Birth to Age 5

Check out all the activities and resources we have to help support your child's early literacy and healthy development

Raise a Reader Weekly Storytime

The library hosts three different storytimes each week at all of the public libraries in the Imperial County. Check out Shake, Rattle & Read for infants ages 0-18 months, Tales for Tots for children ages 18-36 months, and Preschool Power for children ages 3-5 years. Programs are offered each week at the following libraries: Brawley, Calexico, Calipatria, El Centro, Heber, Holtville, Imperial, and Salton City.

Click here to register or call (442) 265-7103. Haga clic para registrarse.

Parent & Family Collection

Browse this special collection of books, DVDs, and magazines on topics such as potty training, ADHD, asthma, baby feeding, and other helpful topics

Family Place Spaces

Play in the library's specially designed spaces filled with blocks, dramatic play toys, puzzles, and other manipulatives. Available in Calipatria, Heber, and Holtville.

Toy Lending

Check out a toy from the library! Have fun with durable, developmentally appropriate toys such as dinosaurs, musical instruments, trucks, dolls, and more. Borrow one toy per child for up to 10 days. View our Toy Menu.

Developmental Screenings @ Your Library!

Our Family Literacy Specialists have been specially trained to offer the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) to check on your child's development

The ASQ is simple and accurate and based on years of research and user feedback. Meet one-on-one with a Family Literacy Specialist at your library to complete the simple survey and discuss the results. Our Family Literacy Specialists will provide you with activities to keep promoting your child's healthy development.

Download the brochure in English or Spanish to learn more information about ASQs.

What is screening, anyway?

Screening is a quick check of your child’s development. It’s happening in a wide variety of early childhood settings these days—from doctors’ offices to preschools to child care programs. Screening takes a snapshot of your child’s current skills and helps accurately identify children who may be at risk for delays.

Why is it important for my child to be screened?

Regular screening provides a fast and helpful look at how your child is doing in important areas like communication, social skills, motor skills, and problem-solving skills. Screening can identify your child’s strengths, uncover new milestones to celebrate, and reveal any areas where your child may need support. It helps you understand your child’s development and know what to look for next. And it helps you work with doctors and educators to plan next steps when it makes the most difference—your child’s critical first years of life.

What is ASQ, exactly?

The ASQ screeners are sets of valid, reliable, and age-appropriate questionnaires that are filled out by the true expert on your child—you! There are two screeners in the ASQ family: ASQ®-3, which looks at key areas of early development, and ASQ®:SE-2, which focuses on social-emotional development.

How long does an ASQ questionnaire take?

You’ll only need 15-20 minutes to fill out an ASQ-3 or ASQ:SE-2 questionnaire. It’s that quick and easy! Staff will follow-up with you within a week to discuss results.

What happens after I get my child’s ASQ results?

If your child is developing without concerns, there won’t be specific follow-up steps—just keep playing and interacting with your child as they grow and reach new milestones. If your child has trouble with some skills, your program will help you with next steps, including a possible referral for more assessment. Whether or not there are concerns, your program might also give you some fun and easy ASQ learning activities to try with your child before the next screening.

Schedule Your Child's Developmental Screening

The ASQ Developmental Screenings are FREE to families with a child ages 0-5 residing in Imperial County and enrolled in Raise a Reader Program. Complete the Contact Form to request an appointment to meet one-on-one with a Family Literacy Specialist at your preferred public library location. Staff will contact you within 3-5 business days by phone or email to schedule an appointment. These services are available in English and Spanish.

For more information, contact our Family Literacy Specialists at (442) 265-7103 or by email at

1000 Books Before Kindergarten Online

Get your little one ready for kindergarten by reading and sharing books together. Track your reading online using Beanstack and earn prizes for different badges. Pick up your child's prizes at any of the County library branches. Just show your badge or ask staff to look up your profile.

