Early Childhood Professionals

A brighter future.

Mary opened her family child care business five years ago in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis. At the time, she was not familiar with Parent Aware, Minnesota’s new quality rating and improvement system, but she was eager to learn how to have more impact in the lives of children and their families.

It had been many years since Mary had received any formal education herself.


For Early Childhood Professionals

Debra S. Fish Library

Think Small is home to the Debra S. Fish Early Childhood Library. You will find over 6,000 exceptional early childhood materials on a variety of topics: positive guidance, play, developmentally appropriate practice, anti-bias education, nature, ethics, technology, family engagement, and much more. 

Also available are National Association for the Education of Young Childre (NAEYC)- and Parent Aware-approved curricula, as well as story-kits and children's books in English, Spanish, Hmong, Vietnamese, Karen, Somali, Cambodian, and Chinese.  

Visit us during business hours, call the library at 651-641-3544 or email the librarian for assistance.


All materials in the Debra S. Fish Library collection are searchable through your local library catalog and the following:

Search the catalog
This takes you to the St. Paul Public Library Collection where you can search for materials by Author, Title, Subject and more.

MnLINK Minnesota's Online Library
A single point of entry into Minnesota's catalogs.

Borrowing Materials

Materials can be checked out at Think Small and through your local library! A current library card is all that is required.

Non St. Paul card-holders: The first time you use your local library card in the St. Paul system you will need to present your library card, along with a picture ID with your name and current address or a picture ID and a piece of recently posted mail with your current address. After that you need only present your card.

Residents of cities or counties whose libraries are served by MELSA also may use their library cards. Bring in your library card, along with a picture ID with your name and current address or a picture ID and a piece of recently posted mail with your current address.

Not sure what you're looking for?

We have put together a list of possible resources by topic. 


Connecting with Shy Children Observation
All About War Play Culture and Diversity in Child Care Parent-Teacher Relationships
Allergies Curriculum Parenting Children with Special Needs
Attachment and Social-Emotional Development Developmentally Appropriate Care Physical Development
Autism Discipline Poetry
Behavior and Discipline Early Literacy Potty Training
Biting Early Literacy Children's Books Safety and Active Supervision
Brain Development Empathy and Social-Emotional Development Self-Esteem
Bullying Family Child Care Basics Sexual Behavior, Development, and Safety
Business of Child Care Gardening with Young Children Sign Language
Child Growth and Development Karen Children's Books Sleep
Child Social-Emotional Development Music Somali Children's Books
Conflict Resolution Nutrition Working with Children with Physical Disabilities


Obtaining a Library Card

Library cards are free. If you do not have a library card in your home system, you may apply for one at any SPPL library. You will need the following documentation: A picture ID with your name and current address or a picture ID and a piece of recently posted mail with your current address.  Elsewhere in Minnesota, ask your local library for instructions.

Most library card registrations are good for 2 years. After two years, you will need to re-register your card by verifying your address with one of the identification options listed above. Registrations for non-Minnesota residents are good for 1 year. Library cards with Teacher status are good through the school year and need to be re-registered each August.

If you have lost your library card and need to get a new one, the charge is $1.00 for a replacement card. Bring a photo ID and second proof of residence (e.g., a bill mailed to your address) to any library branch.

Library Mission and Policies

Library Collection Policy