Central Library has free rapid COVID-19 test kits available on the first floor.
1 box (each box has two rapid tests) per individual or 5 per household. First come first served — no reserving or picking up for others.

Ready to Read

Community Outreach

Photo of children pointing to two different books to have read to them


Ready to Read is a Kalamazoo Public Library outreach program that encourages parents and caregivers to share books with children from birth to five years of age.

Educational research shows that reading aloud to children is the best way to prepare them for learning to read.

Children that start kindergarten being familiar with books are more likely to become good readers and achieve academic success.


Sponsor Ready to Read


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More Ways to Sponsor Ready to Read PDF


Serving Kalamazoo County Families

Kalamazoo Public Library collaborates with organizations that serve Kalamazoo County families to:

  • Educate parents and caregivers about the value of sharing books beginning at birth
  • Demonstrate effective ways to choose and share books with children from birth to five
  • Provide gifts of children’s books to at-risk families along with family literacy guidance
  • Introduce families to the resources and programs of Kalamazoo Public Library
  • Support adult literacy education of parents and caregivers

Ready to Read partners include pediatricians, pre-natal and parent educators, community organizations serving at-risk families and Kalamazoo Literacy Council.


Ready to Read Community Events

Party in the Park

Ready to Read hosts Party in the Park every spring to celebrate early childhood literacy. More than 1,500 preschoolers attend a festive story hour in Bronson Park. Community leaders and costumed story book characters read aloud and all children receive a healthy snack and gift book from the Library.

Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee

In November, the Library hosts the Great Grown-up Spelling Bee at WMU to benefit the Ready to Read program. Sponsored teams of adults compete for spelling and team spirit awards. All proceeds are used to purchase gift books for Kalamazoo County families.

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