To Get Started:

  1. Register yourself and your child online.
  2. Choose the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge.
  3. Read a book (or the same book multiple times) to your newborn, infant, or toddler.
  4. Log in and track your reading.
  5. Pick up a prize every time you earn a badge!

Download the Beanstack App to track your reading

Imperial County Free Library has teamed up with Bright by Text to send free activities, games, and resources right to your cell phone. Messages are targeted to your child’s age and include information on child development, language and early literacy, health and safety, behavioral tips, and more.

To sign up, simply text the word “FAMILYPLACE” to 274448* or follow the weblink below. You will receive two to five short text messages per week, and each message provides a link for more information. To sign up additional children, simply text “FAMILYPLACE” to 274448 an additional time for each child.

Children K-6

Monthly Craft Kits

Children in K-6 grade can pickup a craft kit once a month from their local County Library branch. Craft kits are filled with supplies, activities, recipes, and more! Call the library to reserve yours today and pickup using the library's Grab and Go service. While supplies last.

Story time

Join us for a family-friendly event to celebrate the winter season. Register online. While supplies last.

The Libraries on the Spectrum countywide initiative provides resources and services to families with individuals with autism at all local public libraries in the Imperial Valley. Through the initiative led by the County Library, families have access to a collection of specialized equipment and helpful resources at all local public libraries in the cities of Brawley, Calexico, El Centro, Imperial, Calipatria, Holtville and areas of Heber and Salton City.

Do you have a family member with autism? Sign up today for monthly sensory kits and learn about services available at a public library near you. Register online.


Each library typically hosts educational and recreational programs on a monthly basis targeted at families with autism that range from sensory story times, social hours, craft times, and special movie screenings.


Resource Collection

A variety of print and digital resources including books, DVDs, and learning software on topics of interest to families with individuals with autism including diagnosis, suggested recreational activities, understanding individual education plans, and coping strategies. Contact your local public library to borrow these resources.

New Library Environments

Each library has new elements to enhance the existing environment to be more accommodating and comfortable for individuals with autism including visual schedules, sensory panels, specialty furniture, calming corners, and activity areas.


Equipment Collection

Borrow hands-on tools to assist with sensory processing and promote communication and social skills. The collection includes noise-reducing headphones, weighted lap pads, fidget pads, sequencing and sorting puzzles and more!

Partner Libraries

Brawley Public Library

400 Main Street in Brawley

(760) 344-1891

Camarena Memorial Library

850 Encinas Ave. in Calexico

(760) 768-2170

El Centro Public Library

1140 N. Imperial Ave. in El Centro

(760) 337-4565

Imperial County Free Library

Calipatria, Heber, Holtville & Salton City

(442) 265-7100

Imperial Public Library

200 W. 9th Street in Imperial

(760) 355-1332

All resources and programs are provided free of charge to the public through a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the California State Library.


Adult Literacy Program

A FREE program for anyone age 18 and over struggling with reading or writing in English. Adult learners are paired with a tutor for one-on-one or small group instruction. Learners work on a variety of goals including studying for the U.S. Citizenship Test, communicate better with their child's teacher/doctor and learning how to write and use the computer. For more information please email:


Book Club

Join us once a month to discuss our monthly read. Book Club currently meets virtually typically on the third Thursday of the month at 6pm. Email for more information.

Card Crafts

Learn how to make decorative greeting cards by hand. Register to participate in 6 online card making sessions hosted on Zoom. All materials are included in craft kit. Participants must commit to attend all sessions. Craft kits will be available for pickup at any County Library branch. Space is limited to 15 participants. REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Earn your high school diploma ONLINE!

Imperial County Free Library's Career Online High School (COHS) offers adults the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and a career certificate. You can advance in your career or take the next step in your education once you graduate. The Library supports you from enrollment to graduation so that you can achieve your goals.

