What's new
@ the Library

Iggy Peck, Architect

Ada Twist, Scientist

Rosy Revere, Engineer

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Freedom Over Me

The Inquisitor's Tale

Wolf Hollow

Radiant Child

Leave Me Alone!

Freedom in Congo Square

Du Iz Tak?

They All Saw A Cat

Paw Patrol

Hello Dory



Black Beauty

Berenstain Bears We Love Baseball

Duck and Hippo in the Rainstorm

Nancy Clancy Late-Breaking News

New Middle School: Escape to Australia

Into the Shadows

Inspector Flytrap: The Goat Who Chewed too Much

How Do Dinosaurs Choose Their Pets

This and That

Pip Bartlett's Unicorn Training


Noodleheads See the Future

Children's Page

Summer Reading 2017

There is still time to join the summer reading program which runs from June 5 - August 25!
Register online here
Download Time Log - Download Book Title Log
Download Summer Events Schedule

Come imagine-read-design at the Willmar Public Library! Excitement and fun await those who journey to the library and participate in the summer reading program, Reading by Design. Children may join the SRP at anytime throughout the summer months. In addition to great books, library patrons can participate in exciting programs such as: the Willmar Cardettes, Lego Man, Drum Rhythm Jamming Session, Reading by Design Story Hours, Children's Book Club, Children Matinees, Lego Club, Board Game Afternoon, Little People Storytime, and 4-H on Wheels and more.

Reading by Design: Read, Imagine, Design

The 2017 summer reading program is open to young people preschool through 5th grade. Children signing up for the summer reading program will receive a bag for their books, a Reading by Design bookmark, and a Reading Log. (Please note: there are a limited number of bags, so come in early!) Children will receive a small prize for each 10, 20 books/hours that they read or listen to, and at 30 they get to choose a pb book. When they have completed 30 books/hours they can register for grand prizes. Children who finish the 30 books/hours may also complete an extra activity sheet. Get signed up for the reading program and create your own binary code necklace or color the creative castle the first week of sign up.

Parents of children enrolled in the public library summer reading program reported that their children spent more time reading over the summer, read more books, were well prepared for school in the fall, and read more confidently. Reading is for fun as well as for learning.


Robot Building Challenge


We invite patrons kindergarten through 5th grade to enter Willmar Public Library's Robot Building Challenge for exciting prizes and the the pride of showmanship! Library staff has built a robot out of boxes and other materials. We now challenge you to build your own robot out of whatever material you can find. Entries will be submitted and displayed in the library. Prizes will be drawn and picked up when the participants take their entries home.

Rules and Guidelines:


Reading by Design Story Hour

Elephant reading by South African hut © Mike Curato

Fridays, 10:00-10:45 a.m
August 18: The Sun and the Solar Eclipse with Patrick & Karen Thibault, Amateur Astronomers
August 25: Mitch Clark, Engineer LeAnne Freeman, and Home Depot will be here to let the children build a project.

Family storyhour is a program for children of all ages, featuring books, music, movement, science activities, fingerplays, and crafts to encourage literacy skills. Storytime makes learning fun! Storytimes act as an integral part of early literacy education by introducing young children to books, rhymes, music and other literacy-based activities.


Solar Eclipse Event at the Library!

Photo of a solar eclipse

Monday, August 21 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

On August 21, 2017, people across the United States will see the sun disappear behind the moon, turning daylight into twilight. On that day, America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse. Here in Willmar, we shall see a partial eclipse. It sounds exciting so come join us for several "Solar Eclipse Activities" that were produced by NASA and GSUSA just for this occasion. The event is hosted by the Girl Scouts Lakes and Pines. Free Eclipse glasses are provided, which are needed to safely view the eclipse before and after totality. *The Willmar Public Library has run out of the eclipse glasses we were handing out to the public, but there will still be glasses available at the event on August 21st!

Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines

The event is hosted by the Girl Scout Lakes and Pines and the library. For ages kindergarten though 12th grade. No registration is necessary.


2017 ALSC Summer Reading Lists

ALSC's Quicklists Consulting Committee has updated our Summer Reading Lists with new and exciting titles! The lists are full of book titles to keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer. Four Summer Reading book lists are available for Birth-Preschool, K-2nd, 3rd- 5th and 6th-8th grade students.

