Why Wait? Download an Ebook or Audiobook Right Now

The Library offers a wide variety of free e-books, digital magazines and audiobooks, and streaming music and video, all available with your Durham Public Library card and many available instantly.

OverDrive/Libby
Best-selling and award-winning fiction and nonfiction books, audiobooks, and magazines. You may borrow up to 10 items at a time. Over 3,000 popular magazines are available, with no wait lists and no item limits. Use the “Available Now” filter to find currently available items.

hoopla
Always available movies, TV shows, music, books, comics, and audiobooks. You may borrow up to 4 items per calendar month.

The Palace Project
Thousands of free eBooks and audiobooks from the Connecticut State Library and Durham’s digital collections in the Palace Project app. 

Summer Reading – For All Ages!


PRE-K GAMEBOARDS ( ALL KIDS NOT ENTERING KINDERGARTEN IN 2024)

To register, pick up your game board at the Durham Public Library’s Summer Reading Desk or print below

To play, complete all the fun summer reading activities on it.

To get a prize, Return your game board to the library for your prize. Prizes must be claimed on or before August 31st.


READ & BEAD (K-5)

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 August 31st and receive a small surprise. And don’t forget, all beads earned are yours to keep.


BINGO BOARDS (TEENS GR 6+)

Starting June 12th, stop by and grab your Teen BINGO Card.

Complete any of the activities on the board. 

Cross off what you’ve done.  Aim for three in a row. 

Return your card for a small prize and a chance at a special raffle prize. All cards must be returned by 8/17.

Finished a card? Play as many times as you’d like until 8/10.


BINGO BOARDS (ADULTS)

Pick up a Summer Reading BINGO Card and complete 5 activities in a row. Turn your card in for a chance at a bi-weekly raffle prize.

Play as many times as you’d like until 8/17.

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!

We will have a group kick-off Thursday June 20th with the creator, Dr Caroline Ugurlu at 6 pm.

Join us for a fun event and to collect your free kit.

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 Thursday June 20th with the creator, Dr Caroline Ugurlu at 6 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.

New Kids Database: Educate Station

Full Curriculum For Grades K-5 .

Explore this resource here:

Weekly / Monthly Learning Plans & Worksheets in;
• ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
• MATH
• SCIENCE
• SOCIAL STUDIES
• SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL LEARNING (SEL)

Great for homeschooling families, extra practice for kids and parents , and substitute teacher lesson plans.


Free access to lesson plans and printable worksheets inside the library ( no card or account needed) and with your Durham library card from home.

Book A Study Room

As part of the Library Renewal Project, the Library has added two study rooms for 1-4 people for the purpose of quiet study and discussion.

Please note that the rooms are not soundproof — please keep conversation to a low volume. Noise-reducing headphones may be borrowed at the circulation desk.

  1. Patrons must be 12 years old or older to reserve a study room.
  2. Groups or individuals may reserve a study room for a maximum of 2 hours per day.
  3. Reservations are limited to one per day, per group and may be reserved up to one week in advance.
  4. If it has not been reserved, patrons may remain in a room beyond their scheduled time, but must vacate it when a new patron signs in.
  5. Please check in at the circulation desk.
  6. The library is not responsible for equipment, supplies, materials or any other items owned by an individual or group used in the study rooms. Personal items may not be stored in the study rooms.

Submitting a reservation indicates acceptance of the Library’s Room Reservation Policies.

In addition to the study rooms, the Study Zone also includes a “laptop bar” and comfortable seating with device charging and flip up tablet desks. Just plug your device in and get to work. This area is past the circulation desk, where DVDs were previously.

Wi-Fi Hotspots

In order to expand Internet access to Durham residents, the Library has established a Wi-Fi hotspot lending program. The hotspots are provided by T-Mobile and funded by a gift from Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare and PALS: The Friends of the Durham Public Library.

No internet at home? Borrow ours for: school projects and papers, job searching online, and connecting your tablet or laptop.

On a long car trip? Have the kids in the backseat streaming movies, music or other online content.

On Vacation? Road trip, camping, or grandmas house with no internet? Bring it with you!

Loans and Holds

Hotspots are available to Durham Public Library card holders ages 18 and up with fines of less than $10.00. Patrons must present their valid Durham Public Library card at the time of checkout.

Checkouts are limited to one hotspot per household at any given time. Hotspots may be checked out for one week and cannot be renewed.

Hotspots may be reserved by placing a hold online or by calling the library. Devices will be held for two days. If the device is not picked up by the end of the second day, the hold will be cancelled and the device will move to the next person in line.

At the time of checkout, patrons must sign a Hotspot Use Agreement, acknowledging the Library’s Hotspot Use Policy.

The Library reserves the right to refuse lending to patrons who abuse equipment or who repeatedly return Hotspots late.

Hotspots must be picked up and returned at the Durham Public Library circulation desk. Hotspots must never be returned to another library or placed in the book drops.

Hotspot Use

Patrons are responsible for the proper care and use of the Wi-Fi hotspot. We recommend that patrons have a basic working knowledge of the device on checkout. If you encounter any technical problems, contact Library Director Christine Michaud at cmichaud@durhamlibrary.org or 860-349-9544, ext. 5.

The Library is not responsible for any liability, damages, or expense resulting from use or misuse of the hotspot and its connection to other electronic devices, or data loss resulting from use of the Hotspot. Any use of the device for illegal purposes, unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material in any format, or transmission of threatening, harassing, defamatory or obscene materials is strictly prohibited.

Wi-Fi service will be turned off if the hotspot is more than two days overdue, rendering the device unusable.

Loss or Damage

Overdue fines of $5 per day, to a maximum of $20, will be charged for late hotspots.

Hotspots that are two weeks or more overdue are considered lost. Patrons will be charged a $100.00 replacement fee if the hotspot is lost or damaged.

Patrons will be charged a replacement fee not to exceed $20 if a charging block or case is lost or damaged.