Get started if you have kids
Kids of any age can get a Library card if their parent or legal guardian lives, works, goes to school or owns property in Seattle. We can help kids succeed in school and offer opportunities to play games and hear stories for different age groups. Learn more about the programs and services we offer for kids and families.
The Library for Kids FAQs
How does a child under 13 get a Library card?
Can parents and guardians access their kids’ Library account?
Yes. Parents and legal guardians can access their kids’ accounts to see when items are due, pay fines, manage notifications, and anything else you can do with your own card. Parents and guardians should make sure that materials are appropriate for their child’s age. When kids turn 13, we protect their privacy and will not allow parents or guardians access to their accounts.
Parents and caregivers of minor borrowers may only check out items on their child’s card if:
- The child is present, or
- They present the child’s Library card, or
- They enter the child’s Library card number and PIN using self-checkout
We advise parents and caregivers to make a note of card numbers and PINs for their convenience.
Can parents and guardians pay fines and fees for their kids?
Parents and guardians agree to pay any late fines associated with their juvenile child’s card when they co-sign their application and may pay fines on their kids’ accounts.
Third parties, including parents, may only pay fines on the accounts of young adults ages 13 to 17 if they present the borrower’s Library card or overdue/billing notice.
What programs and services does the Library offer for kids?
We offer free programs for children of all ages, ranging from early learning activities to reading challenges:
- Story Time for children in preschool and younger
- Begin with Books kits for early readers (ages 3-6) to share with parents or caregivers
- Student Success programs for kids in grades K-12, to provide Homework Help and academic coaching
- Global Reading Challenge for Seattle Public School 4th and 5th grade students who read and study from a book list to prepare for a trivia Quiz Bowl
- Summer of Learning program to keep kids reading and learning during summer break
- Performances, movies and more for people of all ages
How does the Library prevent kids from seeing inappropriate material?
Parents and guardians should make sure materials their kids under 13 check out are age-appropriate. Filtered internet access is available in the children’s areas at your Library. Outside of those areas computers have unrestricted access to the internet, which may include adult content. Please respect the privacy of other patrons using our computers. We do our best to place computers where screens are not easy to view and use privacy screens on the monitors.
If you have a question or need help, Ask Us or call 206-386-4636.