Each list is available here to download for free. Lists can be customized to include library information, summer hours and summer reading programs for children before making copies available to schools and patrons. Titles on the 2017 Summer Reading Lists were compiled and annotated by members of ALSC's Quicklists Consulting Committee.


Little People Storytime


Thursday: August 24
10 - 10:30am

Let the fun begin! Ms. Kathy and Ms. LaRae are ready to have a delightful morning of books, music and movement at the Willmar Public Library. Parents: if you have any parenting questions, LaRae will be available after class to visit with you. Call Community Education at 231-8490 to register. Immunizations required to attend class.


Children's Matinee

Bunyan & Babe

Friday, August 25, 3:30 - 5:00 pm
Travis (Johnny Orlando) and his sister, Whitney, visit their grandparents for the summer and stumble upon the evil plan of a greedy land develope (Kelsey Grammer) to steal the land of the town's longtime residents. While running from one of the developer's goons, Travis falls through a magical portal which transports him to the world of American hero Paul Bunyan (John Goodman) and his big, blue, talking ox, Babe (Jeff Foxworth). Bunyan and abe get wrapped up in a brand-new adventure, and with the help of their new friends, Travis and Whitney, they try to save the town. Togeyher, they learn firsthand that you don't have to be big to do big things. From Movlic.com.

Rated: PG. Time: 84 minutes. Movie snacks provided. Trailer from IMDb


End of the Summer Reading Program Finale:
Oz Brothers

The Oz Brothers

Thursday, August 31 at 10:00 - 10:45 am

Take a trip down the yellow brick road with two of Dorothy's friends, the Lion and Scarecrow. Meet and greet with these lively characters as they take kids through the story of the Wizard of Oz. Using a pop up story book and props to plot their journey, everyone will enter the world of make believe only to return home where the heart is. Audience members will be asked to play the other characters, make sound effects, and help the characters thru the many twists and turns. Oz Brothers event flyer (PDF)

This project is funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.


Children's Book Club

Olga by Elise Gravel

Tuesday, September 5
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Children in grades 2nd through 6th grade are invited to attend our book club group. The book this month is Olga by Elise Gravel. According to our catalog, here is a brief summary of the book: Discovering a smelly creature in her garbage can that she names after herself, Olga befriends and studies the eccentric Olgamus using the scientific method, the practices of Jane Goodall, and other scientific concepts. Pizza, pop and other snacks will be served.


Lego Club

Wednesday: Sept 6, Oct 4, Nov 1, Dec 6
4:00 - 5:00

Chickadee on a pinecone feeder

Join us to make some wonderful Lego creations. The sky is the limit for your imagination. You will create a new structure each time that may be put on display. Legos are provided for this club. The library received funds to buy new Legos, thanks to the Willmar Eagles Club. If you would like to donate Legos or money to buy more Legos, please contact the library at 235-3162.

This club is for children in grades kindergarten through sixth. Snacks are provided. No registration is necessary.


Board Game Afternoons

Wednesday: Sept 20, Oct 18, Nov 15, Dec 20
4:00 - 5:00

Board games

Playing board games is a pleasant activity and time well spent with friends. However, over the past decade board games have evolved far beyond chess and Monopoly. Nowadays, there are hundred of different types of board games that are suitable for all occasions, ages, and personalities and the library has several to choose from. There are numerous benefits of playing board games:
* Spend time with friends
* Engage in activities that do not involve staring at a computer screen or a smartphone
* Exercise your brain by learning something new
* Improve your memory by keeping track of what is happening in the game
* Revive your creativity and problem solving skills
* Practice problem solving, storytelling, goal-setting, and other skills
* Just have fun!

For children kindergarten - 6th grade. No registration is necessary and bring some friends! Snacks are provided.


Somali Folktales
on Ebooks Minnesota

The Lion's Share: Qayb Libaax, A Somali Folktale retold by Said Salab Ahmed, illustrated by Kelly Dupre

Thanks to the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Somali Bilingual Books Project, Ebooks Minnesota now includes four Somali folktales. Written and illustrated by local talent in both English and Somali, the books help to fill a gap in culturally and linguistically appropriate books for Somali children and their families, while they also advance understanding of Somali culture. Please contact Jen Verbrugge (651-582-8356) for more information.


