So, the Connecticut Library System has this incredible annual event called “Passport to Connecticut Libraries“. It’s a way to encourage residents in this state to explore libraries outside of their hometown, to learn about the history of other towns and their libraries, to discover the amazing architecture throughout our state and to appreciate what this state has to offer for literacy services. Plus, it’s fun!
To start, you can go to any library that participates and pick up a Passport.
They also had a list of all the libraries available, or you could find the list through their google map site. (Since this post is being written after the event, I won’t include the google map.)
We started at our home library and got our first stamp!
You had the whole month of April to try to visit all 124 (yes, One Hundred and Twenty Four!) libraries that participated. It’s important to follow the list since not every library in Connecticut was part of this.
I had grand visions of visiting all of the libraries. But let’s be real, I have an almost 2 year old. Who naps. And wears diapers. And gets cranky in the car. So we visited 18. Some days we were more adventurous then others.
But we did discover some great libraries in this state. Many we will definitely be going back to, some to just play at and others for storytime or another event. And there are many more on the list that we did not get to check out that I will absolutely be visiting in the future.
Here is a summary of the libraries we checked out, and our recommendations as to whether you should too:
Avon Free Public Library
281 Country Club Rd, Avon, CT
I absolutely LOVED this library. The whole second floor is dedicated to the children’s library. There are so many toys and activities available, as well as books. They have a storytime room and an arts & craft room as well. On the day we attended, we had just missed storytime but we did get to participate in their art class.
See my blog post for a more detailed review of this awesome library!
Prosser Public Library
1 Tunxis Ave, Bloomfield, CT
This was a very nice library but the children’s section was geared for older, elementary aged kids. Lots of computers, places to do homework and read. They did have a dollhouse, as well as a playhouse. And of course, a train table. Honestly, for my child, that’s all he needed!
Canton Public Library
40 Dyer Ave, Canton, CT
Another great library! On the day we visited, we had again just missed storytime but there were many moms with their littles still playing in the children’s area. So my boy had fun with some new friends. Of course, there was a train table but they also had a play store and kitchen. It was a small area but had lots of comfy seating for the parents. They also had a very convenient bathroom nearby with a changing table! Something we definitely needed after driving all the way to Canton!
Booth & Dimock Memorial Library
1134 Main St, Coventry, CT
We loved this library! We could have spent the day here. Their whole basement is devoted to the children’s library. So many books! They also had a fabulous play area- a kitchen, puzzles, books, stuffed animals, train table, workbench, magnets, dolls. We visited in the afternoon, so I am not sure what they offer for storytimes.
This is another library to watch our blog for in the future- we will be going back!
East Granby Public Library
24 Center St, East Granby, CT
My absolute favorite thing about this library (besides the super sweet librarians)? The tree house! Wow! It is amazing and absolutely worth a visit just for that alone. It is one of the most incredible things I saw this whole month at all the libraries. I’m not sure the story behind it but whoever designed it, did an amazing job. This was a great little library. Again, all that mattered for my child was the train table which I will also add was one of the best ones we saw all month. They also have other fun toys as well as some great reading areas throughout.
Add this to your must visit list!
Warehouse Point Central Library
107 Main St, East Windsor, CT
This is one of our neighboring libraries, and we have visited a few times. The children’s area is not large or super fancy, but it had a train table. And that always makes us happy. We didn’t get to spend a ton of time here because we unfortunately experienced a Code Brown… Awful, awful time to run out of wipes.
Regardless, while this library isn’t fancy with all it’s toys and play area, they run some great children’s events and programs. If you are a local, definitely check their calendar out.
Hall Memorial Library
93 Main St, Ellington, CT
Hall Memorial is a beautiful library. The children’s library is located on the second floor. We arrived in the middle of storytime so instead we just wondered through the library. When we visited, they did not have a ton of things to play with. Some blocks, a firetruck reading area, puppets. Sadly, no train table. So my boy’s attention ran out pretty quick and we didn’t get to stay too long. They do have a number of story times, so that would be worth checking out if you are a resident.
Enfield Public Library
104 Middle Road, Enfield, CT
The Central Branch of the Enfield Library is our home library, and I may be a little biased, but it will always be my favorite. I love the librarians, they are all phenomenal ladies. The library events and storytimes are such fun. Rhyme Time is a must on Monday mornings if you have a child under 2 years old! They have a great selection of books and the play area is super cute. It is a must visit if you are a parent in Enfield!
