Library offers back-to-school resources

back to school support

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – As the first day of school approaches, is your child prepared for the academic year? Libraries across Pennsylvania grow students’ school readiness, social, cognitive and emotional skills.

Developing a passion for reading is crucial, according to Jim Trelease, author of the best-seller, “The Read-Aloud Handbook.” “Students who read the most, read the best, achieve the most, and stay in school the longest. Conversely, those who don’t read much, cannot get better at it.”

Reading aloud is, according to the landmark 1985 report “Becoming a Nation of Readers,” “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.”

And the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., can help. The Library offers year-round storytimes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age students. Programs for all ages are featured at, where you can filter and sort by age.

New this year are programs designed to engage homeschool families, such as Girls Who Code, a learn to code program for students of any gender in grades three, four and five. Other educational programs include learning Dungeons and Dragons at Teen Fandom Night, K-2 Kindness Club, A Pawsitive Reading Experience with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, and Family Digital Arts Camp with Box of Light.  

The Brown Library’s children’s department can recommend titles to help deal with first-day jitters for elementary school students and moving up to middle school books for older children.

The Library’s digital databases can foster early literacy through online storybooks on Hoopla and Libby, all free with a library card.

Families can find free online help across the grade levels and subject areas with POWER Library, including the free “chat with a librarian” function that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. POWER Library has resources for children and teens, including the Gale in Context Elementary database, which includes information about animals, geography, plants, sports, literature, and more.

“Using our digital databases develops critical thinking skills important to school academic success and literacy skills vital for a love of lifelong reading,” Children’s Librarian Nina White said.

The library supports the PA Forward statewide initiative, which believes that when Pennsylvania residents improve their command of five types of literacy – basic, information, civic and social, health and financial – they can achieve greater success as students, parents, employees, consumers, as citizens. Libraries are community centers of information, technology and learning that will fuel educational and economic opportunity for all of our citizens.

The James V. Brown Library is open for browsing and holds pick up from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. To place a hold, visit or call 570-326-0536 during the library’s operating hours. The library also is open for public computer usage and for services such as printing, faxing, copying and scanning. Walk-in passport services are available.

The James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., Williamsport, Pa., is the place to go to learn, connect and grow. Founded in June 1907, the library champions the love of reading, opens new doors to lifelong learning, provides a haven to those who seek and ensures the preservation of public library services for future generations. The library has more than 225,000 visitors in a year and circulates a half-million items annually. A member of the Lycoming County Library System, the James V. Brown Library participates in PA Forward, a statewide initiative to promote literacies in our communities to power a better future for everyone.

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