Brag Tag Contest

Help the Durham Public Library design 2024’s Read & Bead brag tags. The theme?….just beach! We need designs by kids, teens & adults.  We will choose 3 designs to award to next summer’s readers.

Please submit all designs by Saturday, February 3rd by giving them to the front desk, mailing them to Durham Public Library, attn Youth Service Dept. 7 Maple Ave. Durham,  CT 06457, or emailing aklaus@durham

Is there a word limit?

No. However the fewer words, the larger we can make your design.

How big can my design be?

Please no larger than 8.5 x 11 paper if submitting a paper design. If submitting digital art Choose a jpg, png, gif, ai, or pdf file. Maximum upload size: 25MB.

Can I make my tags double-sided?

Yes, we prefer double-sided designs.

Can I make digital art?

Yes, If submitting digital art Choose a jpg, png, gif, ai, or pdf file. Maximum upload size: 25MB.

Can I make a paper drawing?

Yes, Please no larger than 8.5 x 11 paper. Leave a finger’s length of border around your paper.

When do I need to turn in my design?

Please submit all designs by Saturday, February 3rd.

Where do I submit my designs?

You can submit your artwork by;

  • Giving them to the front desk.
  • Mailing them to Durham Public Library, Attn Youth Service Dept.

7 Maple Ave. Durham, CT 06457.

  • emailing aklaus@durham

Art with Ms Dwyer

Saturday, December 9th at 10:30am

Drop in for an hour of sketching forest animals with Ms Dwyer.

Ms Dwyer is a former RSD13 Art educator with 36 years of teaching experience.

Together we will use line, shape, and form to draw a variety of indigenous animals including foxes, owls, squirrels, and more. All ages are welcome and parents of young artists are encouraged to participate.

Registration is encouraged but not required.

Introducing Letters Are Characters

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Introducing Letters Are Characters

This program and coinciding text is an innovative play-based program designed to get every type of learner ready to read, all while having fun!

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, two-thirds of fourth graders are not meeting fluency benchmarks. However, engaged parents and caregivers can be the game-changers. Engage with your child by using Letters Are Characters.

This captivating book brings the alphabet to life, tailored for both parents and children. By transforming letters into characters, young learners engage in what comes most naturally—playing, laughing, and exploring the characters and their stories. Simultaneously, they unravel the phonemic code—the crucial first step towards reading.

Too frequently, bright and capable children experience a dip in self-esteem and enthusiasm for learning because they lag in acquiring early reading skills.

In “Letters Are Characters,” Dr. Wilcox Ugurlu combines her unique perspective as a scientist, educator, and parent to fashion a playful, compassionate, and well-informed program. It equips parents to assist their children in developing critical reading readiness skills. —Paul B. Yellin, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, NYU School of Medicine, Director, The Yellin Center for Mind, Brain, and Education.

Throughout our eight-week in-house program, each participant will receive a comprehensive “Letters Are Characters” kit, including:

  • A fresh set of scented crayons and a “Letters are Colors” coloring book
  • The “Letters are Characters” Book (to be returned to Durham Public Library upon completion)
  • Letter Dough Powder with a storage bag for the created dough

Additionally, every parent will receive a weekly instructional letter and video, alongside unparalleled access to the creator of “Letters Are Characters,” Dr. Caroline Ugurlu, available via email or phone. Amazing, right?

If you’re unable to enroll in the live class or if no sessions are currently running, you can explore segments of this course through the “Letters Are Characters” textbook, accessible at the library.

We will have a group kick-off Friday 12/15 with the creator, Dr Caroline Ugurlu at 3:30 pm. Join us for a fun event and to collect your free kit.


Why the Emphasis on Literacy Acquisition?

By the age of six, a child’s familiarity with letter sounds stands as the most critical predictor of future reading ability. “Letters are Characters” primes kids for reading dynamically and enjoyably, ensuring they embark on the right path. Moreover, it empowers parents through awareness and understanding of the science of reading and the brain.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that over two-thirds of American children lack proficiency in reading by the fourth grade. Together, we can alter this course.