**See my post regarding the Enfield Library in April**
Granby Public Library
15 N Granby Rd, Granby, CT
The Granby Public Library has a cute little children’s room. It had the necessary train table, so we were very happy with that. They had a doll house, puzzles and plenty of other toys to play with. They also have a number of tables and areas for children to read. They have a variety of storytimes and events at the library for children, so if you live in the area, you should definitely check that out!
Mansfield Public Library
54 Warrenville Rd, Mansfield Center, CT
This may have been the furthest we traveled for a library! The children’s section of the library was small but they had a nice selection of toys to play with. They had a train table, but we were confused at first because there were no trains! But then we discovered you had to check the trains out with a library card. So, once I did that, we had a lot more fun! They have several storytimes and events at their library, so if you are a local, definitely make a stop in!
Simsbury Public Library
725 Hopmeadow St, Simsbury, CT
This is a gorgeous library, and the children’s floor is just amazing!! This is one of those libraries that we will visit many, many times in the years to come. Despite the distance, we will be back! Train tables, toddler rooms with pretend play toys and puzzles, innovative corners for building and creating things, Crayola tablets with games and tons of books! You can spend hours here. They also have great storytimes and other children’s programs. On top of that, their museum passes are available to out-of-town residents! You just need a library card from one of the Connecticut libraries in their network and you can check out their museum passes! And they have a nice assortment!
We will absolutely be back, so watch out for that blog post in the future!
Somers Public Library
2 Vision Blvd, Somers, CT
Another neighboring library, we visit Somers often. They have a beautiful children’s room, and storytime room. Their storytimes are open to non-residents as well. While they didn’t have a train table, they had other fun things to play with: legos, Crayola tablets, and lots of books!
South Windsor Public Library
1550 Sullivan Ave, South Windsor, CT
This was actually the last library we visited – and it did not disappoint! They have a very large children’s area and many things to do! While they did not have a train table, we did find the few tracks and trains they had hidden away. And when he needed more Thomas, we found a Thomas & Friends magazine. We kept busy though with a fun playhouse, farm animals and blocks. The librarian was also super nice when we had an emergency Code Brown! (What is with this child and libraries??)
Kent Memorial Library
61 Ffyler Place, Suffield, CT
The Kent Memorial Library is currently under renovation, and is in a temporary location at Fflyer Place. As a neighboring town, we have visited the library several times for Friday morning playgroup and storytime. The temporary home is a little cramped, especially the children’s section, but they are doing their best to make it work. They have a lot of fun toys and books available. I will be excited though to finally visit the newly renovated library when it finally opens!!
Willington Public Library
7 Ruby Rd, Willington, CT
Another library that was quite a long drive! We visited this library towards the end of the day, and I unfortunately had a crabby toddler, so we had to cut our visit short. They did have a cute little children’s area, complete with a train table. We did not get to really explore much outside of that since he was pretty set with only playing with the choo-choos! However, if you live in the area, it is a library worth checking out.
Windsor Public Library
323 Broad Street, Windsor, CT
The Windsor Public Library is quite a library! They have a large room (Kidspace) dedicated to just the children’s library. It has some amazing features, including a lighted dance floor, a tree trunk to climb through, reading nooks, and of course, a train table. We actually visited while they had a storytime going on, so we had the chance to participate. It was a fun time with stories, music and lots of dancing! This is a library we plan to visit again!
Windsor Locks Public Library
28 Main St, Windsor Locks, CT 06096
The Windsor Locks Public Library is right across the river from East Windsor/Enfield. I was surprised to discover how close to home it was! The library has a rather large kids room, complete with a smaller room for storytime and kids activities. The library has a great little train table as well (of course we found the train table!). Make sure to check this library out, as well as their storytime offerings!
We barely made a dent in the 122 libraries included in the Passport to Connecticut Libraries but with a two year old, we did pretty well! I am so excited for next year and I hope we can visit another 17 new libraries and discover what other towns have to offer. My child is especially excited to play with 17 new train tables!!
Do you have a favorite library not on this list? We’d love to check it out!