What does the Children’s Room look like? Click here for a tour.
We’re here to help raise passionate readers! The Children’s Room is surrounded by Dahlov Ipcar’s original mural painting and books that focus on children ages up to 11 years old. Our Children’s Room is an enchanting place to visit with a friendly staff who love working with kids. We know our books and love finding just the right book for you. Our thoughtfully planned morning, afternoon and special literacy-based programs are some of the very best around. Here, you’ll discover collections of books for various reading levels, books on CDs, DVDs, and music CDs; the Storytime Room houses the actual size, hand-made sailboat, Time of Wonder, one of the many cozy places where you can read on your visit; educational toys for play; iPads and computers for Internet searching and AWE Literacy Stations; and a wonderful 4’ salt water fish tank . Make sure to bookmark our Monthly Flyer of events.
Ask our Children’s Room staff or view our website for details about the following non-book circulating items:
There are some very beautiful wall paintings in the Picture Book and Storytime Room sections. Could you tell me more them? The mural (wall painting) was painted in 1978 for the Children’s Room by Georgetown, Maine artist and children’s author, Dahlov Ipcar, (the ending of her first name is spelled “l-o-v” which sounds like “love”). In 2016, Carol McFadden, Head of Children’s Services, conducted an interview with Dahlov about her murals which thankfully was filmed and is available for circulation. The mural is unique because it is Mrs. Ipcar’s first. The colorful and imaginative murals of African and Indian animals feature a Composite Crane, Cheetah, Antelope-Greater Kudoo, African Zebra, Thompson’s Gazelle, Wildebeast, the old Children’s Room cat named Squiggles, Lion, Civit Cat, Composite Bird, Hoo Poos, Tiger, Asian Deer, Spotted Salamader, Asian Hare and Wild Peccary. Here’s a surprise, the mural was amazingly moved in 1998 from their original location to its current location, gracing the walls in the newer and current Children’s Room. Press here to find out more information about the history of the Patten Free Library. When you visit the Library, we encourage you to check out some Dahlov Ipcar books to take home. Here’s a wonderful site for you to explore The World of Dahlov Ipcar (includes list of her books). It’s also the title of the book written by her son, Bob Ipcar!
What ages should use the Children’s Room?
We welcome all children ages infant to 11.
How old should my child be before getting a library card?
We give library cards to children of all ages! We suggest that you as a parent determine the best time. Come in with a valid picture ID, proof of residence and we will be happy to help you out!
What kind of books do you have?
We have an amazing array of board books, picture books, early readers, beginning chapter books, non-fiction books, biographies and middle grade chapter books! We also have a great collection of audio books on CD.
Do you have toys for children to play with?
We do! Our toys cycle in and out of use depending on the time of year, but we almost always have our dollhouse, blocks, puzzles, coloring pages, and puppet theater with hand puppets available—not to mention our sailboat!
What’s the story with that sailboat?
Our little red sailboat, Time of Wonder, was built in collaboration with the Library and the Maine Maritime Museum, by area children and master boat builders.
Are there computers available?
We have two computers for children to play games and do homework on, as well as six iPads stocked with the very best early literacy and education apps. Children may use the computers for up to 20 minutes at a time and the iPads for up to an hour. We have two AWE computer stations, too!
Do you have movies? Music?
Yes! We have a wide variety of educational and entertaining DVDs and CDs. Just keep in mind that we only allow you to take out 4 DVDs per card.
Can I leave my child alone at the library?
Our unattended child policy mandates that children ages 7 and under must be accompanied in the Children’s Room. Ages 8-9 may be left alone in our room as long as they have a caregiver in the library at large and children 10 and older may use the library unattended. See our Unattended Child Policy or ask at the desk for more information.
I heard something about you having American Girl Dolls available?
We currently have seven American Girl Dolls your child can take home for one week. Each doll comes with its book and a journal to keep track of her adventures, as well as clothes and accessories to play with. Demand for these dolls is high so be sure to ask to be put on the waiting list on your next visit!
What other sort of kits can I check out? We offer seven science My Own Backyard (MOBY) backpacks and seven MOBY book bags that are filled with educational tools used for youth exploration of local natural history, made possible by a Merrymeeting Bay Trust Grant. Also, thanks to a kind private donation, we are also able to offer two Dino Lingo backpacks, intensive tools for learning languages (Spanish and French).
I need help finding a book my child will enjoy. Can I ask you for help?
Absolutely! Our friendly, knowledgeable Children’s Room staff is tops. We love helping to select the right book for your child and encouraging life-long, passionate readers!
I see you have events coming up; what kind of programs are usually running?
All our children’s programs, Storytimes, Afterschool Activities and Summer Reading are literature-based and aim to perk your child’s interest in learning and reading. Our Storytimes and Afterschool Activities run throughout the school year, September through May, with a December and June break. The Summer Reading Program is always an exceptionally exciting and popular program. We usually have over 500 registered participants and over 1,000 people in our many programs!
Tell me more about these Storytimes?
Storytimes is a wonderfully fun way to teach your child early socialization and literacy skills. Each age appropriate program is thoughtfully prepared and no registration is required. Parents and caregivers have a chance to make and meet friends too! Look for these regular Storytimes: Book Babies, Time for Two’s & Three’s and, on occasion, we also host Pajama Storytimes, Wheels on the Bus Storytimes and more.
What do you have going on for my child(ren) after school?
Our Afterschool Activities always nurture learning and carry a fun component. Look for some of these regulars, such as Chess Club; Lego League; Discovering Great Artists; and the Living History Book Club. Other subjects such as sciences, languages, crafts are offered throughout the year. Check out our monthly flyer to learn more.
How do I find books in your room?
Our collections are arranged in the best system we know to help you locate what you’re looking for. Here’s a key to finding what you’re looking for in the Children’s Room. The key to finding the item you want is on the spine label, called the “CALL NUMBER”. Every item in the Children’s Room has the letter J on the spine label. The J stands for “JUVENILE” or “JUNIOR”, as opposed to the grown-up items. After the J, you’ll see the letters that tell you what shelf section to go to. Always feel free to ask our staff for help. They’ll be happy to give you a little tour and explain things to you.
J BB = BOARD BOOK
J P = PICTURE BOOK
J E 1 = EARLY READER, level 1
J E 2 = EARLY READER, level 2
J E 3 = EARLY READER, level 3
J F 1 = BEGINNER CHAPTER level
J F = CHAPTER BOOK
J B = BIOGRAPHY (books about people)
J NF = NON-FICTION (fact books arranged by the Dewey Decimal System, number order)
J BK CD = BOOK ON CD
J DVD = DVD MOVIES; J DVD NON-FIC = NON-FICTION MOVIES (fact movies)
J CD = CD (music, songs)
J POP-UP = POP-OUT BOOK
J GN = GRAPHIC NOVEL
J MAG = MAGAZINES
J PARENT = PARENT BOOK