Special Programs

In addition to our regularly scheduled storytimes, the library also periodically hosts a variety of programs for children of all ages and their families. Please see the Calendar or Upcoming Events pages for additional information.

Teen Volunteer Informational Meeting
Wednesday, April 26, 3p.m OR Saturday, May 6, 1 p.m.Picture of clip art sea life and shades of blue asking teens to save the date for training
Ages 14 years - graduating high school seniors

Teens looking for opportunities to earn service hours, to be involved in helping our community or to spend some time with younger children and be a role model are invited to attend one of our teen volunteer meetings to learn how to be involved with the Library's summer Book Camps.  This is a volunteer opportunity in which teens can choose just how many hours they want to offer.  Attend one of the meetings to volunteer; if unable to attend, please contact our children's librarians at [email protected] or call 217-483-2713.

After School STEM:  Wings,Stings, and Leggy ThingsGreen, Brown, Yellow block with lettering and clip art of bugs

May 10

Students grades K-5

2:00-3:30 p.m.

No registration

Flutter on by and learn about creepy-crawlies with a few fun activities, including some ideas and materials supplied by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.   

Study Together at the LibraryPicture of young men studying together with library book shelves in background
May 22

Students grades 9-12

6:00-9:00 p.m,

Why study at home alone where it's hard to focus?  Come to the Library on "Finals Eve"; we will be staying open an hour later than normal to give you some extra time. 

We'll hav free snacks and beverages as well as some relaxing ways to take a brain break when you need it.  Watch for more details on social meida and in the Chatham School District's Virtual Backpack.


American Girl

Spring Break ActivitiesThe black American Girl doll Claudie dressed in a blue dress.

All Ages
March 20-24

We are welcoming our newest American Girl, Claudie in style-- with a whole week of fun!  Claudie grew up in the 1920's in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance.  These activities, designed for boys and girls, will vary each day. 


Monday, 3/20, It’s Musical Monday!  Come investigate an instrument!  6:00-7:00 p.m. We’ll have a variety of instruments that children will be permitted to touch and in some cases to try playing.  

Tuesday, 3/21, Make, Bake & Take a Mug Cake! We will have the ingredients to make a mug cake. You will need to bring a microwave safe mug. 2-3:30 pm. (A gluten-free option will be available.)

Wednesday, 3/22 Art Attack! A canvas and paint will be provided to make your own abstract art creation. 2-3:30 pm.

Thursday, 3/23  Talent show- for kids & families!  The talent show has been cancelled.

Friday, 3/24, Dance Party with Gretchen from Jan’s Dance, 2-3p.m.


Lego Days
Our next Lego Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. until noon.  All ages are welcome.

You'd be a fool not to join us for Lego Day!  As always we provide the bricks and you bring your imagination.  Come and participate in our Lego Tree Fort challenge or feel free to build whatever you imagine!

Please see the Calendar or Upcoming Events pages for additional information.

a baby reaches for duplo blocks            A dad and his son and little girl play with legos togethertwo school age boys play with legos

Book Camp

Two children riding on the back of a giant fish. One is holding a flag that says "Read more!" Large text reads "Oceans of Possibilities"

Set sail for Book Camp! This year campers aged 4 through 6th grade will make crafts, hear stories, and play games centered on the wonders of the ocean.

For children 4 years old to 4th grade, we offer two sessions; you choose either the June or July session. Each session is for three days and lasts one hour.  Children in 5th and 6th grades attend one extended session in June. 5th and 6th grade book camp lasts 1 ½ hour.  These grade levels are for the grade your child will be going into for the 2023-2024 school year.

  • The cost for all campers is $5. Registration is required and is not refundable.
  • In order to accommodate as many children as possible, campers are not able to repeat sessions.

The Book Camp schedule is as follows:

Aged 4 – Kindergarten:  June 26, 28 and 30  or  July 10, 12, and 14 (10:15 am—11:15 am)

1st – 2nd graders: June 20, 21, 23  or  July 17, 19 and 21 (10:15 am—11:15 am)

3rd – 4th graders: June 12, 14, 16  or  July 24, 26, 28 (10:15 am—11:15 am)

5th – 6th graders: June 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 (1:00 pm—2:30 pm)

Register Here

Summer Reading

June 1 kicks off Summer Reading 2023: Oceans of Possibilities! Two children riding on the back of a giant fish. One is holding a flag that says "Read more!" Large text reads "Oceans of Possibilities"

Summertime means Summer Reading, and we have a pirate’s treasure chest of crafts and prizes for your children to earn by reading this summer.

Sign up starting March 1 using Beanstack for web - http://chathamlib.beanstack.org - or the Beanstack Tracker app (apple | android).*  There are challenges for every age group:

  • Rubber Ducky Club for Birth through age 3:  Read 30 books together and receive a rubber duck.
  • Summer Reading for ages 4-8**:  Receive prizes after each 100 minutes read.
  • Summer Reading for ages 8-12**:  Receive prizes after each 150 minutes read.
  • Tween/Teen Summer Reading for ages 12-18**:  Receive a virtual ticket to enter a raffle for a gift card of your choice after every book read and be automatically entered into a grand prize drawing. Participants will be able to take part in multiple craft days throughout June and July. Watch our social media for more details!

