Visiting the Library with Your Class
Visits for Preschool Groups
We want preschoolers to feel comfortable in the library, and to feel eager to explore and enjoy the resources that enliven and enrich children's lives! For your visit the librarians will be happy to:
- Schedule a special storytime of favorite stories, books, fingerplays, and more.
- Select age-appropriate books on a theme of your choice.
- Help find the right audio and video materials for young listeners.
When schedules permit, we will also visit your location to speak to parents and teachers about selecting books for your listeners, showcasing classics as well as recent favorites.
Visits for Elementary School Classes
We want primary students (Grades K – 2) to feel at ease using the library and to discover the excitement of new books and information.
- A first visit will include a tour of the children's area and a description of our services.
- As time permits, we'll gladly prepare a program of stories or booktalks for your class.
Upper elementary students (Grades 3 – 5) are beginning to develop specialized library and reading skills. For them, you may also want to request:
- An introduction to materials that will kick off a particular topic or project;
- An introduction to the Library's on-line resources;
- Booktalks to spark excitement about a particular genre or assignment.
How to Arrange a Class Visit
Every Berkeley Public Library location has a Children's Services librarian who works with all public and private preschool, elementary and middle schools in Berkeley. Here is how to make an appointment:
- Two weeks' advance notice is required.
- Call your preferred BPL location to make arrangements with a children's librarian (see Contact information).
- Let the librarian know if you want a special topic or service.
- If you want your students to check out books during your visit, see the section about library card applications.
- Each group may schedule up to one visit per month.
- Class/Group Visit Checklist for planning your visit. (PDF File)
We look forward to seeing you and your class at the library!
Students who do not have cards can obtain cards during your class visit if we have a completed application form in hand before the visit.
- Download a Library card application for students. (PDF File)
- Bring completed forms to us at least five working days before your visit. Library cards will be created in advance and will be waiting for you and your class.
- We need your help! Please be sure each application is complete, accurate and legible, and that a parent or legal guardian has signed it. This will help to avoid disappointment for your students.
- Please tell parents that new library card applications will not be accepted during the visit when the class is at the library.
Borrowing Books During Your Class Visit
If you want your students to check out books during your visit, they will need to bring their own library cards. Students who do not have cards can obtain them during the visit; please see the section on library cards.
- Books may be borrowed for 3 weeks. DVDs and videos may be borrowed for 1 week.
- There are no overdue fines for children's materials. However, if materials are not returned, a replacement fee is charged.
- A student's record is blocked when overdue fines and fees for lost items exceed $10. Please be aware that a student may not be able to check out materials during your visit due to this circumstance.
- Please do not encourage your students to let other students use their library cards. Many charges on a student's record appear because of books that a friend has borrowed. Help students be responsible borrowers.