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Special Services and Collections

Special Services

Book-A-Trip Travel Kits

Going away on vacation? The Youth Services Department will put together a travel packet for your child containing activity sheets and reading materials based on your child’s reading interests and vacation location. This service is for Itasca card holders only and requires at least two weeks notice. For more information or to fill out a “Book-A-Trip” travel kit form, stop by the Youth Services Desk.

Hug a Baby, Hug a Book

Do you have a new baby at home?  If so, then you may pick up one of our “Hug a Baby, Hug a Book” bags at the Patron Services desk.  Each bag contains a board book, a plastic key ring toy, and information about the services we provide for infants and toddlers at the library.  Remember, it’s never too early to start reading to your child or bringing them to the library!  “Hug a Baby, Hug a Book” gifts are available to all Itasca residents and a library card is not required to receive one.


The library has an ongoing volunteer program for kids in Grades 6-12 called VolunTeens. We offer two five-week sessions each quarter with a mandatory training class at the start of each session. VolunTeens work in the Youth Department helping with such things as preparing craft projects, assisting with programs for younger children, straightening materials, etc. VolunTeen hours count towards community service required for school and church. Check the Teen Programs page for the next available session at:

Book Bundles

Don’t know what to read next, or looking for a new author or series to try? Request a Kids or Teens Book Bundle today! Fill out the form here, and one of our Youth Services Librarians will choose a variety of books selected just for you. We’ll put those books together in a bag (along with bookmarks, stickers, and a few other goodies!), and then we’ll contact you to let you know that your bundle is ready to be picked up or delivered. You should receive a response within a week of submitting your form.

Special Collections

Battle of Books Collection

The Battle of Books Collection is a collection of award winning and notable children’s literature. This collection is for the Battle of Books program that is available to all Itasca schools. This collection is available for check out by anyone with a valid library card.

Beginning Tape Readers

The Beginning Tape Readers is a great starting place for children beginning to read on their own. The collection is divided into three reading levels: Blue Tape, Red Tape and Yellow Tape. Blue Tape Readers are the first level with simple stories, large text, and few words per page. Red Tape Readers are the second level with more involved stories, smaller text and small paragraphs per page. The Yellow Tape Readers are the third level with more complex stories and beginning chapter books. All three levels contain both fiction and non-fiction titles.

Homework Shelf

Textbooks from Benson, Franzen, Peacock, Medinah, Lake Park High School, and St. Luke’s School are available for in-house use at all times that the library is open. These textbooks are the property of the schools, and the library is simply housing them for the convenience of the students.

New Books

The New Books collection contains books that have been in the youth collection for 5 months or less.  The shelves house both fiction and non-fiction at a variety of reading levels.

LeapPad TAG Kits

The Youth Department circulates 12 TAG and TAG Junior kits that include books and a read-along electronic reader.

Learning Games Collection

The Youth Department has a collection of over 400 games with an educational slant. There are games to promote skills and knowledge in the areas of reading, spelling, math, and geography. In addition, there are puzzles and other toys that promote tactile awareness. The games are available to anyone with a valid library card.

Parent/Teacher Shelf

The Parent/Teacher Shelf is a collection of materials in the Youth Department which are of interest to parents, teachers, and other adults living and working with children.


A Playaway is a self-playing digital audio book that comes pre-loaded on a small storage device. All you need is a set of headphones – nothing else – and you have everything you need to listen to a great book. The youth department currently has new and classic Playaway titles, including The Wizard of Oz, Inkheart, Number the Stars, and Charlotte’s Web.

Preschool Discovery Back Packs

The library circulates themed back packs geared at preschool age children. Each back pack contains books, DVDs, toys, and/or games all related to the same topic. Topics include New Siblings, the Five Senses, Careers, Counting, Telling Time, Getting Ready to Read, and Dinosaurs.

Youth Spanish Collection

The Youth Spanish Collection includes mainly picture books, but there are some chapter books and non-fiction titles too.  Some titles are in Spanish only, while many others are bilingual. This collection is available to all individuals who read or are learning to read Spanish.