About the Children’s Library
Designed specifically for our youngest readers, the Children’s Library serves the children of Boston Athenæum members and offers innovative programs for children ages 0–18.
Hear about our upcoming children’s programs and recommended books! Sign up for our weekly children’s newsletter by emailing Youth Services Librarian Shay Glass at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- First Floor: Board books, picture books, early readers, and books in languages other than English are in the new Children’s Library, located beyond the front desk and conveniently near the coat room and restroom. The new young adult books are in the new books section in the Bow Room.
- Second Floor: New chapter books, middle grade fiction, and children’s graphic novels are on a cart by the Reference Desk.
- 2G: Chapter books, middle grade fiction, and children’s graphic novels (look for the sticker!) are along the wall with the elevator (call numbers PZ7s, PZ8s, PZ10s).
- Third Floor: Our Young Adult Section (call number YA PZ7) and children’s non-fiction are located along the Granary side of the room.
Upon request, books are available via pickup at the circulation desk or our book mailing service.
Visit and Explore
Our Art Treasure Hunt invites you to see the Athenæum’s artwork with new eyes, and it will take you all over our first floor. We change out the game with the Athenæum’s exhibits, so there’s always something new to discover. Available in the Children’s Library any time during open hours.
After exploring the Athenæum’s art, make your own at the Creation Station in the Children’s Library. Craft supplies are available for use at any time during open hours, and we invite children to experiment and create. We also offer a simple weekly craft for all ages, which can be completed at the Athenæum or taken home.
Our small engaging story times invite families and young children into the wonderful world of reading, learning, and play.
Family Story Time: Wednesdays at 4:00 pm and Saturdays at 11:00 am. Recommended for families with children of all ages.
Join us for a half-hour story time and early literacy fun with picture books, dancing, songs, and rhymes!
Baby & Me Story Time: Fridays at 11:30 am. Recommended for babies 0-18 months and their caregivers.
Bring your baby to enjoy a lap-sit story time with songs, finger rhymes, activities, and simple stories.
Personal Story Time: Tuesday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Recommended for families with children of all ages.
Next time you’re in the Athenaeum, you can ask Shay for your very own Story Time! We’re delighted to give spontaneous story times, or you can arrange one in advance by emailing Shay at email@example.com.
Programs & Activities
We are delighted to offer a range of programs for children of all ages, including author story times, craft workshops, and special collections/rare book visits.
Visit our program calendar to learn about upcoming special programs, or join us for one of our regularly occurring programs.
Teen Chess & Scrabble Group: First Saturday of the month, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. Recommended for children ages 10–18.
Teens and tweens are welcome to join our friendly group for scrabble and chess, led by Deb Stein. Challenge a friend, or meet someone new! All levels are welcome.
Children’s Chess Group: Second Saturday of the month, 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Recommended for children ages 6–10.
Whether you’re you’re a beginner or grand master, we’d love to see you for an hour of chess and fun with Jim “Mr. Chess” Falzarano!
Lego Play: Second Saturday and Last Thursday of the month, 3:30 to 4:30 pm. Recommended for children ages 4 and older.
Stop by at any point during our play hour to play and build with Legos! The Lego creations then will be exhibited in the children’s room until the next session.
Children’s Discussion Groups
Our small and friendly discussion groups for children mix lively discussion with engaging activities and crafts. There’s no ongoing commitment: whether you come every time or just once, we’re happy to see you! Visit our discussion groups page to learn more about upcoming topics.
To register for a discussion group, email Shay Glass firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children’s Book Group: Third Saturday of the month at 3:00 pm. Recommended for children ages 8–12.
Children are invited to join us for new friends and a shared love of reading! We discuss our thoughts about the month’s book, then enjoy a themed craft or activity. Participants vote on which book the group will read next, and past titles include a mix of beloved classics and new favorites from a variety of genres.
Science Exploration Group: First Saturday of the month at 3:00 pm. Recommended for children ages 6–12.
Calling all young scientists! Discover the wonderful world of science through crafts and experiments. Each session begins with a short introduction to the month’s topic, followed by hands-on exploration. A sampling of topics includes: astronomy, women inventors, catapult engineering, and birds of New England.
Teen Book Group: Fourth Saturday of alternate months, 3:00 to 4:00 pm. Recommended for children ages 11–18.
Teens and tweens are invited to join us for new friends and a shared love of reading! We discuss our thoughts about the month’s book, then enjoy a themed craft or activity. Participants take turns leading the discussion and vote on which books the group will read.
Curious about the Children’s Library?
We’d love to hear from you!
Contact Shay Glass, the Youth Services Librarian: email@example.com · (617) 720-7641