Children’s Library

About the Children’s Library

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 of all ages. 

Stay in the loop with children’s programs and discover new books! Sign up for our weekly children’s newsletter by emailing Shay Glass at


Where to Find Our Children’s Collections:


  • First Floor: Board books, fiction and non-fiction 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.

  • Second Floor: New chapter books and new children’s graphic novels are on a cart by the Reference Desk.

  • 2G: Chapter books and children’s graphic novels (look for the sticker!) are along the wall with the elevator (call numbers PZ7s, PZ8s, PZ10s).  Look for the workspace across the way!

  • 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 can also be picked up at the circulation desk or mailed to you!  


Visit and Explore

Explore some of our incredible art with a treasure hunt! This self-directed game invites families to see our space with new eyes, and it will take you all over the Athenæum’s first floor. Copies are available in the Children’s Library. 


Story Times

The Children’s Library offers regular story times to introduce young children to the joy of reading with stories, movement, and songs. They operate on a drop-in basis: whether you can come every time or just once, we’re happy to see you! 


  • Family Story Time: Wednesdays at 3:30 pm and Saturdays at 10:30 am. Families with children of all ages are welcome. Join us for a half-hour story time and early literacy fun with picture books, dancing, songs, and rhymes!

  • Baby & Me Story Time: Coming soon! Bring your baby to enjoy a lap-sit story time with songs, finger rhymes, activities, and simple stories. Recommended for babies 0-18 months and their caregivers. Day and time to be determined based on your feedback! If you’re interested in this story time, check out our Baby & Me Survey, or connect with Shay via email at
  • Personal Story Time: Next time you’re in the Athenaeum, you can ask Shay for your very own Story Time! We’re delighted to give story times upon request Tuesday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.


Programs & Activities

Weekly craft kits are available for young members ages 2 and up anytime the Athenaeum is open. Come create in the library, or take a craft home! 

As we settle into our new children’s space, we are delighted to introduce a range of programs supporting children’s creativity, connection, and curiosity. A sampling of previous programs includes author visits, writing workshops, reading challenges, DIY sessions, and special collections visits.


Children’s Discussion Groups

Our discussion groups for children mix exploration and lively discussion with fun activities and crafts. They operate on a drop-in basis: whether you can come every time or just once, we’re happy to see you!

To sign up or for more information, email Shay Glass


  • 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. 


  • Family Book Group: Second Saturday of every other month at 3:00 pm. Recommended for families with children ages 5–10.                                                                                                                           
    Perfect for families that read aloud together! Children and their caregivers can join us to discuss the month’s chapter book, followed by a themed craft or activity.

  • 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 potential topics includes: astronomy, women inventors, catapult engineering, and New England birds. 


Curious about the children’s library? We’d love to hear from you! 

Contact Youth Services Librarian Shay Glass via email at or by calling the children’s desk at (617) 720-7641.