Central Library Field Trips for Kids and Teens: General

Use this site to plan and book a field trip to the Central Library in Austin Texas!

Request a Field Trip

Request a Field Trip


  • Confirmations: Sent via email.
  • Chaperones: Please bring one (1) adult per ten (10) students.
  • Availability: Weekdays only. Dates fill quickly so book early!

Field Trip Overview

Average Field Trip Length:

2 Hours

Tour / Welcome Portion:

15-20 minutes, mostly the Youth Floor (3)

What Happens Next?:

Youth will explore the Youth Spaces, find their next favorite book, participate in activities like the scavenger hunt and STEM games. If they are teens they may make zines, use the gaming computers, or play the instruments in the Music Lab.

Most Important Things to See/Do:

Explore the Youth Floor (3)

If Time Allows:

Explore the rest of the building (Floor 2: Gallery, Gift Shop, Floor 6 butterfly rooftop garden)

What to Expect from a Central Library Field Trip

Field trips are a great way for students to learn and explore the Central Library. Field trips are 2-hours long and include welcome/orientation, hands-on activities, and exploration lead by class chaperones.

Welcome and Orientation (30-minutes)

  • Youth Staff will contact teacher ahead of each visit to confirm details
  • Youth Staff meets students/buses on Second Street or in the 2nd Floor lobby
  • Your group will enjoy a 15/30-minute welcome / orientation. 
  • Teachers can preselect from a variety of activities during the trip.
  • After that, your students can explore the rest of the Library as class time and interest allows.

Activities for Pre-K to Age 12 (60-minutes)

  • Students from Pre-K to 2nd grade can enjoy a storytime as a part of our welcome.
  • Hands-on activities include book check-out, STEM activities, coloring sheets, board games & chess, make-a-bookmark, scavenger hunt, and finding your next favorite book
  • Let Youth Staff know ahead of time how we can support assignments or research.

Teens Age 13-18

  • Teen Central has thousands of books & graphic novels/books for readers Grades 8-12
  • Teen Central also has 20 computers, including 6 Alienware gaming computers
  • Teen Central offers any-time use of their zine-making station, music lab (guitars and piano), and board game collection.
  • Let us come to you! Our staff can visit your campus to give an orientation to teens about library resources for projects.
  • Research Assistance is available for 8th-12th grades, as staffing is available, for groups of 20 or less.
  • Discover more features on the Teen Central page of our Teen Services Hub
Seating and activities in Teen Central are reserved for teens 13-18.
In order to preserve this special place in the library that meets the unique needs of teens, we ask those not in the 13-18 age range to limit their use of Teen Central to browsing the collection, as all seating, computers, and activities are reserved for 13-18 year olds. Exceptions exist for teens who have an accessibility, medical, or legal need to have an adult accompany them. Let us know if this is the case for your group!
*NEW* We do allow group chaperones for groups to stay with their teens and sit in Teen Central, provided they are wearing a badge and group tee-shirt to indicate that they are part of a group and not an unaccompanied adult in the teen space. 

Five Tips for Success

1. Escape from the Library!

Share our virtual Central Library Escape Room! with your Elementary students, parents, and caregivers. Central Library info is here.

2. Classroom Preparation

Allow classroom time for students to explore our catalog and online Virtual Tour.  Share assignments with Youth Staff ahead of time so we can pull resources for students.

3. Library Cards

If your group would like to check out books, please have students bring their Library card. We cannot issue cards during field trips. Students attending a school in Travis County qualify for a Student Card, and can get a card with their guardian at any library location prior to their visit; find application information here.

Best Practice: Have teachers & chaperones collect and hold all library cards, and assist with checkout to minimize lost cards. 

4. Lunch

Lunch seating is all outdoors so plan accordingly. Outdoor lunch spots include the 1st floor Shoal Creek Plaza plus 3rd floor Reading Porch (seating 50) and 6th floor Reading Porch (seating 60). We also have about 20 seats in our 2nd floor food court. 

5. Computers

Teachers will want to decide if computer use is a part of the visit prior to arrival. We have 24 computers for ages 0-12, and 20 more for 13-18 year olds. Larger groups will want to plan to rotate students through the computers available for their age group.