What's new
@ the Library

Hello Lighthouse

Alma and How She Got Her Name

A Big Mooncake for Little Star

The Rough Patch

Merci Suarez Changes Gears

Night Diary

The Book of Boy

Fun, Fun, Fun!

I Love You More Than...


Harold Loves His Wooly Hat

Hip-Hop Lollipop

Coding With Anna & Elsa

Small Walt and Mo the Tow



Brick Building 101

The Ultimate Book of Sharks

The Big Book of Blue

DC SuperHero Girls

When Your Llama Needs A Haricut

Minecrafter Architect

Children of Jubilee

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay

Little Fox in the Snow

The Raging Storm

The Story of Tantrum OFurrily

Winter is Here

No Slam Dunk

Fly With Me

I Lost My Tooth!

Dear Sister

Children's Page

Summer Reading

Books are a blast!
June 3 - August 31

It's Showtime at Your Library! School is out for the summer, which means there will be plenty of time for reading. Join us for fun at the Willmar Public Library! We've lined up fascinating presentations, crafts, and storytimes that reflect the theme. The summer reading program is simple: You read books and earn prizes. Program registration begins on June 3. Program ends August 31.

Super heroes bursting out of a comic book

There are two reading logs this summer. One is for chapter books and if you read 5 chapter books you receive a prize from the prize box. Read another 5 books and choose a book. Read 5 more books and be entered in the grand prize drawing for a bike. Read another 5 and receive a coupon for a dilly bar from the Dairy Queen. Bonus: If you attend a library program you will get another chance in the grand prize drawing.

Superhero flying with a huge loads of books

The second reading log is for picture books. Read 10 picture books and receive a prize from the prize box. Read another 10 books and choose a book. Read 10 more books and be entered in the grand prize drawing for a bike. Read another 10 and receive a coupon for a dilly bar from the Dairy Queen. Bonus: If you attend a library program you will get another chance in the grand prize drawing.

Library registration is here.
Chapter Book Form (PDF)
Picture Book Form (PDF)


Healthy Together logo
Funding for this project is provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MN


4-H on Wheels 2019:
Super Hero Science

Monday, July 15
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

We will be meeting weekly for six weeks during the summer months. These lesson will empower youth to explore the environment by providing opportunities to gain hands-on experiences. You may come to one or all of the programs.

Boy pulling wagon with 4H logo

For Grades K-6, no registration is necessary. This program is FREE to youth and made possible by: Local Businesses and Volunteers and Kandiyohi County 4-H.

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Story Hours Around the World

Cartoon of girl reading to other kids

Fridays, July 19 – August 23
(No story hour on August 2)
10:00 – 10:45 a.m.

Families are invited to attend the fun filled cultural story hours as this summer we will travel around the world. We will hear stories from different countries such as: Somalia, Mexico, Germany, India, Russia, Chinese, and Myanmar to name a few. We will listen to stories, music, fingerplays, and other activities.

Story presenters and country/language:
July 19: Dayling - Spanish
July 26: Vickie - German
August 2: No story hour
August 9: (hopefully Chinese)
August 16: Sarah Strawberries - Cherokee Legends & Local Farming
August 23: Becky - Norwegian
August 30: Korko - Karen

Board Game Afternoon

A checkerboard and checkers

Wednesday Afternoon July 17
4:00 - 5:00 pm

For children K - 6th grade. Come join us to play traditional board games and enjoy refreshments. Please feel free to bring your own board games. This program is recommended for K - 6th grade, so bring a friend or two!


Jellybeans Author Visit

Jellybeans: Written by Kiersten Hall, illustrated by Shaina Ryther, designed by Chelsea Farr

Thursday, July 18
3:00 to 5:00 pm

Kiersten Hall has written a children's book called Jellybeans. Thirty-five jellybeans have come together to share a sweet and thoughtful poem about kindness and inclusivity with children, 0 to 6 years. Join in their adventure as they discover their unique qualities while realizing they are all, ultimately, the same. The author will read and autograph her book. Free bookmarks will be given out to the children.


Summer Read Aloud Book Club

Thursdays, July 18, 25, and August 8.
We will not meet August 1.
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

Join the Summer Read Aloud Book Club! Sign up for the book club online here or you may also call the library at (320)235-3162 to register. There is a limit of twelve children that may join. We will have fun while we listen to the book being read out loud. Children will get to keep the copy of the book the last session. This summer's selection is: Charlotte's Web by E. B. White. Wilbur the pig is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer's Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte, decides to help him. This program is open to children second through sixth grade. After reading the book the children may attend the Kandiyohi County Fair that weekend.

We will meet in the children's area of the library back by the couch where we will lounge while reading the story!


Willmar Stingers

Willmar Stingers Visit

Tuesday, July 23
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

The Stingers are coming to the library Tuesday, July 23 at 10:00 a.m. to read to the children and autograph memorabilia, (bats, ball, book, gloves, and etc.) that the children bring from home. Parents may also take their child's picture with the players that visit the library.

There will be a drawing for Stingers tickets as well. Families are invited to attend this program.

