What's new
@ the Library

Wolf in the Snow

Hello Universe

Big Cat, little cat


A Different Pond

Grand Canyon

Long Way Down

Feminist Baby

Ice Hockey and Curling

I'm a Javascript Games Maker

I am a Cat

Dragons and Marshmallows


The Boy and the Whale

Ali's Story

Somali Immigrants: In their Shoes

Ranger Rick's Guide to Fishing


The Lost Rainforest: Mez's Magic

Mighty Moby

Lost and Found Cat

Grace Hopper

Out of School and Into Nature

Meet Me at the Well

Fancy Nancy:  Oodles of Kittens

Berenstain Bears and the Ducklings

5 Minute Pinkalicious

Good Day, Good Night

The Puppy Place: Bitsy

The Rodeo Challenge

Children's Page

Little People Storytime

Children sharing a book

For infants - Kindergarten. 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. Please call Willmar Community Education & Recreation at 231-8490 to register your child(ren).

Storytime is on the following Thursdays from 10 - 10:30am:


Holiday Cookies & Holiday Heart Story Hour

Elves having milk and cookies

Friday, December 14
10:00 - 10:45

Stories, music, and crafts relating to the holiday season will be presented. Hopefully, Santa will stop in for a visit!

Cookies hot chocolate, and juice will be provided for refreshments. All ages of children are invited to attend.


Lefsa Making 101

A plate of fresh lefse

Saturday, December 15
2:00 - 3:00

Children will watch and learn how to make lefsa. Children K - 6th grade are invited to learn how to make this Scandinavian treat.

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Bringing Stories to Life

Children with their storybook pictures and crayons.

Tuesday evening; Dec 18
6-7 pm

Early Childhood Family Education and Willmar Public Library are working together to bring you and your 2 1/2 to 5 year old an evening of fun. Each night there will be a new story, which will be brought to life with the help of your child. There will be music, activities and much more for you and your child. Please call Community Education at 231-8490 to register.


Creative Kids Art Club

4:00 - 5:00 pm on the following Wednesdays:
December 19 - Make Incredible gift tags and Christmas cards
February 20 - Create your own valentine coloring page and card
April 17 - Paint a rock and Basquiat-chalk-on-black paper drawings

Graphic image of two children at an easel with paints

Children ages six and older are invited to come draw, paint and learn about art history. Art Club will help to promote creative thinking and creative expression. We will do a project each time. If there is time left left over, children will be able to draw and paint their own art projects. If they have art projects they want to share or talk about they may also do that.

No registration is required and art supplies are provided for the projects. You may bring your own projects and art supplies to work on after completing the assigned art work. Come share art ideas and projects with other creative kids artists!


Animal Fair

An adorable hedgehog

Thursday, December 27
10:00 - 11:00

Several different animals will be brought to the library and children will get a chance to hear about the various animals. All ages of children are invited to attend.

Two cute rabbits


Children's Matinee

The Star

Friday, December 28
3:30 - 5:00

A small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas. (from the card catalog)

Rated PG. Runtime: 86 minutes. Movie snacks will be provided.


Children's Book Club

Bone, Voume 1, Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith

Tuesday, January 8
4:00 - 5:00 pm

This month we are read Bone, Voume 1, Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith This book is a graphic novel and the following is a summary of the book.

Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone are run out of their home, Boneville, and become separated in the wilds, but better fortune begins when the three cousins reunite at a farmstead in a deep forested valley, where Fone meets a young girl named Thorn. In Out From Boneville, volume 1 of this 9-book epic, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are separated and lost in a vast, uncharted desert. One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures. Eventually, the cousins are reunited at a farmstead run by tough Gran'ma Ben and her spirited granddaughter Thorn. But little do the Bones know, there are dark forces conspiring against them, and their adventures are only just beginning! We will discuss the book and have pizza and snack along with other activities. Children in second through sixth grade are invited to attend and bring a friend or two.

Children in second through sixth grade are invited to attend and bring a friend or two.


Board Game Afternoon

A checkerboard and checkers

On the following Wednesday Afternoons from 4:00 - 5:00 pm:
January 16, March 20, May 15

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!

Story Hour

Story Time

Story Hour is an opportunity for parents/grandparents and caregivers to introduce their children to reading and language in a fun way. At story hour, children have an opportunity to do activities that promote development and learning. Preschool-aged children are curious about everything. Story Hour is a perfect way for preschoolers to listen and learn about the questions they ask. Kids love singing familiar songs and doing fun activities. Parents/grandparents and caregivers are invited to play along. Children and their grownups will explore stories and activities to encourage children to develop a lifelong love of reading and learning. These 45 minute programs are designed to promote language and listening skills, expand children's imagination and arouse their curiosity about the world around them. Library story hour incorporates the early literacy skills, such as vocabulary building, phonological awareness, and letter knowledge, that children must master before they can learn to read.

Story Hours are for families with young children are on Fridays January 25 - March 1 from 10:00 - 10:45 a.m.


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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

Wolf in the Snow illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell

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 2018 Caldecott Medal Winner is Wolf in the Snow illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell, and published by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan.

In this spare, nearly wordless picture book, a girl and a wolf cub each get lost in the snow and rescue each other. Cordell uses pen and ink and watercolor wash to capture the frenzied snowfall and the brave girl’s frantic, frightful journey. Fairy tale elements and a strong sense of color and geometry offer an engrossing, emotionally charged story. “HOOOOOWWLLLL!!” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Tish Wilson. “Committee members were astonished that a deceptively simple book could be such a dramatic story of survival.”

Caldecott Medal

Four Caldecott Honor Books include: Big Cat, little cat, illustrated and written by Elisha Cooper; Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, illustrated by Gordon C. James; A Different Pond, illustrated by Thi Bui, written by Bao Ph; and Grand Canyon, illustrated and written by Jason Chin. For more information: Caldecott Medal Home Page.

Hello, Universe, written by Erin Entrada Kelly

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 2018 Newbery Medal Winner is Hello, Universe written by Erin Entrada Kelly, published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Filipino folklore and real life converge at the bottom of a well. Even while following signs and portents, the characters are the definition of creative agency. Masterfully told through shifting points of view, this modern quest tale shimmers with humor and authentic emotion.

From the library catalog: Lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully's prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him. Virgil feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia is deaf, smart, and loves everythng about nature. Kaori is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren't friends. But when Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well, Kaori, Gen, and Valencia begin a quest to find the missing Virgil.

Newbery Medal

Three Newbery Honor Books include: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, written by Derrick Barnes illustrated by Gordon C. James; Long Way Down, written by Jason Reynolds; and Piecing Me Together, written by Renée Watson. 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