Services and resources

Under 5's

It's never too early to join the library - bring your baby along and see what's available at your local library.

Sharing stories and rhymes with babies and young children can help them build early language skills and encourage a lifelong love of reading.

Our libraries are warm, safe spaces. The perfect place to choose books and explore reading with babies and toddlers. Our board books and picture books are perfect for enjoying together.

Our libraries are breastfeeding friendly.

A child and their parent reading

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes project

A series of fun, engaging videos of families with children under the age of five performing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes in languages spoken in their home. Produced to engage more families in singing with their children.

This programme was designed to link in with Kirklees' wider ambitions to encourage communities' involvement in music across Kirklees with families from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, and to improve families' awareness of the importance of music in early language development and the offers that are available from Kirklees Libraries and Early Years settings.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes is a project funded by Kirklees Council's Libraries and Early Years Outcomes in partnership with the Creative Development Team. Filming took place at Batley Library, The Greenwood Centre and The Chestnut Centre.

All join in: Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes - YouTube .

Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Storytimes and rhymetimes

Many of our libraries hold free, regular storytimes or rhymetimes for babies and young children. These engaging, relaxed sessions help children with their language development, as well as giving everyone the opportunity to make new friends. These sessions do not need to be booked in advance, just come along and join in the family friendly fun.



Kirklees Libraries works with BookTrust who offer a free bookstart baby book pack to every baby aged 0-12 months. This free pack includes a book, information leaflet and finger puppet, designed to support and encourage families to read with their child as early as possible. You can collect your free Bookstart Baby book pack from any library in Kirklees.


50 things to do before you are 5

We support families using the 'Kirklees 50 things to do before you are 5' app. It offers a menu of 50 exciting activities in Kirklees, ideal for families with young children - all at no cost or low cost. Each activity is accompanied by a book suggestion, all available from our libraries.


Early years settings

Early years settings in Kirklees, including playgroups, nurseries and childminders, can borrow books from any of our libraries for free. This will support children's learning and development and develop their vocabulary. We also offer storytelling and reading for pleasure support for early years settings providers and teachers.

Email for more details.

Early years settings can also order free Bookstart baby book packs to gift to their children. For more information please contact


Rock-a-bye rhymes

Rock-a-bye rhymes is part of our early years language development offer for families. These bespoke sessions give children aged 0-5 years and their carers, the opportunity to discover the benefits of reading and how this can impact positively on children's language development. Email for more details and to book a session.

Girl looking at books

Activities and events

We offer a free events and activities for all ages which include author visits, illustrators, storytellers, musicians, dancers and poets, theatre performances, or art, craft and digital workshops. Keep up to date on our Events at your local library, by signing up for our e-newsletter, or follow us on social media.


Library Adventures Live! (LAL!)

A free, online programme of events for children aged 4-11. designed to engage them with reading. The fun adventures are designed to encourage reading for pleasure and stimulate creativity with storytelling, draw-alongs, poetry and creative activities to do at home. Watch on our Library Adventures Live YouTube channel .

Boy with headphones on computer

For 5-12 years

Reading for pleasure

We asked children across Kirklees what reading meant to them.

  • "Reading is fun because you can discover new things".
  • "Reading is amazing because it helps me feel relaxed".
  • "Reading is the stuff of dreams because it helps expand your imagination".
  • "Reading is best of all because I can read books at home, books make me happy".

Evidence shows that sharing stories and reading together provides children with life-changing benefits that can positively impact their wellbeing, health, creativity and educational attainment.

Research also shows that reading for pleasure in these crucial years has four times the impact on a child's progress by age 16 than their parent's education or socioeconomic status.

Read more about this research at: Book Trust: Almost a quarter of children from low-income families missing out on the benefits of reading in their first year, BookTrust research shows .

Supporting children to develop a love of reading for pleasure is one of our aims and we understand the difference a love of reading can make in a child's life. We source and provide a wonderful range of books, opportunities, and activities to engage children and their families.

A child and parent looking at books

Books at Kirklees Libraries

We provide a wide range of free, diverse children's fiction and non-fiction books. These books are designed to engage children and their parents and carers in sharing reading opportunities together and to support children to become independent readers. The choice of books includes graphic novels, homework topics, dyslexia friendly books, large print, dual language, books without words and books to help deal with challenging issues.

We also provide free access to e-books and audiobooks for children. Kirklees Libraries: Childrens .

With free reservations for all library customers, you can order a book from any Kirklees Library. Our staff and volunteers are always happy to help you find your favourite authors and topics, as well as suggesting new and exciting books to try.

