Preschool children in a classroom for story time. Getty Images

Youth Services

While we do not provide direct services to children or teens, we offer a variety of resources to support Ohio’s library youth services staff and activities. Our goal is to assist library staff who provide services to the children and teens of communities across Ohio. Please contact Youth Services Consultant Janet Ingraham Dwyer with any comments or suggestions, or with questions about any of these programs.

Library Programs

Buckeye Children’s and Teen Book Award

The Buckeye Children’s and Teen Book Award supports youth reading and teacher and librarian involvement. This readers’ choice award encourages young people to share their joy of reading by voting for their favorite books. The State Library of Ohio is a sponsoring agency of the Buckeye Book Awards.

Visit the Buckeye Book Award website

Building Equity Based Summers

Ohio is one of six states piloting the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant-funded initiative Building Equity Based Summers Through Libraries & Communities (BEBS) in 2023-2025. BEBS will empower library staff to weave equity into their summer library programs. The goal of this project is to build library staff skills and confidence, which will equip them to create summer programs and services that are equitable and that promote equity across the communities served by their library. Ohio public libraries may apply to participate in the first year of this project. Learn more and apply by November 21, 2022.

Learn about Building Equity Based Summers

Choose to Read Ohio

This initiative encourages libraries, schools, families, and others to build a community of readers and an appreciation for Ohio authors, illustrators, and literature. With the input of dozens of librarians, teachers, and others, the Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO) Advisory Council creates and promotes a biennial booklist of 20 representative titles for all ages. The CTRO Advisory Council also selects the annual Floyd’s Pick Book Award. CTRO is a project of the State Library, Ohioana Library, and Ohio Center for the Book.


Day By Day Ohio Family Literacy Calendar

Families, caregivers, educators, and librarians can use the Day By Day Ohio Family Literacy Calendar at home, library, classroom, or on the go. With a perpetual calendar featuring songs, activities, book suggestions, and videos, Day By Day Ohio supports early literacy skills and helps young children get ready for school. This project of the State Library and Ohio Ready to Read promotes family literacy and family engagement across Ohio.

Visit the Day By Day Ohio Website Visit the Day By Day Ohio Media Kit page

Ohio Ready to Read

Ohio Ready to Read (ORTR) helps librarians to educate Ohio’s families on the importance of early childhood literacy.  ORTR provides Every Child Ready to Read® @ Your Library® and other early literacy information and tools for outreach, programming, and advocacy. ORTR trainers are available to provide the popular Early Literacy 101 workshop. There is no charge for this workshop or for any ORTR services to libraries.

Visit the Ohio Ready to Read Site

Reimagining School Readiness Workshop

The Reimagining School Readiness Toolkit is a suite of research-backed resources created for library staff to help families prepare children ages birth to 8 years for success in school and in life. Through an online interactive presentation with hands-on activities, this training  introduces library staff to the research, practical implications, and resources offered in the toolkit.

Visit the Reimagining School Readiness page

Summer Library Program

The Ohio Summer Library Program page is an information center for public libraries planning summer library programs. Check out a wide variety of resources to help you plan.  Be an advocate and share the benefits of summer reading using research and best practices collected on this page. Learn about upcoming Collaborative Summer Library Program themes, workshop dates and locations, and statewide incentives and opportunities.

Visit the Summer library Program Page

Summer Food Service Program

Learn about how libraries can participate in this USDA program and help eliminate child hunger in Ohio. Libraries can address food insecurity while boosting summer library program participation and engaging new library users.

Visit the Summer Food Service Program Page

Take Five

Take Five is an annual, librarian-led event on new ideas and creative approaches. It is for all people who work with teens and youth in libraries and other learning environments.

Visit the Take Five Page

Transforming Teen Services

Transforming Teen Services is a nationwide initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). It aims to support and elevate teen services in libraries and other learning environments. Transforming Teen Services integrates connected learning, computational thinking, and youth development to help build responsive services for and with teens. An Ohio-based training team facilitates workshops and other learning experiences for Ohio library staff.

Learn more about Transforming Teen Services

Additional Resources

  • Stay informed and connected with the Library Youth Services list, an email discussion and announcement list for anyone working in children’s or teen services in Ohio, and the Ohio Teen Services Librarians list, a discussion list for teen services specialists. We also a host a mailing list for the Central Ohio Youth Services network. Check out the Sign up for a Listserv page for more information.
  • STEM Programming Resources in Ohio is a county-by-county list of STEM organizations, clubs, societies, and other establishments. Librarians can reach out to local or regional experts and enthusiasts when planning STEM programming during the summer and year-round.
  • The Ohio Youth Services Performers Showcase directory provides librarians with information about area performers.
  • Ohio Public Libraries and Student Learning: resources to learn about Ohio’s Learning Standards, the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, and other developments in PreK-12 education policy and practice. Get up to speed on education practice in Ohio. Learn what your library can do at any time, with little additional investment of time or money, to support students, parents, and teachers.
  • The Reading ‘Round the Clock initiative features three videos designed to help parents and caregivers help children practice reading. Reading on the Go, Reading for a Purpose , and Reading on the Screen give parents and care givers concrete, easy tips to help their children become stronger readers and meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. They are perfect for sharing with your community at the library, during community events, and on your website. Find a collection of companion flyers with additional tips on INFOhio’s Beginning Readers Resource Page. The flyers and videos were developed by INFOhio, the State Library, Ohio Educational Library Media Association, and the Ohio PTA. They are available to all Ohioans for free download.

For further information on any of these services, or to contact the State Library of Ohio on any matter related to youth services, please contact Janet Ingraham Dwyer, Library Consultant, at or 614-644-6910 or 1-800-686-1532.