5 Library-Themed Songs to Promote Literacy Skills

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National Library Week is April 10-16, 2016. To celebrate, share some of these wonderful songs about books, libraries, and reading with the preschoolers in your life! Not only will they reinforce the importance of libraries, but they will also help strengthen your little ones’ early literacy skills.

tla library songs


The Library Song by Tom Chapin
This song is a celebration of the fun of visiting the library and choosing a book to check out. The original recording is great on its own, as is this adaptation from King County Library System. When I sing it with my two-year-old, I change it around a little bit. Where the KCLS librarian sings, “Gonna say hi to the story lady,” I just repeat “I’m going down to the library.” Then for each subsequent verse, I ask my daughter for the name of a different family member, animal, or toy, and sing about whatever she chooses.

These Are My Glasses by The Laurie Berkner Band  
This song works really nicely for a mixed age group. The actions (shown here on YouTube) are simple, but they make the kids giggle, and older kids love that they can learn the entire song after hearing it just a couple of times. (Note: The original album recording has a lot of dialogue at the start, so I usually prefer to sing the song a cappella and jump right into the singing without all the warm-up.)

If You’d Like to Read a Book
I learned this song from a colleague in my first library job. You use the same tune and motions as you would for If You’re Happy and You Know It, but you invite the audience to clap, stomp, and shout hooray if they want to read a book. It’s a great way to kick off a story time, or to introduce a book during playtime at home.

Who Are The People in Your Story Books?
A few years ago, when I did a reading-themed story time, I wrote a piggyback song about book characters based on Sesame Street‘s Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? Here’s the refrain:

Who are the people in your story books,
In your story books, in your story books?
Oh, who are the people in your story books –
They’re the characters you read about.

And here is a sample verse:

Madeline is a person in a story book,
In a story book, in a story book,
Oh, Madeline is a person in a story book
She’s a character you read about.

If you print out pictures of your child’s favorite characters, this also makes a great flannel board or stick puppet activity. The tune (and the librarian verse of the original song) can be heard on YouTube.

The More We Read Together
The More We Get Together is a popular children’s song, and a few years ago, I gave it a reading-related twist:

The more we read together,
Together, together
The more we read together
The happier we’ll be.
Read big books and small books
And short books and tall books
The more we read together
The happier we’ll be.

See Jbrary perform my version on their YouTube channel.

About Katie Fitzgerald

Katie Fitzgerald holds degrees in English and library science, and has worked in small town and big city libraries, serving both children and teens. You can read her book reviews and posts about story time, picture books, and early literacy at Story Time Secrets. Also follow her blog on Facebook for kidlit quotations, story time suggestions, and interesting links.


  1. Thanks for this! I’m going to use “If you’d like to read a book” for my Eric Carle story time in October!

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