Storyville About Virtual Tour Visit Support Contact Frequently Asked Questions


Storyville is:


An interactive early literacy and learning center for children ages birth to five and their caregivers.

Located in the Rosedale and Woodlawn branches.

A child-sized village that includes developmentally appropriate books and activities.

Specifically designed for parents and caregivers to help their young children enter Kindergarten ready to succeed.


Caregivers and their young children can play interactively in the themed learning areas:


Baby Garden

Toddler Woods or Toddler Bay

Grocery Store & Mailroom

Puppet Stage & Theatre

Home Living Area

Construction Zone



Each area is furnished with books and engaging play activities and materials which promote:


language & literacy

mathematical & scientific thinking

social studies

social & personal skills

physical development & the arts


Our Mission:

Storyville was designed and created to foster early literacy and school readiness skills. We know through scientific research that success in school begins at birth and that the ages of birth to five are critical learning years.

The engagement of parents and caregivers with their young children through reading and playing together is key to their child's success. Storyville is a place where books and purposeful play come together to provide valuable experiences that nurture young children and support parents and caregivers in their role as their child's first and best teacher.


Storyville Frequently Asked Questions



Q: What are the hours that Storyville is open?

A: Storyville is open the following hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Q: When is Storyville the busiest?

A: Storyville is always busy on weekends and weekday mornings until lunchtime. During winter months, Storyville becomes increasingly busy in the afternoons, too, and you may have to wait to get in. Please feel free to call and check our status.


Capacity and Waiting Lists:


Q: Is there a limit to how many people are allowed in Storyville at one time?

A: We have found that a comfortable maximum capacity is around sixty visitors, adults and children, in Storyville at one time. Once our capacity has been reached we will begin a waiting list.


Q: When do you use a waiting list?

A: Waiting lists are most frequent weekday mornings. During winter months, wait lists are more common throughout the day. Please feel free to call and check our status.


Q: How long are the waits?

A: Waits can be as short as five minutes or as long as an hour.


Q: What can I do while I wait to be called?

A: Once your name is on the waiting list, you may wait in the children's area of the library where there are books and other early literacy activities to occupy your child. You will be given a restaurant-style beeper that will notify you of when it is your turn to go into Storyville.


Q: How do you keep track of how many people are in Storyville?

A: We monitor how many people are in Storyville by registering all visitors to Storyville as they enter. Each group or family unit is given a pass which they return when they leave.


Q: Do you take reservations?

A: We do not take reservations for Storyville visits. You are welcome to call to see if we are busy before you visit.


Group Visits:


Q: Do I need to schedule my group a visit?

A: Storyville is designed for individual caregivers and their children to experience, together. Since we cannot offer a guarantee that groups will be able to enter, together, at one time, it is not necessary to schedule your visit. Typically, members of groups arrange to meet each other at Storyville and we register parent/caregiver group members, individually, as they arrive. Depending on capacity, there is the possibility you may enter immediately, as space allows, or you may have to wait, if Storyville is full. (please see the section, above, Capacity and Waiting Lists.) In general, Storyville is busiest weekday mornings and weekends. Weekday afternoons and evenings are often less crowded.


Q: How many chaperones do I need for a group visit?

A: We would like at least 1 adult for every 3 children, so they may be actively engaged with the children in their care.


Q: Do you do private birthday parties?

A: We do not host birthday parties in Storyville. However, you are welcome to invite your child's friends (birth to five years) and their parents to meet you here.


Q: What can I do to get ready for my group visit?

A: We invite your group leader to take a tour of Storyville to get a sense for the space and consider appropriate activities for your group. It would be helpful to review the Storyville Rules with your group before your visit. Please see: Do I need to schedule my group a visit?


Older Children:


Q: Why can't my older child come into Storyville?

A: Storyville was specifically designed for preschool children, birth to five, to use interactively with their caregivers. Recognizing that parents are a child's first teachers, the guiding mission of Storyville is to help preschool children, interactively with their caregivers, gain the skills they need to enter school ready to learn.

Though Storyville may look like a play area for families with older children, it is actually a learning environment intended for young children who have not yet begun school. Most of the children visiting Storyville are younger than four. While children who have entered school might enjoy some of the features of Storyville, they are at a different developmental level than the children for whom Storyville was designed.


Q: What can my older child do while his younger brother and I play in Storyville?

A: The main part of the library has a full service children's area where your older child can read and play while you and your preschooler visit Storyville. Please note that Maryland Law requires that children under 8 be accompanied by a caregiver, so an adult or a babysitter over 13 would need to stay with your child while in the library. It may be best for you to visit Storyville at a time when your older child is in school or spending time with a friend unless you have another adult to stay with him in the library.


