Under-fives

Squirrel and hedgehog holding my first library card banner

Children are welcome to join the library from birth and enjoy the great choice of board and picture books in our libraries. There are plenty of spaces to explore, free activities to enjoy and stories to share. Regularly sharing books, stories and rhymes can have a big impact on their development and helps to build a baby's early language skills whilst encouraging a lifelong love of reading.

10 things you will find for under-fives in our children’s libraries

  • Board books: sturdy books for little hands!
  • Picture books: beautifully illustrated stories to share including fairy tales and bedtime stories
  • Books for learning new nursery rhymes and songs
  • Early learning: books about colours, shapes, animals, to help your child understand the world around them
  • New experiences: books to help your child face new situations such as going to the doctor, starting playgroup or the arrival of a new baby
  • Sensory, tactile and interactive books including braille to engage all children
  • Stories in other languages: picture books for families whose first language is not English
  • Free eBooks and eAudiobooks using BorrowBox
  • Free events and activities
  • Family-friendly library spaces to share stories

We also have books to help you as a parent on useful topics such as child development, weaning, feeding, potty training and coping with toddlers.

My First Library Card

My First Library Card is designed especially for our younger readers by local illustrator Iain Welch and will be available in libraries and participating preschools from January 2020.

Find out more about My First Library Card.

The Squirrel Club – starting January 2020

Squirrel and hedgehog reading a book together

When your child joins the library they can take part in the Squirrel Club.

Collect a sticker for every visit you make to the library. When you have all four stickers your child will receive a special reward. Hurray!

Keep a look out for free Squirrel Club activities and events happening in a library near you.

BookstartBookstart logo showing big and little bear reading together

A parent is a child’s first teacher and can shape the way they learn by sharing books and rhymes. Sharing books with babies and toddlers strengthens bonds, increases language skills and helps them to understand the world around them. Research also shows that babies and toddlers who love books begin reading sooner and go on to fare better at school, in all areas of the curriculum.

Bookstart is a national book gifting programme which encourages parents to share books with their children from an early age and helps promote the benefits of libraries to families.

In Herefordshire your child will receive their first Bookstart baby pack from a health visitor and the second Treasure Book Pack from their nursery 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 Bookstart and take part in lots of fun activities.

If you are a preschool manager or supervisor or childminder, see our library preschool resources page for information about ordering Bookstart packs.

Bounce and Rhyme

Our popular Bounce and Rhyme sessions run in Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Leominster and Bromyard libraries. These are lively sessions with rhymes, songs, and musical instruments. The sessions are free, and all little ones are welcome. It's a perfect way to introduce your baby to the love of books. Find out more at your local library.

Special events may also run during school holidays. Please check our events page for more details on our Bounce and Rhyme sessions.