Children’s Library Hours & Info

Thomas Hughes Children's Library, which offers customized learning experiences for early learners, elementary learners and tweens, is on the 2nd floor of Harold Washington Library Center. The children's library features materials, computers, events and much more for kids through eighth grade. We invite you to explore this exciting space.

Contact Us

  • (312) 747-4200


Thomas Hughes Children's Library is open:

  • Monday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Thomas Hughes Children's Library serves different age groups through "neighborhoods:"

  • Early Learner Neighborhood: Kids under 5 learn through play with our interactive puppet stage, baby garden and story nook.
  • Elementary Learner Neighborhood: School-age kids put their curiosity to work exploring STEAM-based activities.
  • Tween Neighborhood: Tweens learn in our digital media space, which incorporate laptops, digital cameras, keyboards and blue screen and virtual reality tools.

Additional features include:

  • Computers for kids through eighth grade
  • A Teacher in the Library during the school year
  • A self-checkout machine


Events for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and kids focus on sharing stories, play, music and crafts with others.

Group Visits

Tours and field trips at Harold Washington Library Center are currently unavailable.

About Thomas Hughes Children's Library

Thomas Hughes Children's Library provides access to quality early educational programming year round. This 21st century learning space for children and caregivers combines traditional library service with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math), early literacy and Maker Lab activities.

The Thomas Hughes Children's Library's 2017 renovation was powered by a $2.5 million grant from Exelon Corporation through Chicago Public Library Foundation.