Children’s Services

Our Children's Area

Story Times | Monthly Programs | Special Events | Resources
Calendar of Events


1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a new Library program that encourages all Rochester area families and caregivers to read 1,000 books with their young children before they enter kindergarten. Studies have shown that families who start reading aloud to their children at birth help to strengthen their language skills and build their vocabulary. Each child will receive a reading log for tracking books, or you can download the app to track your reading. For more information, visit

When you reach 50 books, bring in your reading log, and get a small prize! At each 100-books mark, you get a “100 books!” sticker and prize. Upon completion your child’s name goes on the 1,000 Books Wall of Fame!

Story Times

Toddler Time | Mondays 10:00a.m. – 10:20a.m.

Toddler Time is for kids aged 19-35 months, with an adult. Siblings are welcome. This energetic story-time is just right for your tot. No registration required. Drop-ins welcome!

Toddler Time and Lapsit Dates
June 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
July 11th, 18th, 25th
August OFF

Lapsit | Mondays 10:30a.m. – 10:50a.m.

Lapsit story-time is for kids aged 0 to 18 months. Join us for songs, simple stories, movements, and play. No registration required. Drop-ins welcome!

Morning Story-time | Wednesdays 10:30 a.m.- 11:15a.m.

Morning story-time is for ages 2-5 years old. We’ll have fun reading stories, singing songs, and making crafts. No registration required. Drop-ins welcome!

1st – “Pizza”, 8th-“Birds”, 15th –“Magic”, 22nd –“Cake” 29th- “Alligators & Crocodiles”

6th -“Fruit”, 13th -“Messy”, 20th -“Moon & Stars”, 27th -“Cats”

OFF – Morning Story-Time will resume September 2nd

Evening Story-time | Thursdays 6:30p.m.- 7:15 p.m.

Evening story-time is for ages 2-5 years old. We’ll have fun reading stories, singing songs, and making crafts. No registration required. Drop-ins welcome!

2nd- “Pizza”, 9th- “Birds”, 16th -“Magic”, 23rd-“Cake”, 30th- “Alligators & Crocodiles”

7th -“Fruit”, 14th -“Messy”, 21st-“Moon & Stars”, 28th- “Cats”

OFF – Evening Story-Time will resume September 3rd

Monthly Programs

Chess Club | 1st Monday of the Month from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
June 6th, July 11th, August 1st
Looking for a place to meet other chess players?  Want to learn the basics?  The library will host a Chess Club for players aged 6-12 years old.  Bring your own chess set or use the library’s set.  No registration required. Drop-ins welcome!

Special Events

Cops for Kids | Saturday, June 18th and July 16th from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
The Rochester Public Library and the Rochester Police Department are teaming up to help the children of Rochester get a great start on their lifelong journey as readers! Stories and activities will be geared at children 2nd grade and younger. We’ll listen to officers read stories aloud, make a fun craft to take home, and shake hands with your local law enforcement officer. ALL AGES will be welcome. Registration is Preferred, but drop-ins welcome!

Register Now



The Lexile Framework for Reading: A Lexile measure is a valuable piece of information about either an individual’s reading ability or the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine article. Click to get your Lexile Measure!

ExceleRate Illinois: Provides information on Early Literacy programs throughout the State of Illinois

Children’s E-books

Storyline Online

We Give Books

Award-winning Book Lists

American Library Association List of Awards

Abe Lincoln Award (Updated for 2016)

Bluestem Award List (Updated for 2016)

Caldecott Award List

New York Times Bestsellers List: Children’s Picture Books | Middle Grades | Childrens’ Series

Newbery Award List

Monarch Award List (Updated for 2016)

Rebecca Caudill List (Updated for 2016)