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Animal Fair

Tuesday July, 23
2:00 - 3:30 pm

A chicken, two guinea pigs amd a chinchilla

Come see Mackenzie's pets: hedgehog, rabbit, chicken, duck, chinchilla, guinea pig, and reptiles to name a few!

A hedgehog, a lizard and a rabbit

Families are invited and parental supervision is highly recommended while attending this interactive animal fair.


Little People Storytime

Thursdays: July 25 & August 8
10 - 10:30am

Children sharing a book

Join Kathy and LaRae upstairs at the Willmar Public Library for stories, songs and action. Designed with toddlers in mind, this class might be called "Kids on the move, books in the background." Bring all the kids and join us for great books, actions songs and fingerplays. Ages 0 - 8. Please call Community Education at 231-8490 to register.


Introduction to Irish Whistles

Monday - Thursday, July 29 - Aug 1
10:00 - 11:00 am

A set of Irish whistles

An introduction to Irish Whistles, also known as the penny whistle. All ages are invited to learn simple tunes. Whistles will be available on loan. Only "D" whistles will be used. Class instructor is Alissa Hustrand. This event is sponsored by the Willmar Public Library and Art Express.


Lego Club

Wednesday, August 7
4:00 - 5:00


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.


Naturalist From Sibley State Park

Photo of park naturalist and 3 kids looking at a little frog

August 14
10:00 - 11:00 am

Join the naturalist from Sibley State Park for a hands-on story and nature time! Prepare for both indoor and outdoor activities.

No registration is necessary and children of all ages are invited to attend. This program is brought to you by Sibley State Park with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.


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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

Hello Lighthouse illustrated and written Sophie Blackall

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 2019 Caldecott Medal Winner is Hello Lighhouse illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Masterful ink and watercolor illustrations illuminate the story of a lighthouse and the family inside. Stunning images of the lighthouse in all kinds of weather alternate with views of intimate interior detail and circular motifs. Blackall's skill with composition, line and close attention to detail have created an exquisite book. "Children will delight in immersing themselves int he captivating discoveries each new look at Hello Lighthouse will bring," said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Mary Fellows.

Caldecott Medal

Four Caldecott Honor Books include: Alma and How She Got Her Name, illustrated and written by Juana Martinez-Neal, A Big Mooncake for Little Star, illustrated and written by Grace Lin, The Rough Patch, illustrated and written by Brian Lies, and Thank You, Omu!, illustrated and written by Oge Mora. For more information: Caldecott Medal Home Page.

Merci Suarez Changes Gears, written by Meg Medina

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 2019 Newbery Medal Winner is Merci Suárez Changes Gears, written by Meg Medina, published by Candlewick Press. Using humor and grace, Merci, a charming and plucky protagonist, cycles through life's challenges with the support of her intergenerational family. This richly nuanced novel tackles the complexity of navigating a multicultural identity amidst changing family dynamics. "Meg Medina's warm and honest novel masterfully depicts one Cuban-American family's life with authenticity and empathy," said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Ellen M. Riordan.

From the library catalog: Merci Suárez knew that sixth grade would be different but she had no ideas just how much different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother Roli are scholarship students. They don't have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the the new boy who happens to be Merci's school-assigned Sunshine Buddy. Merci become the target of Edna's jealousy. Things aren't going well at home, either: Merci's grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately-- forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what's going on, so she's left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school.

Newbery Medal

Two Newbery Honor Books include: The Night Diary, written by Veera Hiranandani; The Book of Boy, written by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr. For more information: Newbery Medal Home Page.

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Past Events

Summer 2018

Winner of the girl's bike for the 2018 Summer Reading Program.
Winner of the girl's bike for the 2018 Summer Reading Program

Winner of the boy's bike for the 2018 Summer Reading Program.
Winner of the boy's bike for the 2018 Summer Reading Program

Sibley State Park visits the library
Sibley State Park visits the library

Annette Fragale and Friends Legacy Program
Annette Fragale and Friends Legacy Program

Ralph's Word Legacy Program
Ralph's Word Legacy Program


Cow Stories With the Dairy Princesses
Cow Stories With the Dairy Princesses

Science Tellers
Science Tellers

Prince & Princess Story Hour with Willmar Fest Royalty
Prince & Princess Story Hour with Willmar Fest Royalty

Yoga With Candace
Yoga With Candace

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Ongoing Events

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

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Children's Services:
Kathy Torkelson


Willmar Library Children: FacebookWPL Children on facebook

TwitterWPL Children on Twitter

InstagramWPL Children on Instagram

Links for Kids

Sponsors for the 2018 Summer Reading Program

The Barn Theatre

Bergh's Fabricating

Bremer Bank

Concorde Bank

Crayola Experience

Cub Foods

Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center

Fraternal Order of the Eagles Willmar Aerie No. 2334

The Goodness Coffee House

Hawk Creek Animal Shelter

Jake's Pizza

Jenni-O Turkey Store

Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA

Lake Region Bank

MN Twins

MN Vikings

Qdoba Mexican Grill

Stages Theatre Company



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