and instructors that promote music and arts all year long. On occasion we have events with animals, too. Please visit our online calendar to view listings.

Everyone is welcome at the library. If you need special accommodations to attend a program or to come browse our materials, please contact the library by phone at 512- 990-6375 or by email at Keep in mind that our staff is happy to help you find the materials you are looking for every day. If you would like specific title suggestions, please fill out our book recommendations form online at

As our mission states, the library will continue to joyfully engage, inspire, inform and entertain our community. Parents are the first and most important teachers their children will have.  Reading with children results in school success. Taking your children to the library will help them to develop their love and respect for books. It is a good idea to include the library in your weekly trips to browse and grab books and participate in regular programs and special events.

Carmen Lazo is the children's community programs administrator at the Pflugerville Public Library.

Carmen Lazo

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Pflugerville librarian: Plenty of offerings for children under 5