Reading to our children yields manifold benefits:

  • Enhanced performance in school
  • Heightened empathy
  • Increased happiness
  • Strengthened bonds with caregivers
  • Enhanced imagination, creativity, and language skills
  • Improved cognitive abilities, critical thinking, and problem-solving
  • A framework to discuss challenging topics
  • A greater likelihood of reading for pleasure

You are your child’s foremost and most influential educator. Ensuring children read well, frequently, and profoundly stands as one of the finest gifts you can bestow upon them. If a child encounters difficulties in learning to read, do not delay intervention. The most valuable gifts you can offer children are time and attention.

Funded by a generous donation from Jayne Bentzen.

Little Mermaid Sing-a-long

Friday, August 11th from 3-4:30 pm

Children and caregivers can visit the library this Friday to sing along with the classic Disney’s Little Mermaid. Make a craft ( or 3) take a picture as a mermaid and have some popcorn. 

Registration is encouraged by not required. Costumes are encouraged but not required.

Kids Tag Sale

Saturday 7/15 at 10 AM. Rain Date 7/29

Set up 9 AM-10 AM * Sale 10 AM-12 PM

A sale where only kids can sell, but anyone can buy! 

We are looking for sellers ages 5-18 (12 & under with a parent).

Registration for sellers opens on June 19th. Register online using the library’s calendar or call the library at 860-749-9544

Snakes Alive!

Friday, July 14th at 2pm

Whether they fascinate you or scare you, there is much to learn about snakes. The Roaring Brook Nature Center will visit the Library this Friday with live snakes. Families and children of all ages will learn about ecosystem adaptation, camouflage, hibernation, migration, extinction, interdependence, and food chains.

This presentation includes live snakes.

Registration is required.

Summer Reading 2023 Kids, Teens, Adults

Summer Reading Program: Find Your Voice

Join us this summer for a fun and exciting reading program. Starting on June 20th, head to the library to pick up a summer reading log. If you’ll be entering 6th grade in the fall of 2023, please skip to the Teen Program. If you’re not yet in Kindergarten ask for a board game. Adults, don’t leave empty-handed, make sure to take an Adult BINGO board.

Birth -Pre K – Board Game

Starting Tuesday, June 20th  parents and children ( ages 0-4, not entering Kindergarten in the fall of 2023) can visit the Summer Reading Desk and pick up a Pre-K Summer Reading Challenge.  If their child is entering kindergarten this fall start them with the K-5 program, Read & Bead.

Kids in Grades K-5- Read & Bead

Kids in grades K- 5 ( as of Fall 2023) will be doing Read & Bead.

To register, simply visit the library’s Summer Reading Desk and grab a Summer Read & Bead Activity Log along with your Read & Bead chain and your first brag tag. If you can’t make it to the library right away, you can print your log at home and backdate any activities with your caregiver’s approval.

Here’s how to play:

  • Read or complete any other activities listed in your log each day
  • Color in the day to mark your progress
  • There’s no timing or counting necessary, just have fun and enjoy the program
  • Bring your log to the Summer Reading Desk and collect the beads you’ve earned
  • Trade in your beads for more exciting shapes and colors

Remember, you must bring your log with you to the library to collect your beads. If you’re exchanging beads to level up, please bring them with you as well.

To finish the program, simply turn in your log by September 1st and receive a small surprise. And don’t forget, all beads earned are yours to keep.

Teens ( Grades 6 -12 in the Fall of 2023)

Teens entering grades 6-12 in the fall of 2023 are invited to stop by the summer reading desk and grab a Teen BINGO card. When they’ve completed a row they can turn the board in as an entry for several possible prize baskets.

Teens can complete as many BINGO cards as they like until 8/13.

In order to be eligible for a prize basket players need to return their filled-out Bingo cards with their name and contact information fully filled out.

All prizes by September 1st.


Adults 18+ (or older teens who would rather do the adult bingo) can participate by picking up Bingo Card.

To register, simply visit the library’s Summer Reading Desk or the front desk and grab an Adult Bingo Card.

Participants can play as many cards as they like, there is no limit. Finished one? Grab another!

In order to be eligible for a prize basket players need to return their filled-out Bingo cards with their name and contact information fully filled out.

Starting July 7, there will be a drawing every two weeks for the summer reading prize. There will be a total of 4 drawings. If a name is not selected, it will be kept in the drawing for the subsequent rounds.

The four drawing dates are as follows: July 7, July 21, August 4, and August 18.

All Prizes must be claimed before September 1st