Children’s Services

Our Children's Area

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 from 10:10 to 10:30 a.m.
Toddler Time is for kids aged 19-35 months, with an adult. Siblings are welcome as well! This
energetic story-time is just right for your tot. No registration required. Drop-ins welcome!

September 11, 18, 25
October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
November 6, 13, 27

Baby Lapsit | Mondays from 10:40 to 11:00 a.m.
Lapsit story-time is for kids aged 0-18 months. Join us for songs, simple stories, movements,
and play! No registration required. Drop-ins welcome
(There will be no Toddler Time or Baby Lapsit on November 20.)

Morning Story-Time | Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.
Morning story-time is for children aged 2 to 5-years- old. We have fun listening to stories,
singing songs, making simple crafts, and with sensory play! No registration required. Drop-ins

September 13-“Under the Sea”, 20-“Fall”, 27-“Shapes”
October 4-“Giraffes”, 11-“Snakes”, 18-“Frogs”, 25-“Halloween”
November 1-“Ninjas”

There will be no Morning Story-Time in November aside from November 1st . Morning Story-Time will resume December 6th .

Evening Story-Time |Mondays from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.
Evening story-time is for children aged 3 to 8-years- old. We have fun listening to stories and
making simple crafts! No registration required. Drop-ins welcome!

September 11-“Under the Sea”, 18-“Fall”, 25-“Shapes”
October 2-“Giraffes”, 9-“Snakes”, 16-“Frogs”, 23-“Ninjas”, 30-“Halloween”

There will be no Evening Story-Time in November. Evening Story-Time will resume
December 4th.

Monthly Programs

Homeschool Day Programs
Registration required for all Homeschool Programs

Space Case | Thursday, September 14  1:00-2:00 p.m.
This program will provide a brief overview of space exploration, advances in technology over the years, and what the future might hold for aspiring astronauts.  We’ll also have some cool make-and-take outer space-themed crafts to take home!

Register Now

From Fleece to Fiber |Thursday, October 12  1:00-2:00 p.m.
This program will focus on how wool becomes clothing. We will look at every step of the production of wool from sheep shearing to spinning, dying, and ultimately knitting or weaving to create fabric. There will be hands on demonstrations of carding, spinning, and knitting. You will see and feel an unwashed and a washed fleece. There will be a demonstration of how to make a Turkish drop spindle with colored pencils that you will be able to take home.

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Lava and magma and ash!  Oh my! | Thursday, November 9  1:00-2:00 p.m.
This program will focus on that most fascinating of natural phenomena:  the volcano!  We will learn about volcanic eruptions throughout history, different types of volcanoes, and how they are created for a lesson full of explosive fun!

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STEM Programs
Registration required for all STEM programs.

Hot Wheels Speedometry Part One:  Ramps | Tuesday, September 26  4:30-5:30 p.m.
Ages 8 to 12
Part one of a special three part series, this program will allow participants to explore the simple science and engineering that goes into building ramps as well as the different types of energies that all objects exert on the world around them.

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Hot Wheels Speedometry Part Two:  Racecourses | Tuesday, October 17  4:30-5:30 p.m.
Ages 8 to 12
Our Hot Wheels Speedometry series continues with Racecourses!  During this program, we will explore how energy and physics keep our racecars moving and see who can design a course that will keep their car going the longest.

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Hot Wheels Speedometry Part Three:  Collisions | Tuesday, November 21  4:30-5:30 p.m.
Ages 8 to 12
The final program in our Hot Wheels Speedometry series will focus on Collisions.  We will investigate what part physics plays in the severity of collisions by experimenting with ramp height and track length.

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Come and see the Rochester Public Library’s STEM offerings at the Rochester STEM Fair on Wednesday, September 6 at 6:30 p.m.!

Bound By Yarn Knitting and Crocheting Club | Tuesdays from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Kids are full of creativity and energy! Are you looking for a way to encourage your kids to use their creativity in a way that fosters persistence and independent thinking?  How about getting them to think about their environment and neighbors by teaching a skill that will both challenge and soothe them. This fall beginning September 12 at 6:00 pm we will be hosting a club every Tuesday evening in order to teach kids how to knit or crochet. All kids ages 8 and up are welcome. The first set of needles or crochet hooks will be provided.

Special Events

Children’s Sign Painting Party with Life Expressions Decor | Saturday, October 7  1:00 p.m.
Join us for a Make and Take Sign Painting Party with Independent Creator, Heather Secker!  Choose a design and help your child paint a 4”x12” wooden sign.  Preregistration, payment, and sign choice are due to the library by Saturday, September 16.  To see all sign choices, please visit our website!  Signs are $13 apiece.  Ages 6 to 12.

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Spooky Stories with Mike Anderson, the Dulcimer Guy | Tuesday, October 10  6:00-7:00 p.m.
Join us for a night of silly, spooky, funny, and thought-provoking stories and musical selections from Mike Anderson a.k.a. the Dulcimer Guy!  Mike’s performance will produce a little bit of a shiver and a lot of smiles for the whole family!  No registration required.

Halloween Party | Tuesday, October 31  3:30-4:30 p.m.
Trick or Treat!  Dress up in your favorite Halloween costume and come to the library to get some snacks, make crafts, and play Halloween inspired games!

International Games Week | Saturday, November 4  1:00-3:30 p.m.
International Games Week is October 29 through November 4, 2017!  Bring your family, friends, and favorite tabletop games and celebrate with us at the library!  We’ll provide light snacks, refreshments, and some gaming options.  No registration required!

Family Reading Night | Thursday, November 16  6:00-7:30 p.m.
Join us at the library on Thursday, November 16 for Family Reading Night!  Wear your favorite pajamas and bring the whole family for an evening of reading, storytelling, and story-sharing.  Each family that attends will receive a free paperback book to take home.  No registration required.


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 2018)

Bluestem Award List (Updated for 2018)

Caldecott Award List

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

Newbery Award List

Monarch Award List (Updated for 2018)

Rebecca Caudill List (Updated for 2018)