The library's program provides a limited number of scholarships to qualified adult learners who are looking to expand their career opportunities, prepare for workforce entry or continue their education. To be considered for the program, applicants will successfully complete an online self-assessment and prerequisite course, followed by an in-person interview.

Once enrolled in the program, COHS pairs each student with an online academic coach, who provides the student with an individual career path, offers ongoing guidance, evaluates performance and connects the student with the resources needed to master the courses. Students will be given up to 18 months to complete the program.

Applicant Requirements

  • Be 18 or older
  • Live in Imperial County
  • Have an Imperial County Free Library card in good standing
  • Be willing to spend at least 10 hours a week on coursework
  • Be comfortable reading, writing, and speaking in English
  • Be comfortable using technology
  • Have completed at least the 8th grade

Quick Facts

  • Requires completion of 36 semesters
  • You may transfer previous credits from accredited high school courses, shortening the completion time from 18 months to as little as 5 months for some students.
  • Earn both your high school diploma and a career certificate in one of nine high-growth fields.
  • Courses are taught in an online learning environment available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Students are paired with an academic coach who provides the student with ongoing guidance and the resources needed to master the material. The coach is available via phone or email.


What is Career Online High School (COHS)?

Career Online High School (COHS) is an online high school diploma and career certification program available through the Imperial County Free Library. This program offers scholarships to a limited number of qualified students.

Who can apply to COHS?

Imperial County residents (at least 18 years of age) who wish to earn their high school diploma and have a Imperial County Free Library card in good standing.

How will people be selected for the program?

Enrollment is limited and the demand is expected to be high. Adults must successfully pass an online self-assessment and prerequisite course, as well as an in-person interview to become an applicant in the program.

How much does it cost?

Career Online High School is a program offered through Imperial County Free Library as a free service to the community and to fulfill its mission of supporting lifelong learning. Funds for this program have been made available through grants from the CA State Library and the Serra Regional Cooperative Library System. Students should demonstrate their commitment to completing the program through their effort and time spent on coursework. Scholarships are limited. Successful completion of the prerequisite course does not guarantee a scholarship will be awarded. If you request a transcript from one or more of your U. S. high schools or colleges, there will probably be a fee of around $5 to $15 that is your responsibility to pay.

Will COHS students receive their GED?

No. This is not a GED program. Successful graduates will earn a high school diploma and a career certification through an accredited online high school.

Is this program available in Spanish?

Unfortunately all coursework is in English and students should be comfortable listening, reading, and understanding English.

What is the difference between a GED and a high school diploma?

While both the GED and the high school diploma are important, there are several differences between them; among the most significant is the fact that some colleges, institutions and organizations require a high school diploma and may not accept the GED. In addition to providing a high school diploma, COHS gives students the benefit of earning a career certificate and completing additional job preparation documents and training.

What type of career certification will be offered?

Through COHS, students may earn a certificate in the following areas:

  • Childcare and Education
  • Certified Protection Officer (Security Officer)
  • Office Management
  • Certified Transportation Services (Trucker/Commercial Driver)
  • Homeland Security
  • General Career Preparation
  • Retail Customer Service Skills
  • Food Service and Customer Service Skills

How long will it take for students to complete the program?

Students will be given up to 18 months to complete the program, which will consist of 18 credits. Students accepted into the program may transfer up to 14 credits from their former high school. Depending on how many credits the student is able to transfer, the program can be completed in as few as five months.

When can I work on my courses?

Courses are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with internet access.

What if I need help with my coursework?

Your academic coach will connect you with a certified instructor, who will provide you with additional academic support when needed.

What if I don't have a computer or internet access?

Please contact our Literacy Coordinator to discuss your options. Students will need to complete at least 10 hours of coursework per week on a computer with internet access. If computer access is a problem, we will work with you to identify a library or community location where you might be able to complete your work. We may also be able to lend you a laptop and wifi hotspot to participate in the program.

Learn More

To learn more about this program, please email and our enrollment team will contact you.