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 10:10a.m. – 10:30a.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 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th; July 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st

There will be no Toddler Time or Baby Lapsits in August; we will resume on Monday, September 11th

Lapsit | Mondays 10:40a.m. – 11:00a.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!


7th- “Unicorns”, 14th- “Stripes”, 21st- “Summer”, 28th- “Grumpy”
5th- “Circus”, 12th- “Aliens”, 19th- “Ice Cream”, 26th- “Trains”

Evening Story-time | Mondays 6:30 p.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!


5th- “Unicorns”, 12th- “Stripes”, 19th- “Summer”, 26th- “Grumpy”
3rd- “Circus”, 10th- “Aliens”, 17th- “Ice Cream”, 24th- “Trains”

Monthly Programs

Chess Club | 1st Tuesday 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

Jonathan May, Comedy Magician | Thursday, June 15th at 1:00 p.m.
Sponsored by Friends of the Rochester Public Library
Come to the Library for an amazing comedy magic show presented by professional magician Jonathan May! This show promises fantastic magic tricks and lots of laughs!

Juggling to Read with Juggling Jeff | Thursday, June 29th at 1:00 p.m.
Sponsored by Ruth and Dave Hicks
Juggling Jeff returns to the Rochester Public Library with his unique mix of comedy, magic, and of course, JUGGLING!!! Juggling Jeff is always a big hit at the Library and is sure to keep you laughing!

David Fisher- The Rope Warrior | Thursday, July 6th at 1:00 p.m.
Join us as we welcome David Fisher, a.k.a. the Rope Warrior, to the Rochester Public Library! The Rope Warrior is a world-record holding master of jump roping! With lots of audience participation and crazy tricks, including the “Rump Jump”, this program will be one that you don’t want to miss! What is a “rump jump”? You’ll have to come to the program to find out!

Bubble Wonders | Thursday, July 20th at 1:00 p.m.
Come to the Library and experience bubbles like you’ve never seen them before with the Bubble Master, Geoff Akins! From a bubble caterpillar to a bubble volcano, Geoff’s Bubble Wonders will show you that “Anything is Possible!”

FINAL PARTY!!!!!!!! | Thursday, July 27th at 1:00 p.m.

Join us for our end of Summer Reading final party where we will draw for grand prizes! Be sure to turn in your reading sheets by Wednesday, July 26th in order to be entered into the drawings!


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 2017)

Bluestem Award List (Updated for 2017)

Caldecott Award List

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

Newbery Award List

Monarch Award List (Updated for 2017)

Rebecca Caudill List (Updated for 2017)