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 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 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 birth to five learn through play with toys and books tailored to their growth and milestones.
  • Elementary Learner Neighborhood: School-age kids can explore and create with books and materials that fit their needs.
  • Tween Neighborhood: A unique space with books and materials for the in-between stage.

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

Fill out a form to request a tour or field trip at Harold Washington Library Center.

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.