Caldecott & Newbery Award Winners

Radiant Child: the Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel

The Caldecott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children during the preceding year. The medal was named in honor of the nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott. The 2017 Caldecott Medal Winner is Radiant Child: the Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe and published by Little, Brown and Company. Presents the life of the artist, who was inspired as a child by a book of anatomy given to him by his mother after being injured in a car crash and who went on to become a celebrity in the art world before his early death at twenty-eight.

Caldecott Medal

Four Caldecott Honor Books include: Leave Me Alone! illustrated and written by Vera Brosqol; Freedom in Congo Square illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and written by Carole Boston Weatherford; Du Iz Tak? illustrated and written by Carson Ellis; They All Saw a Cat illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel. For more information: Caldecott Medal Home Page.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

The Newbery Medal is awarded each year by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's book that was published the previous year. The award is named after the eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery. The 2017 Newbery Medal Winner is The Girl Who Drank the Moon, written by Kelly Barnhill and published by Algonquin Books.

"An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her. Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule--but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her--even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she's always known. The acclaimed author of The Witch's Boy has created another epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to become a modern classic" - Provided by publisher

Newbery Medal

Three Newbery Honor Books include: Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan; The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog written by Adam Gidwitz and illustrated by Hatem Aly; Wolf Hollow written by Lauren Wolk. For more information: Newbery Medal Home Page.


Past Events

Summer and Fall 2016

Winner of the girl's bike for the 2016 Summer Reading Program.
Winner of the girl's bike for the 2016 Summer Reading Program.

Winner of the boy's bike for the 2016 Summer Reading Program.
Winner of the boy's bike for the 2016 Summer Reading Program.

The Willmar Fire Department brought a fire truck to the library.
The Willmar Fire Department brought a fire truck to the library.

Star Wars Read Day

Wonder Weavers

Ongoing Events

New Learning Kits

These kits include books, cd’s, scarves, and laminated sheets with ideas and activities. Preschooler can be unstoppable – running, spinning, leaping, and climbing at every opportunity. Their desire to move, move, move makes this a great time to cultivate fitness habits that will last. The activity sheet will help you in making simple movement props and exercise that can be done with them. We encourage you to also use props you many already have at home, such as balls and scarves, to promote movement and activity to your kids. These kits were donated to the library by: Kandiyohi County Public Health Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). See all kits available.

1: I Am Moving, I Am Learning – Tumbling, Rolling, Crawling and Climbing

2: I Am Moving, I Am Learning – Rhythmic, Movement and Balance


1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

This program is for children in Kandiyohi County 0 - 5 years old. This is an exciting new reading program designed for pre-school children and their families. Many people believe that children learn to read and write in kindergarten or first grade. Developing literacy skills begins at birth through everyday interactions - sharing books, telling stories, singing songs, talking to one another, or pointing out and naming objects. Families-parents, grandparents, and older siblings play a powerful role in preparing young children for future school success and in becoming self confident and motivated learners.

How it works:

  1. Register your child and receive a FREE book bag and reading record to take home.
  2. Write down the title of each library book that is read.
  3. Receive a stamp for each 25 books read.
  4. Receive a prize after every 100 books read.
  5. Each child who completes 1,000 books will be invited to a graduation party and will receive a diploma, t-shirt, and book.

This program is sponsored by:
Willmar Public Library
Bremer Bank
Jennie-O Foods Inc.
Willmar Area Early Childhood Initiative

Children's Services:
Kathy Torkelson


Willmar Library Teens: Facebook WPL Children

Twitter WPL Children on Twitter

Links for Kids

Sponsors for the 2017 Summer Reading Program

Bergh's Fabricating

Bremer Bank

CLC Plaza

Concorde Bank

Cub Foods

Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center

Heritage Bank

Janning ENT Center

Jenni-O Turkey Store

Premium Waters, Inc.

Qdoba Mexican Grill



Thank you to
our local sponsors!
Copyright © Willmar Public Library