Library Columns Sebring Public Library

Local libraries have free resources for children by Krystyl Farmer

Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, and Okeechobee county libraries have extensive collections of books for children of all ages. In the children’s areas of any Heartland Library Cooperative branch, you will find picture books in the ‘Easy’ collection, chapter books in the ‘Fiction’ collection, and books containing facts in the ‘Nonfiction’ collection. Our librarians develop all collections with their patrons in mind. They order the most recent, most popular and most awarded books to process and circulate but, some classics available to check-out as well.

Each library offers a selection of children’s magazines that can be read in the library or checked out and taken home to read. Some titles include Boys’ Life, Family Fun, National Geographic Kids, and Highlights for Children, but there are many, many more! These magazines have content for kids and kids only! Appropriate advertisements, educational articles, and fun quizzes make up the bulk of some of the “fun” ones, but the educational titles have facts and resources to inspire children’s reality as well as their imagination.

Another “hidden gem” is the audiobook collection. Audiobooks are books that are read to you from a CD, some audiobooks in the children’s collection include the print book but some are only the disc(s). I have noticed that some patrons think audiobooks sound like your old english teacher droning on about “The Epic of Gilgamesh” and depending on the reader, it just might sound like that but, some of them have sound effects and music that makes them a pleasure to listen to. They are definitely worth a try on a long road trip or even to break up the monotony of contemporary radio.

Another aspect of the children’s area that is greatly appreciated by staff and patrons alike is the unique decor and furniture that appeals to kids of all ages. Each library has its own special way of creating an inviting space for children- bright colors, appropriate furniture, fun paintings, and/or activities for them to do while visiting. Some Heartland libraries provide coloring pages and crayons or markers, puzzles, board games, and activity centers.

No matter what age your child is- they will have a great time using the AWE computers with you. These computers are pre-programmed with educational games, ebooks, and encyclopedias that, when used by parent and child together, can be a fun and fulfilling learning experience. is available for free via access on the public computers at any of the Heartland libraries. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents co-view content with children ages 2-5*.

All of the Heartland Library Cooperative branches offer enriching and exciting resources for children of all ages. Stop by your local branch to discover what we have in store for you and your child. If you are unable to visit, download a few ebooks or e-audiobooks from our website: