Children’s Services

Our Children's Area

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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
March 7th, 14th, 21st-OFF, 28th-OFF April 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th-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!

2nd – “Minions”, 9th – “St Patrick’s Day”!, 16th – OFF, 23rd- OFF, 30th- SPECIAL STORYTIME: MARCH OF THE STUFFED ANIMALS

6th – “Ducks”, 13th – “Balloons & Bubbles”, 20th – “Gardens”, 27th – “Butterflies”

4th – “Cinco de Mayo”, 11th – “Shimmy and Shake”, 18th – “Mud”, 25th – “Read for the Win”

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!

3rd – “Minions”, 10th – “St Patrick’s Day”!, 17th – OFF, 24th- OFF, 31st- SPECIAL STORYTIME: MARCH OF THE STUFFED ANIMALS

7th – “Ducks”, 14th – “Balloons & Bubbles”, 21st – “Gardens”, 28th – “Butterflies”

5th – “Cinco de Mayo”, 12th – “Shimmy and Shake”, 19th – “Mud”, 26th – “Read for the Win”

Monthly Programs

Chess Club | 1st Monday of the Month from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
March 7th, April 4th, May 2nd
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!

HOME SCHOOL DAY PROGRAMS – Registration Required

Minute to Win It | Thursday, March 10th from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
This program is open to any kid aged 6-13. We will have fun testing our skills with a series of 60 second challenges using common household items. There will be timed challenges and free play.

Georgia O’Keeffe | Thursday, April 14th from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
This program is open to any kid aged 6 – 13. We will learn about the nature inspired artworks of Georgia O’Keeffe, one of the most influential American female artists of the twentieth century. We’ll read aloud books about the author, and create artworks in her style.

Sea of Creativity | Thursday, May 12th from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
This program is open to any kid aged 6-13. Ever wonder what it would be like to be a marine biologist? We’ll learn about marine science research methods, use a life size cut out of a baleen whale to demonstrate their size, mimic the eating patterns of a whale, explore the physiology of a shark, and create aquatic masterpieces.

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Special Events

Cops for Kids | Saturday, May 14th, 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!

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3D Printer Class | Tuesday, April 26th, and Tuesday, May 31st 6:30-7:30 p.m.

For ages 7 and up.  Families are welcome to check out the Rochester Public Library’s 3-D Printer.  We’ll learn the basic principles and applications of 3D Printing, and earn certification for using the library’s equipment. Registration Required.

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Mother/Daughter “Tea Party” | Friday, May 7th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Don’t be late for this very important date. In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ll have drinks, treats, stories, crafts, and tons of fun at this “tea party” just for girls in grades K-6 and a significant woman in their lives. Come dressed in your tea party best. Registration is Required. Register online, at the library, or by calling 498-8454 to reserve your places at the table.

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Earth Day Program | Saturday, April 16th, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

For ages 6-12 years old. Come to the library to celebrate Earth Day. We will make a firefly out of a pop bottle, take a short nature walk, create a nature bracelet, chart the lifecycle of a butterfly, and see a butterfly demonstration. Registration Required.

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Meet & Greet with children’s book author/illustrator Carol Mayernick

|Saturday, May 21st, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Families are invited to come meet local children’s book author and illustrator Carla Mayernick. She will read aloud from her 2015 release Where is Abe?, a whimsical adventure children’s book about Abraham Lincoln and his hometown, Springfield, IL. Books can be purchased at the event and signed by the author. Kids of all ages will enjoy looking for & learning about Honest Abe!


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)