Michigan City Public Library
Sand dune
100 E. 4th Street, Michigan City, IN 46360, phone 219 - 873 - 3044 fax 219 - 873 - 3067

      Youth Services

Contact Us

If you have any questions for our Youth Services staff, contact us at:

Michigan City Public Library
Youth Services
100 E. 4th St.
Michigan City, IN 46360


Upcoming Events

Click here to view the Events Calendar or Events Newsletter

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a free reading program offered by the library. Children from birth to age 5 (or until they enter kindergarten) are invited to join. Special surprises are awarded at each 100 book level. Participants will receive a book diary to record the titles read. Books may be read more than once - repetition aids in learning. Register at the Youth Services desk and begin your child's journey to 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. Sponsored by the Platt-Coffin Trust Fund.

Reading to your children will help them:

  • Develop vocabulary skills. Research has shown children with larger vocabularies are better readers.
  • Develop narrative skills. Children who are able to tell or retell a story find the story easier to understand.
  • Develop letter recognition skills. Learning letter names and sounds help children to pronounce written words.
  • Develop print awareness. Children familiar with the printed word feel more comfortable with books.
  • Develop print motivation. Children who enjoy books want to learn how to read.
  • Develop phonological awareness. Children who have difficulty reading often have trouble with phonological awareness.
Suggested readings:

Birth to 12 Months

Welcome Spring
-- Jill Ackerman
This Little Chick -- John Lawrence
Mouse Paint -- Ellen Stoll Walsh

12 to 24 Months

Dear Zoo
-- Rod Campbell
Peekaboo Morning -- Rachel Isadora
Trucks, Trucks, Trucks -- Peter Sis
How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? -- Jane Yolen

2 to 3 Years

Where's My Teddy?
-- Jez Alborough
Butterfly House -- Eve Bunting
A Dozen Ducklings Lost and Found -- Harriet Ziefert

4 to 5 Years

Round is a Mooncake
-- Roseanne Thong
There's Only One of Me! -- Pat Hutchins
A is for Salad -- Mike Lester
Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop -- Lisa Shulman

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Story Time

Story Time - books with cartoon animals

An early childhood introduction to quality children's literature. Join us for stories, songs, activities and crafts. An adult must attend with the child. Please arrive 15 minutes early to sign in and receive a name tag. For children between birth and 5 years old. Check the events calendar for storytime dates and times.

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STEAM Ahead Kids

MCPL S.T.E.A.M. Ahead Kids sun with flowers

Upcoming Events

ozobotsSTEAM Ahead Kids: Ozobots!
Monday, February 27, 4:30 pm

Advance registration required. Have fun programming robots using color-coding and block-based coding with the Ozoblockly app. For kids ages 7-18 years old. Register at the Youth Services desk. For more information, call 219-873-3055 or 219-873-3045 and ask for Dave.


The library offers a variety of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) programs for kids and teens. These fun and educational activities are aligned with Indiana Academic Science Standards and are designed to engage children's creative and critical thinking skills. Check our events calendar for upcoming STEAM events.

If you are an educator and would like to schedule a class visit to the library for a STEAM project, please contact Dave or Lori in Youth Services at 219-873-3045.

Explore Ozobots!

Have fun programming robots! Program the ozobots using color-coding and block-based coding with the Ozoblockly app. For kids ages 7-18 years old. Register at the Youth Services desk. For more information, call 219-873-3055 and ask for Dave.

rubber band carRubber Band-Powered Car

Build a rubber band powered car! For ages 7 and up. All materials will be provided. The child must be present to receive materials.

Robo Wheelsrobowheel

Use paper plates and string to put together and decorate wheels that can race and jump ramps in this interactive science program for the family!


The Tower Challenge

Who can build the highest tower using just spaghetti and marshmallows? Find out by taking the tower challenge!


Art Bots!

Dissect a Computer

Ever wonder what's inside a computer and how it works? We took apart recycled PC towers and investigated each component to learn what they do. For more information, contact Youth Services at 219-873-3045 and ask for Dave.

paper plate & balloon hovercraftBuild a Hovercraft

Build a hovercraft using a balloon and a paper plate! Suggested for children ages 5 and up.

Download hovercraft instructions to complete this project at home or at school:

Instructions (PDF) | Instructions (JPG) Page 1 & Page 2

Marble Roller Coasters

Build your own roller coaster with pipe foam and race marbles through loops and turns. Suggested for children ages 6 years and up, accompanied by an adult.

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Summer Reading Program

The 2016 Summer Reading Program has concluded. Check back later for information on the 2017 Summer Reading Program!

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Teen Pages


Click here for a teen booklist by genre


Epic Reads
Reading Rants
YA Books Central

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Homework Helper

General Information

American FactFinder - Population, housing, economic, and geographic data
Axis 360 ebooks - Popular fiction, non-fiction, and picture books for children, teens, and adults
Children's Illustrated Encyclopedia e-book
Bartleby - Great Books Online, including Bartlett's Familiar Quotations and Gray's Anatomy
Citation Machine - Makes it easy to cite sources
Discovery Education - Math, Science, English, & Social Studies
Explora - Reliable information on thousands of topics for student research projects and more. Log in with your library card number
Fact Monster
DK eBooks in Gale Virtual Reference Library - Log in with your library card number
Homework Help from Multnomah County Library
How Stuff Works
INSPIRE - Indiana's Virtual Library
Internet Public Library
Merriam-Webster Online - Dictionary, thesaurus, medical dictionary, English-Spanish dictionary
New York Public Library Digital Image Gallery


Art ebooks from Gale Virtual Reference Library
Artgames - from Albright-Knox Art Gallery
The Artist's Toolkit
Artsedge - by the Kennedy Center
National Gallery of Art for Kids

Foreign Languages

Take free self-guided lessons to learn any of 80 languages. Each lesson is accompanied by a native speaker, a pictogram, and a translation in your language. Score your pronunciation, have virtual conversations with native speakers, play back recordings, and take quizzes that test pronunciation, vocabulary, comprehension, and spelling.

