Welcome to the Youth Services Department

Welcome to the youth area of the Matheson Memorial Library. We offer a wide variety of materials for circulation, a community space for families to gather, and programming for all ages.

Winter/Spring 2022 YS Newsletter

What can you do in the library?

Browse and check out books, audiovisual materials, toys, maker kits, and STEAM labs. Many of our games and hands-on activities are now available for circulation.

Sign up for summer reading June 1st and pick up take home activities and stickers every week.

Attend in-person programs in June – registration is required and opens May 15th. Registration for Family Storytime with Pattie Woods will be on a weekly basis, starting June 7th.

What can you do outside the library?

Visit the library garden; stop by to play, have a picnic, and enjoy the sunshine or register for one of our outdoor programs in the garden or at Tasch Park.

What can you do virtually or at home?

Ask Ms. Jennifer to pick out books for your kids.

Check out our digital resources on the website and on Pinterest.

Check out booktalks and more on our youtube channel.

Kids up through middle school can submit their creative work to Reading Colors Your World.

How can you support the youth services department?

If you shop on Amazon, you can contribute to the library by selecting Friends of Matheson Memorial Library Corp and shopping through smile.amazon.com
If you would like to contribute directly, you can shop our wishlists for crafts and supplies and for books.

Jennifer Wharton, Youth Services Librarian, jwharton@elkhorn.lib.wi.us

Reading Colors Your World

A monthly collection of the best writing and art of Elkhorn students from preschool to middle school. Available to the public in the library each month, located above the early readers.

Submission guidelines

Who can submit?
– Kids in preschool through middle school.

What can they submit?
– Art, including photographs, and writing, both fiction and nonfiction. All submissions should fit
on an 8×11 sheet of paper and be no more than 10 pages long.

How do you choose what is included?
– Library staff will review submissions for quality, appropriate content, and space.

How do kids submit their work?
Fill out a submission form and include it with your art or writing. If you are submitting it electronically, send to
jwharton@elkhorn.lib.wi.us. Hard copies can be dropped off at the library or sent via the school delivery van by teachers.

Don’t forget to proofread, edit, and turn in your best work!
We cannot return your submissions, so make sure you submit a photo of your art or a copy of your writing.


Thursday, August 4 at 4:30pm in the Story Room

Arr mateys, here be a treasure trove of books! If you are in first, second, or third grade you are invited to join Bookaneers; Whether you can read alone or need a little help, this club is for you. Join us for crafts, talking about our favorite books, and picking out exciting new books to read for the next month. 


Tuesday, August 2 at 5:30pm in the Story Room

You’ve started your journey with the Bookaneers, now dive deeper with the Aquanauts! Kids ages 9-12 are invited to a book club full of hands-on activities, discussion, and diving into chapter books of all genres, from fantasy to nonfiction.

Sign up for reminders, booklists and more!

Paws to Read

Mondays at 4:15 pm :  Starting September 12!

Join some special furry friends and volunteers from the Lakeland Animal Shelter. All ages are welcome to interact and play, listen to stories, and read to the animals. Live animals will be present and confined to the Storyroom. This program is sponsored by the Lakeland Animal Shelter.

Dungeons and Dragons

Mondays, Sept. 12, Oct. 10, & Nov. 14 at 6:30 pm

Thursdays, Sept. 22, & Nov. 17 at 6:30 pm

Get your dice and come join the library for Dungeons and Dragons! We welcome all ages and experience levels, however, kids younger than 8 must have an adult with them. Don’t know how to play? We’ll teach you!


Family Storytime with Miss Esther

Tuesdays, Sept. 27, Oct 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 29, Dec 6, 13 at 9:30-10:30am and 10:30a-11:30am

Meet and connect with other families in our community during Miss Esther’s Family Storytime. Interactive songs and stories, fun crafts, and new connections with families in your community will keep you coming back for more!


Pokemon Club

Tuesdays, Sept. 13, Oct. 11, Nov. 8, & 29 at 4-5 pm

Thursdays, Sept. 29 & Oct. 27 at 4-5 pm

Are you a fan of Pokemon? Bring your friends for an hour of crafts, cards, and movies in the Community Room. We’ll spend the first half playing and crafting and then watch some classic Pokemon shows for the second half. Kids are welcome to bring their own cards to play or share, but staff cannot supervise trading.

We Explore Outdoors

Let’s go for a hike! : Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 9:30 am

Leaves : Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 9:30 am

Join Ms. Jennifer for a fun storytime and, weather permitting, an outdoor adventure exploring the family garden.


We Explore Outdoors with Ms. Terri

Wednesdays, Sept. 28, Oct. 12 & 26 at 10 am

Join Ms. Terri for some special outdoor activities and stories. Children will have the opportunity to taste, touch, and explore the family garden, weather permitting, as well as learn about the natural world.


Lego Challenge

Tuesdays, Sep. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 8, 15, 22, 29, Dec. 6, & 13 at 3-6pm

Do you like to build with Lego? Younger siblings bored at Pokemon Club? Stop by the Storyroom to do some Lego building. You can follow the weekly challenge, with instructions, or free build.