Get inspired by checking out Kirklees Libraries' Library Adventures Live! on YouTube for interviews with a wonderful range of authors and illustrators talking about their books.

A child holding a book

Class visits

We welcome visits from schools and local groups. The visits are suitable for all ages and abilities, designed to encourage a love of books and reading for pleasure. Our class visits include a tour of the library, time to choose and borrow a book. Children will be invited to join the library prior to the visit. As a library member, children will be able to use their card to borrow and return books to every library across Kirklees.

We also offer tailored visits on subjects such as: empathy; Local History where children can work like young historians and celebrate Kirklees diverse history including Windrush day, and the story of Black Abolitionists Ellen Craft, who visited 19th century Kirklees.

Our Multi-Sensory Storytime encourages children to engage with stories using all their senses.

If you are unable to visit a library, it may be possible for a member of library staff to visit your school or group to talk about the library and reading for pleasure.

To arrange a visit, please email

A child cutting paper

Storywalks and storytrails

A storywalk is a fun activity combining reading and exercise that you can enjoy as a family. We bring stories to life by transforming them into a treasure hunt where children look for elements from the book that have been hidden around the outdoor space. You could drop in to a storytrail in a park or join a group storywalk setting off from a library.

By bringing books outdoors and pairing them with physical activity, storywalks inspire reluctant readers and help awaken a love of books and reading. Learning together as a family impacts on confidence, self-esteem, motivation to learn, and health & well-being.

Look at our events page for details of our next storywalks and storytrails.

A child reading

Walk to your library

Pick up a 'Walk to the library' Storywalk sheet, designed exclusively by illustrator Stephen Waterhouse to make your trip to the library even more fun!

A girl looking at a book


Meet our apprentices

We were joined by three new apprentices in 2022. Read about them below and watch their journey so far at Our Apprenticeship Journey - YouTube .

Sofie - Library Apprentice - North Kirklees

Hello! My name is Sofie, and I am the 2022 Library Apprentice for North Kirklees!

It's only natural to feel nervous on your first day at a new job, but surprisingly I was really excited! Usually, I start to feel those new-job nerves the night before, but it was the first time I truly looked forward to starting a new job instead of worrying about what might be. When I arrived at the library, I was introduced to all my colleagues who I'd be working alongside during my apprenticeship. They were all incredibly welcoming and made me feel comfortable from the start! I was shown around the library by my mentor, Mo, whilst he made sure I understood everything. We set up my laptop, ensuring I had access to Symphony (Our data management system) and began looking at Kirklees libraries induction courses on my learning.

Since my induction, I've had great opportunities to support customers with IT and the libraries archival services, exploring newspaper collections using the microfiche system to help customers discover old photos and articles. I've also had opportunities to be creative: Making mental health awareness displays for our library users, and assisting in the promotion of Saturday Showcase - a weekly film club tailored to families at Dewsbury Library! I can't wait to see what the next year brings - it's safe to say it's been exceeding my expectations!


Ellie - Business Support Officer (BSO) Apprentice - Kirklees Libraries

Hello! My name is Ellie and I'm the BSO apprentice for Kirklees Libraries and I work across both North and South Kirklees. Since starting my apprenticeship I've been able to do so many amazing projects and meet so many wonderful colleagues! I can't wait to see what else is in store for me throughout the rest of my apprenticeship journey.

On my first day I walked into Huddersfield Library and it felt huge! I was around the building and given a tour- It took me *months* to not get lost in that building haha. After the tour I went and met my mentor Mary and manager Vanessa who together have been amazing and so supportive throughout my journey so far. They are always there if I need support and I'm very grateful for their help.

Throughout my first week we learnt numerous skills - such as how to use our library management system and much more! It's so interesting to see how things are done behind the scenes and how much work goes into something you haven't ever thought about before.


Stevie - Library Apprentice - South Kirklees

Hi there, I'm Stevie, I'm seventeen years old and a Library Apprentice for South Kirklees.

One part of my Apprenticeship that has been nothing short of wonderful is the projects and tasks I have been involved with. I have been learning how to work on the front desk at Libraries all over South Kirklees through Shadowing Librarians and Customer Support Officers and assisting library members with different queries, providing any support they may require. I have also attended events during my time at the library, one example of this is a teach meet I attended at the Greenwood Centre in Ravensthorpe which enabled me to meet other library staff and learn all about the different services that are available to the local community through Presentations from a range of Speakers. I can't wait to take part in more projects and events in the future and I look forward to what is yet to come!