Chillola.com - English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and more

Math and Science

African American Scientists and Inventors
Algebra Help
Ask Dr. Math
AskRose - Get live help with math and science homework from Rose-Hulman students, Sunday-Thursday, 6-9 p.m. For students in 6th-12th grades. Ask online or call 1-877-ASK-ROSE.
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Bedtime Math
Codecademy - Learn Web design and computer programming in free and easy lessons
Earth Science
GCFLearnFree - Online tutorials in math and technology from Goodwill Community Foundation
Khan Academy - Free online video library covering thousands of topics in K-12 math & science
Math is Fun
Math League -- 4th through 8th grade math topics
Mathematician Biographies
Mousercise and MouseProgram - Beginning computer users, learn how to use a mouse
Periodic Table of Elements
Physics Classroom
Science ebooks from Gale Virtual Reference Library
Science in Context - Log in with your library card number
S.O.S. Mathematics
Virtual Frog Dissection Kit
Visible Human Project
VisionLearning Library
Women Mathematicians

Reading and Writing

Novelist K-8American English - English & American culture for new English learners
Axis 360 ebooks - Popular fiction, non-fiction, and picture books for children, teens, and adults
Bartleby - Great books, quotes, poetry and verse, style guides
Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation
Citation Machine - Makes it easy to cite sources
Contemporary Authors - Log in with your library card number
EasyBib - Citation and bibliography formatting
GCFLearnFree- Online tutorials in math and technology from Goodwill Community Foundation
How to Write a Research Paper
LitFinder - Log in with your library card number
NoveList PlusNoveList K-8 Plus - Find great reading suggestions! Log in with your library card number
NoveList Plus - Find reading suggestions for teen and adult books. Log in with your library card number
Project Gutenberg - Free ebooks for classic novels, non-fiction works, poetry, and more
Purdue Online Writing Lab
Strunk & White's Elements of Style
Teen Booklists
A Word A Day
YA and Kids Book Central

Research Help

Looking for ebooks, articles, and encyclopedias? Check out the library's research databases:

Axis 360 ebooksAxis 360 eBooks
Find popular fiction, non-fiction, and picture books for children, teens, and adults! Download ebooks to your computer, smartphone, tablet, ereader, or other device (please see list of support devices). Patrons need a current Michigan City library card and PIN.

Biography iconBiography in Context (through INSPIRE)
Research notable people from the past and today using this multimedia site with articles, books, photos, and videos. Log in with your library card number.

ExploraExplora (through INSPIRE)
Explora is a fun, easy-to-use tool to help students complete school projects and research assignments. Find reliable information on thousands of topics, including art & music, literature, language arts, history, social studies, science, technology, mathematics, health, and more. Log in with your library card number.

Funk and WagnallsFunk & Wagnall’s New World Encyclopedia (through INSPIRE)
Online version of the well-known encyclopedia. Find brief overviews and articles for thousands of topics. Log in with your library card number.

Gale Virtual Reference LibraryDK eBooks on Gale Virtual Reference Library
Choose from hundreds of age-appropriate non-fiction eBooks covering the arts, science, nature, technology, history, literature, religion, and more. Geared toward K-8 students. Whether you're researching a topic or reading for fun, there's something here for everyone. Log in with your library card number.

Kids ClickKidsClick!
Created by librarians at the Ramapo Catskill Library system to guide young library users to valuable and age appropriate web sites.

NoveList K8NoveList K-8 Plus
A comprehensive reading resource for fiction and nonfiction for young readers and listeners. Find book recommendations based on authors, titles, series, genre, or subject areas. Also includes book reviews, picture book extenders, book discussion guides, book talks, award winners, Lexile reading levels, & more! Log in with your library card number.

Social Studies

American Memory - Digital record of American history
The American Presidency Project
BBC Country Profiles
Ben's Guide to U.S. Government
Biography in Context - Log in with your library card number
Congress for Kids
History.com This Day in History
History e-books from Gale Virtual Reference Library. Log in with your library card number.
HyperHistory - World history timeline
Indiana History Online (through INSPIRE)
IndianaMap - maps and spatial data
Indiana Memory - Primary sources about Indiana history
Khan Academy - Free online videos featuring topics on history and humanities
National Atlas - Maps
National Geographic Printable Maps and Interactive Map Maker
Presidents of the United States
Social Studies e-books from Gale Virtual Reference Library
United Nations Cyberschoolbus
The World Factbook

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Science Fair

Click here for an alphabetical project listing

Young Hoosier Book Award

Young Hoosier Book AwardFirst begun in 1974, the Young Hoosier Book Award encourages Indiana students to read for fun. Since 1992, the Award has been divided into three categories based on grade level: Kindergarten-3rd grade (picture books), 4th-6th grade (intermediate), and 6th-8th grade (middle grade).

Each year, teachers, students, parents and media specialists submit suggestions to the Young Hoosier Book Award committee, who nominate twenty books in each category. Students read the books on the list and vote for their favorites. Votes are then tallied and the winning illustrator and authors are presented the award in the spring of the following year.

2015-2016 Winners

Picture Book: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Intermediate: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
Middle Grade: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

2016-2017 Nominees

Picture Books
(Kindergarten-3rd Grade)

Intermediate Books
(4th-6th Grade)

Middle Grade Books
6th-8th Grade)

Ellison Die - Cut

Click here for shape listing