Q: May a babysitter take my child into Storyville?

A: Since the legal age for babysitting is 13, teenagers over 13 years may accompany children birth to five. Teenage babysitters must understand that they are considered the adult in Storyville and thus are expected to interact with and supervise the younger children they are with at all times.


Cleaning and Safety:


Q: How do you keep Storyville clean?

A: To maintain an organized and hygienic environment, Storyville is tidied throughout the day. We ask our visitors to help by encouraging their children to use our materials appropriately and put them away before moving to a new area. Visitors are invited to place any toys they feel need cleaning in our "Sanitize Me" bin at the greeter desk.


Q: Do you allow adults without children into Storyville?

A: We do not allow unaccompanied adults in Storyville. Adults who arrive without children are welcome to tour Storyville with one of our staff.




Q: How can I make donations to Storyville?

A: You can make a tax deductible contribution to benefit Storyville in several ways:
To give online, visit the Support Storyville page.
To give by mail, mail your check to:


Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library
320 York Road
Towson, Maryland 21204-5179


You may also donate when you visit Storyville or the Rosedale Library.




Q: Are there opportunities to volunteer in Storyville?

A: Volunteer opportunities are sometimes available at the Storyville locations. To verify that a volunteer opportunity is available, please contact the Storyville Coordinator at the location where you would like to work. We cannot  guarantee that there will be work available at all times and are under no obligation to accept volunteers.


  • Rovers interact with Storyville visitors to help promote early literacy skills and the importance of learning through play, give tours to visitors, answer visitor's questions about Storyville, shelve books, and tidy/clean areas as needed.
  • Greeters greet visitors as they arrive, explain policies to visitors, sign visitors in and out, and manage the waiting list, as needed.

  • Cleaners maintain, organize, and sanitize Storyville materials and areas routinely and as needed.


  • Office Assistants assist in light office duties as needed.

  • Activities Facilitators provide meaningful, child-friendly activities for visitors such as an impromptu story time in the Library or a circle game in Toddler Bay.


Q: How old do I need to be to volunteer in Storyville?

A: Volunteers must be at least 14 years old.


Q: How do I become a volunteer in Storyville?

A: You can apply to become a volunteer several ways. Interested applicants can pick up an application at the Storyville greeter desk; fill out an application [PDF] or contact a Storyville Coordinator.


Books, Toys and Materials:


Q: May I borrow materials from Storyville?

A: With the exception of a few Big Books, all Storyville books, Baby Booster Kits, and parent resource materials may be checked out using your library card at Rosedale Library's check out. Storyville toys may not be borrowed. You will find many more materials, for children and adults, in the main part of the library.


Q: May I return Storyville books to another Library?

A: As with all other BCPL materials, Storyville books may be returned to any other BCPL library.



Storyville Rules

The Storyville experience was created to foster early literacy and school readiness skills through interactive discovery and play. This can only happen with your involvement, as you are your children's first teacher. So please take advantage of this opportunity to engage with your children!


BCPL strives to provide a safe, educational, and fun environment for you and your children. Please assist us in this endeavor by cooperating with the following:


Storyville was designed specifically for children birth to five. Please make other arrangements for older children. There is a full service children's area in the main part of the library.



Print the Rules Governing the Use of Storyville. [PDF]
Print: Storyville Rules [PDF]

Parental supervision is required. We provide Storyville staff to guide you and answer questions, but we do not provide supervision of your children. You are responsible for their safety and comfort. Please do not leave your children unattended.


Please help us maintain a clean and sanitary environment; please keep all food and drink out of Storyville. However, nursing and bottle-feeding infants are permitted.


For the safety of our littlest visitors, the Baby Garden is reserved for babies who are not yet walking and their caregivers.


Please model courteous and attentive behaviors by keeping your cell phones on silent and other electronic devices off. Save cell phone conversations for the lobby. Laptop use is not permitted.


Guide your children to choose developmentally appropriate toys and play constructively. Young children thrive on realistic limit-setting and positive reinforcement.


Assist your child in putting away materials in one venue before moving on to another. This teaches your children the importance of clean up, as well as respect for others who will follow them.


Have fun playing with your children! Marvel in what your children can do. Follow their lead. Encourage them to take each learning experience farther. These are teachable moments that will last!




The project cost of Storyville @ Rosedale was paid with donations to the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library from private sources and individuals as well as state funds. The project cost of Storyville @ Woodlawn was paid with funds from Baltimore County, the Foundation for BCPL and state funds.


Revised: April 10, 2017