Children’s Materials

The Marshall-Lyon County Library has a children’s collection of more than 29,000 items. The majority of the collection is housed in the Robert L. and Phyllis Carr Children’s Library in Marshall. Smaller collections are available in Balaton and Cottonwood.  These materials range from books for all ages to a variety of media, such as DVDs, music, and audiobooks.  There are also children’s materials online in our digital libraries.  Below is a list of materials available for checkout.


  • Board Books:
    For the youngest readers, these are a sturdy books with shorter stories or concepts.
  • Picture Books:
    For toddlers, preschoolers, and younger school-age, these books have a larger format and illustrations accompanying a story.
  • Beginning and Juvenile Readers:
    With limited and controlled vocabularies, these are the stepping stones for a child practicing self-reading. Start with Beginning Readers, which are available in increasing difficulty levels, for word recognition. Juvenile Readers are beginning chapter books and help children develop sustained reading skills.
  • Juvenile Fiction:
    Once a child is a practiced reader, these longer chapter books continue to grow a reader through more extensive vocabulary usage, complex sentences, and deeper stories.
  • Juvenile Nonfiction:
    This collection, focused on a wide variety of topics, is for children of all ages, with books for all levels of reading ability (including pre-readers) and interests.
  • Special Collections (mainly housed in Marshall)
    • Fire truck: Created with money and volunteer time from the Marshall Fire Department, a fire truck seating and book display area is available for readers and browsers.
    • Holiday: Looking for a good book on a specific holiday?  Check out this collection that includes titles for all ages.
    • 1,000 Books: Created to support the Library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, this is a great collection to browse for classic children’s books everyone should know.
    • Golden Books: This collection has titles, both old and new, that are published as part of the Golden Books imprint, which is celebrating 75 years in 2017.
    • Series: For popular and long-standing children’s series, such as The Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew, we’ve created a dedicated space in the Juvenile section.
    • Parents: We have pulled a number of titles related to raising children and related information from our Adult Nonfiction stacks and moved them to the Children’s Library for easier browsing.


  • Audiobooks:
    Audio versions of children’s books are available on CD, as well as Book/CD kits that contain both materials.
  • DVDs:
    The Library carries children’s DVDs that are mainly non-rated animated children’s shows and G-Rated movies aimed specifically at children. Our Family DVD collection, also housed in the Children’s library, contains DVDs of G- and PG-Rated movies and television shows geared toward the whole family.
  • Music:
    A small collection of popular and education children’s music is available on CD.

Other Materials

  • Magazines:
    Back issues of popular children’s magazines, such as American Girl, Ranger Rick and Sports Illustrated for Kids are ready for checkout.
  • Puzzles:
    Along with other toys, there are child-friendly puzzles available to use in the Library. We also have puzzles for packed and ready to be checked out for use at home.
  • Puppets:
    Animal and other puppets can be used in the library or checked out for home use.
  • Cake Pans: 
    Looking to make a special cake, but don’t have the correct pan?  Look through the Library’s collection of characters (such as Dora, Mickey Mouse or Barbie), objects (car, t-shirt or Christmas tree) and animals (dog, cat, dinosaur or bat) to make your next cake extraordinary! You can view a visual listing of our cake pans here.
  • World of Wonder Backpacks:
    These book and activity kits are color-coded by age and available in a variety of topics. You can learn more about them here.
  • Toy Lending Library:
    The toy lending library includes games, educational toys, and activities for all ages. You can learn more about it here.

Digital Library

The Library has severak digital library services, all of which carry materials for children.  Click here to learn more about them and to find out the best way to search for age-appropriate titles.