Our Spaces

The Library houses a full children's collection, computers, launchpads, board games, pop-up books, a train table, and more. Enjoy playtime and early literacy activities throughout the children’s area with pop-up activities, programs, and our dedicated play spaces. To keep the possibility of allergic reactions minimal, we ask that snacks be taken out of these spaces to eat.

 

The Baby Space at the Downtown Library

babies playing in the Baby SpacePlay and engage with your infants who are not yet walking in the Baby Space at the Downtown Library. This space is dedicated to our youngest visitors to have the opportunity to explore, play, and develop skills in a safe area away from children who can walk and run. In this space, you and your child will find sensory items and toys geared specifically to children in their first year.

The Baby Space is open with new hours:
Monday–Thursday: 9 AM–Noon & 1–8 PM
Friday & Saturday: 10 AM–Noon & 1–5 PM
Sunday: Noon–5 PM

The Baby Space currently has a limited capacity of 8.

 

The Learn and Play Space (LAPS) at the Downtown Library

A toddler playing in LAPSLocated in the Downtown Library's children's area across from the children's information desk, the Learn and Play Space (LAPS) is an enclosed space designed for children ages birth–6 and their adult caregivers to explore together with fun learning activities that promote early literacy skills. Though the themes change regularly, there are four permanent learning centers in LAPS––a kitchen, writing center, reading center, and a baby area. The baby area is intended for children who are not yet walking.

Adults are expected to stay with their children, guide them in play, and take responsibility for their behavior. Running, jumping, throwing, and shouting are outdoor activities that do not belong in the Learn and Play Space. Visitors should be considerate of others. Adults can greatly increase the value of exploration by staying with children, helping them to find new language for what they are discovering, making observations that lead to critical thinking, and stimulating interest and creativity. Remember, a parent is a child's first and best teacher! The room is open to the public, however, it may not be reserved by groups for private use.

The Learn and Play Space is open with new hours:
Monday–Thursday: 9 AM–Noon & 1–8 PM
Friday & Saturday: 10 AM–Noon & 1–5 PM
Sunday: Noon–5 PM

The Learn and Play Space currently has a limited capacity of 16.

 

Additional Preschool Areas

Two preschoolers playing at the train tableBoth the Downtown Library and Ellettsville Branch have a space for preschoolers and their families that is open to all ages but geared towards children birth–6. As with the other play spaces, caregivers and parents are expected to stay with their children, guide them in play, and take responsibility for their behavior. Running, jumping, throwing, and shouting are outdoor activities that do not belong in the play spaces.

  • The Downtown Library preschool area houses the baby book collection, ample comfy seating, a train table, a dollhouse, and puzzles, giving you and your child abundant opportunities to play.
  • The Ellettsville Branch Preschool Room contains a picture book collection, educational computer games, and an imaginative play area featuring a kitchen, train table, and puppet theater, giving your young child many opportunities to read, talk, sing, write, and play!
 

 

Children's Garden Spaces

Child and an adult in the Garden Space at the Main LibraryBoth the Downtown Library and Ellettsville Branch have outdoor garden spaces utilized for programs, but also open for visitors to explore. The garden spaces are perfect areas for a picnic lunch, observing nature, or for a quick game of I Spy. Produce grown is donated to organizations such as the community kitchen and Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard.

 

 

Downtown Library Nursing Room

baby in the Nursing RoomNursing and breastfeeding are welcome anywhere in our buildings. We encourage families to nurse wherever and however they feel most comfortable. Families who seek privacy while breastfeeding may request to use a private nursing room located in the Downtown Library's children’s area near the family restrooms. The space is equipped with a chair, toys, and requires a key from the information desk to enter.

 

 

Further Information

Please call 812-349-3050 or email childref [at] mcpl.info if you have any questions about any of our pre-K play spaces.