We Explore Artist Eric Carle

Wednesday, September 14 at 10 am

Join us for a special storytime focused on author and illustrator Eric Carle. We read and explore his work and recreate his art with paint, scissors, glue, and more. This special storytime is designed for kids of all ages and abilities who enjoy creating art and listening to stories.

Kids Make it!

Wednesdays, Sept. 14, Oct. 5, & Nov. 2 at 3:30-5:30 pm

Kids Make It! is designed for kids and teens to learn and improve hands-on skills. This fall we will be focusing on using sewing machines. Kids will need to be able to safely operate a sewing machine and wait patiently for their turn. More experienced sewers are welcome to work on their own projects with assistance as needed.

Lapsit Storytime with Miss Esther

Thursdays, Sep 15, 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, Dec. 1, 8, & 15 at 10 am

Bring your littlest ones and join Miss Esther from EASD Parent Connections for a nurturing session of baby-centered play. Simple songs, animated readings of stories, and connecting with other caregivers will bring smiles to both baby and grown-up faces! Please note that some Lapsits will be run by library staff.

Fact Finders

Thursdays, Sept. 15, Oct. 13, Nov. 10, & Dec. 8 at 5 pm

Emerging and beginning readers are the main audience for this book club, but all ages are welcome to join us. We’ll explore a different topic each month, from animals to structures, history to geology, and then share what we’ve learned with the whole library. Kids will have the opportunity to choose books on our chosen subjects from a variety of reading levels and formats and there will also be fun activities and the opportunity to talk about what we’ve learned. Sign up for reminders, booklists, and more at  https://forms.gle/JHPTce8pcvw9WTik9 .


Fit Kids with Ms. Terri

Wednesdays, Sept. 21, Oct. 5 & 19 at 10 am

Keep your mind – and your muscles – jumping! Join Ms. Terri in getting your wiggles out with movement, interactive stories, and more. Families with children of all ages are invited to this active program.


Project Explore

Wednesdays, Sept. 21, 28, & Oct. 12 from 3:30-5:30pm

Project Explore offers kids and teens an opportunity to work on projects using the library’s materials and with staff assistance. There will also be a variety of themed projects available that may include fiber arts, painting, sewing, and other activities. Attendees need to be able to work on their own, use materials and tools safely and responsibly, and wait patiently for assistance.



Thursdays, Sept. 22, Oct. 6, Nov. 3, 17, & Dec. 1 at 4:30 pm

Become a Bookaneer and get started on an exciting journey into the world of reading!

Emerging and beginning readers are the main audience for this book club, but all ages are welcome to join us. Kids will have the opportunity to choose books from a variety of genres, reading levels, and formats as well as participate in fun crafts and book discussions. You’ll also get first pick of the new books! Sign up for reminders, booklists, and more at  https://forms.gle/JHPTce8pcvw9WTik9 .


I like to move it!

Fridays, Sept. 30, Oct. 14, Nov. 11, & Dec. 16 at 10 am-11 am

Get out of the house and join Miss Esther from EASD Parent Connections for thirty minutes of story-based movement and fun! Celebrate your heart-healthy moving by making a healthy snack together to end the session.



Let off STEAM!

Mondays, Oct. 24, Nov. 7, & Dec. 12 from 10-11 am

Join Miss Esther from EASD Parent Connections and let your child’s curiosity discover the world of science!  An exciting theme every month.



Resources for home learning and educational activities

Visit Pinterest for free, virtual activities.

Check out Badgerlink for all ages educational resources.

Check out Brainfuse for help with tutoring, writing, studying, collaborating and more!

Check out PBS Ready to Learn – free lesson plans and activities.

For free ebooks, audiobooks, and streaming video, visit Hoopla, Kanopy, and Overdrive.

Looking for Books

Fill out this form for Ms. Jennifer to select reading materials for your children. 


Browse Pinterest for new children’s books, teen materials, audiobooks, and more.


NoveList is a reader’s advisory tool that you can use to look up author read-a-likes or book read-a-likes. It can also be useful in finding books in a series or reader’s guides.

Caregivers Collection: Books to help in tough times

Browse these Pinterest boards to find books on social-emotional learning, feelings, death and grieving, puberty and more. These are books meant to be read with an adult or caregiver. Titles addressing sensitive topics are located in our Caregivers Collection.

Activity Calendars

Early Literacy Activity Calendar (May/ June 2021)

Read, write, sing, play, and talk all week long! Click here to access the calendar.

STEAM Activity Calendar (May/ June 2021)

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math projects for kids to do at home, school, or the library. Click here to access the calendar!!

Reading levels

Lexile Lists Browse

Browse a spreadsheet of library titles with lexile, Reading Counts points, and genre.

Browse Early Readers by Level

Browse our early reader collection on Pinterest by reading level and place holds by clicking on covers.