Participants will be able to read and redeem prizes between June 1 and July 31. The Summer Reading program ends Monday, July 31.


*Not sure about how to get started Beanstack or the Beanstack Tracker app? No problem! Check out the Beanstack Tutorial

** For children aged 8 or 12, choose the ONE challenge that best suits your child.


Game Nights and Game Days

Monthly Board Game Nights

For our patrons aged 10 and up, the library hosts Monthly Game Nights. Reservations not required. A close up of a game piece, with a board and dice in the background.

Looking to learn a new board game or show off your gaming skills?  Join us in the library for one of our wednesday game nights.  We have a variety of games to try and fun folks with whom you can try out your strategies.

Join us March 1st, April 5th, and May 3rd from 6:00-7:30 p.m.!

Please see the Calendar or Upcoming Events pages for additional information.

Movies at the Library


Media Folder: 


What is 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten?

1000 Books Before Kindergarten1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a program designed to help parents prepare their children for one of life’s big milestones: kindergarten. Research has shown that children get ready to read years before they begin their formal education. An excellent way to get your child ready to learn is to read to them.

The concept is simple, the rewards are priceless. Read a book (any book) to your newborn, infant, and/or toddler. The goal is to have read 1,000 books (yes, you can repeat books) before your precious one starts kindergarten. Does it sound hard? Not really if you think about it. If you read just 1 book a night, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, you have more time than you think (so get started).

The key is perseverance. Make it exciting. This program will reward your child for each step in the process!

Are you ready to get started?  Great!  We have an online tracking system, called Beanstack, where you can log in all of your reading, as well as earn rewards! Sign up for an account, and start reading today!


Why Read 1,000 Books?

Parents/caregivers can help children master the six early literacy skills that children need to know before they can learn to read:
1. Print motivation
2. Vocabulary
3. Print Awareness
4. Letter Knowledge
5. Narrative Skills
6. Sound Awareness

Who can participate in this program?

 Any child from birth until he or she enters kindergarten can participate.

How long will the program take?

The program is self-paced and will depend on how often you read together.

How many of my children can participate?

All of them (provided they have not yet started kindergarten). Make it even more fun and read as a family!

Do we have to read books from the library?

No, you can read books from anywhere. Just remember to log them on your log them in beanstack!

Can I count a book more than once?

You can! Record the book as many times as you read it! 

Do you need some great reading suggestions?  These are some great resources to get you started:

 Books Your Child Should Read Before Kindergarten

Babies Need Words Every Day Book List

PDF iconAges_0-24mo_Book_Lists.pdf

PDF iconAges_2-3_Book_Lists.pdf

PDF iconAges_4-5_Book_Lists.pdf


Halloween Storytime

Very Scary HalloweenA movie poster with a smiling gray dog that has scars all over his face and body like Frankenstein. He's standing in front of a full moon.

Thursday, October 20
Ages 11 and Up
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

For the 11 years-old and older crowd, the library will be celebrating the spooky season with a showing of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie! In addition to our popcorn and lemonade, we will be serving some frightening Halloween themed treats. Eat them if you dare!  

Halloween Baby and Toddler TimeA woman dressed in a black dress and black witch's hat reads to a group of parents and babies in costume.

Tuesday, October 25
Birth – 3 years
9:45 & 10:45 a.m.

 All Mummies, Daddies and other caregivers are invited to dress their babies in costume and bring them to our Halloween Baby and Toddler Time.  This program is intended for parents/caregivers and their little ones, newborn to 3 years, and features stories,  fingerplays, and songs.

Friendly and Slightly Scary Halloween Stories A group of children in costumes and adults mingles.

Thursday, October 27
Birth – 2nd grade

Choose your Halloween story time based on your preference — Friendly or Slightly Scary Stories.  No matter which you choose, everyone is invited for a snack! 
Both sessions are meant for little boos and ghouls through 2nd grade.

6:30 p.m. Come join us in the Library Gallery for a fun time of Friendly Halloween stories, then stay and enjoy a snack in the Activity Room

7:00 p.m. Those wishing for Slightly Scary Halloween stories can gather in the Library Gallery for stories with a slight thrill. (Remember to come to the Activity Room by 6:45 if you want to gobble a treat before the stories begin!)

Preschool Halloween Stories A woman dressed up in red, white and blue with stars reads to small children in costume.

Friday, October 28   

10:15 a.m.  

Have a cackling good time and complete a spooktacular craft! Preschoolers are encouraged to come dressed in their costumes for our regular Storytime to hear fun Halloween stories and complete a Halloween craft.




Teen Trivia

Percy Jackson Olympics

7th-12th grades
Wednesday, November 9, FREE

Fun begins at 6:00 p.m.and ends at 7:30 p.m.; sign up starts at 5:30 p.m.

Join us for an evening of trivia, games, and crafts based on everyone's favorite demigod:  Percy Jackson!  Bring a team of up to 6, or we can place you with a team,  Prizes will be awarded for the top teams! 

Pizza and snacks will also be provided.  Even if you've never read the books or seen the movies, you will be able to have fun!

Costumes are encouraged, so throw on your toga and join the fun!