Special Programs

In addition to our regularly scheduled storytimes, the library also periodically hosts a variety of programs for children of all ages and their families. Please see the Calendar or Upcoming Events pages for additional information.

What is 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten?

1000 Books Before Kindergarten1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a program designed to help parents prepare their children for one of life’s big milestones: kindergarten. Research has shown that children get ready to read years before they begin their formal education. An excellent way to get your child ready to learn is to read to them.



Who can participate in this program?

Any child who has not yet entered kindergarten.

Can you really expect to read 1,000 books to your child before kindergarten?

Yes! Completion will take from a few months to a few years, depending on how often you read.

Child's Age When 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is Started

Number of Books Read Per Day to Complete 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Number of Books Read Per Week to Complete 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

0 Years Old



1 Year Old



2 Years Old



3 Years Old



4 Years Old



What books count?

Any time your child listens to a whole book it counts! It can be a library book, a book from home, a book read at story time, even an audio book or e-book. You can even count multiple readings of the same book. Multiple readings help to develop language skills.

How do I register my child?

Stop by the children’s desk to sign up and get your first book log.


Why should your family participate in 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten?

1000 Books Before KindergartenReading with your child and making it a special time together shows them that reading is valuable and enjoyable. You can start to develop a love of reading in your child from a very young age!


American Girl

American GirlDuring Winter break the library is proud to put on a special American Girl themed program. We pick one special girl each year and highlight the food, crafts, games, and other fun activities that were popular at the time. This program is open to children kindergarten age and up.

Please see the Calendar or Upcoming Events pages for additional information.

Book Camp

Book Camp logo with a paper bag

Of all the things we missed last year, Book Camp might have been the one we missed the most. While we can’t have Camp in quite the same way, we ARE offering a version of Book Camp this year. Introducing BOOK CAMP IN A BAG! When you sign up for Book Camp this year, you will be able to receive all the camp crafts and activities along with the links to virtually join the Chatham Area Public Library Children’s staff as we make crafts, play games, and hear stories together.
The Book Camp schedule is as follows:
  • Age 4 - Kindergarten – June 29, 30, and July 1
  • 1st - 2nd graders – June 22, 23, 24
  • 3rd - 4th graders – June 15, 16, 17
  • 5th - 6th graders – June 21, 22, 23, 24
Camp will be on Zoom from 10:15 - 11:15 a.m. for campers age 4 - grade 4, and 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. for grades 5 - 6.
These grade levels are for the grade your child will be going into for the 2021-2022 school year. The cost for camp is $5 (non-refundable). See our website and Facebook page for signup information beginning in May. Signup space is limited and registration is required.


Game Nights and Game Days

Board GamesFor our patrons aged 10 and up, the library hosts Monthly Game Nights. On the first Wednesday of the month from 6-7:30 the library provides a variety of board games to play and instruction on how to play them. During extended school holidays the library hosts Game Days. These special days are for all ages and ability levels.

Please see the Calendar or Upcoming Events pages for additional information.

Grade Level Programs

During the school year the library has three different grade level programs. We have a 5th/6th grade program, a 3rd/4th grade program, and a 1st/2nd grade program. Each program includes a snack, games, and a craft. These programs often are centered on an age-appropriate book or series. Previous programs include series such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Geronimo Stilton, and Elephant and Piggie. Registration is required and space is limited.

Please see the Calendar or Upcoming Events pages for additional information.

Halloween Storytime

Preschool StorytimeOn the two Thursday nights leading up to Halloween the library has spooktacular Halloween storytimes. For children in 3rd grade and older is our Very Scary storytime. For children of all ages, we have our Friendly storytime followed by our Slightly Scary storytime. Refreshments are served at all storytimes, and costumes are encouraged.

Please see the Calendar or Upcoming Events pages for additional information.

Lego Days

One Saturday every quarter the library hosts Lego Days. These days are open to children of all ages and their caregivers. We provide the Lego blocks. All you need to bring is your imagination.

Please see the Calendar or Upcoming Events pages for additional information.

Lego DayLego DayLego DaysLego Day

Movies at the Library

Coco The MovieWreck It RalphDuring extended school holidays we show movies here at the library. We have two different age groups – 11 and Up movies are for our patrons age 11 and older, Family movies are suitable for all ages. We provide drinks and popcorn, too!

Please see the Calendar or Upcoming Events pages for additional information.

Summer Reading

Our Summer Reading program is designed to encourage children to keep reading during summer vacation.  Through participation in summer reading children are:

  • Motivated to read.

  • Develop positive attitudes about reading, books, and the library.

  • Maintain their reading skills during summer vacation.An illustration of a navy blue while with blue text which saying "tails and tales"

The program is offered each summer to children from age 4 through graduating high school seniors; there is also an Adult Summer Reading Program. Registration opens in May and the program runs through July. Participants read books and items of their choosing and record the number of minutes they read (or are read to) using the Beanstack website - http://chathamlib.beanstack.org - or the Beanstack Tracker app. Younger children win prizes, and participants from 7th grade and up enter into weekly prize drawings. 

Here are the quick facts about Summer Reading 2021:

  • Sign up begins May 1 on Beanstack, our online Reading Tracker website and mobile app - https://chathamlib.beanstack.org.
  • You can begin logging minutes on June 1, 2021. 
  • There are challenges for every age group! 
    • Rubber Ducky Club for birth through age 3: Read 30 books together and receive a rubber ducky.
    • Summer Reading for ages 4-8: Receive prizes after each 100 minutes read.
    • Summer Reading for ages 8-12: Receive prizes after each 150 minutes read.
    • For children aged 8 or 12, choose the one challenge that best suits your child.
    • Tween/Teen Summer Reading for ages 12-18: Receive a virtual ticket to enter a raffle for a gift card of your choice after every book read and be automatically entered into a grand prize drawing.
    • Read and redeem prizes between June 1 and July 31. The final day to log minutes for the 2021 Summer Reading Program is July 31.
    • The last day to pick up prizes will be Tuesday, August 31.

Not sure about how to get started Beanstack or the Beanstack Tracker app? No problem! Check out the Beanstack Tutorial