Taking Kids to the Tampa Area Libraries

We love our libraries. I take my kids to a library at least once a week. We have so much fun returning books, selecting new ones, participating in music and story time, and even just meandering through the aisles.

If you’re interested in the library, but unsure about the details, here are seven things about taking kids to the Tampa Area Libraries.

County Systems

There are eight functioning library systems in our area. Each county has its own network:

Citrus County Library System

Hernando County Libraries 

Pasco County Libraries

Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative

Pinellas Public Library Cooperative

Polk County Library Cooperative 

Manatee County Public Library System

Sarasota County Libraries

Visiting and Cards

You can visit any library, but you’ll want to get your card in the county where you live. It’s FREE to get a library card. Kids can have their own card. This is a highlight to every visit for my daughter. She keeps her card in her purse and is responsible for using it.


The libraries have surprisingly varying hours. When I was a kid, the times were pretty straight forward, 9 to 5. Times have changed (pun intended). Some libraries have evening hours. Some are open on Sunday. This is great flexibility for taking kids to the Tampa area libraries. You can check an individual library’s times on google maps, or by clicking to the location through the main county website.

Checking out Books

Books can be checked out from one location and returned at another location as long as it’s still within the same county. You can also sign up for text notifications and renew your books online. Welcome to the 21stcentury!

Free Programs for Kids

The libraries all do a good job of planning story and music times, craft activities, and even special events for kids at pretty much every location in the Tampa area. You don’t even have to have a card or live in the area to attend. Most activities do not require any pre-registration. The best way to find kids programs is to look online or pick up a monthly calendar from a specific location.

More than Books

You can checkout music, movies, puzzles and magazines from the library! There are so many cool things offered for kids of all ages.

Good Place to Meet Friends

When you take your kids to the Tampa area libraries, keep in mind that many other moms and dads are there to do the exact same thing – keep their kids engaged and make new friends. Don’t be shy. Say hi to another mom sitting next to you. Offer something positive that you observe about their kid. Encourage your kids to be friendly and courteous. You just might make a new friend!

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