Every Child programs for parents

First baby gift

First-time parents receive two gifts while in the hospital! In addition to their brand new baby, new parents receive a gift from the library delivered by the county’s Welcome Baby Team. It’s never too early or too late to start reading to your baby. Babies love to hear your voice, so talking, reading, and singing while cuddling is to the perfect way to build a loving relationship and the beginning of early literacy. The gift welcomes parents to bring their babies to the library and includes information on early brain development, an application for baby's first library card, a new board book and a coupon for another free book at any Multnomah County library. For more information, contact Renea Arnold at 503.988.5458.

          Logo for Every Child


Program innovations for the Every Child Initiative are made possible, in part, by gifts to  The Library Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to the library's leadership, innovation and reach through private support.


Math and science workshops

The Mother Goose series of workshops, originally developed by the Vermont Center for the Book, is a family-centered learning program that encourages parents to take an active part in their children's math and science learning. These workshops are offered intermittently at various library locations. Mother Goose Asks "Why?" trains providers and parents to use children's picture books to help their children explore the world of science. You Can Count on Mother Goose trains providers and parents to use children's picture books to help their children manipulate and understand mathematical concepts. For more information, contact Renea Arnold at 503.988.5458.

A prescription to read

When children from birth to age 5 go to county and school-based health clinics for routine health visits and immunizations, they receive a free book from the library and their parents receive a "prescription" to read books together several times a day. For more information, visit the national Reach Out and Read website, or contact Renea Arnold at 503.988.5458.

It's in the bag

Theme bags for babies, toddlers and preschoolers are available for checkout at six libraries: Central, Gresham, Midland, Hollywood, Hillsdale and Holgate, or can be placed on hold for pick-up at any library location. Storytime in the Bag helps providers, educators and parents create an entire learning experience around a central theme—like Trucks. The preschool and toddler theme bags include several picture books, a toy, puzzle or music DVD and an activity sheet with more ideas to extend the theme. Baby bags are based on baby’s age, not themes, and include books for parents too. The Spanish collection, Bolsitas de Cuentos, is available at Kenton, Midland, Rockwood, St. Johns and Troutdale libraries.