Back to School at Rochester Public Library

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What an amazing summer! Such beautiful weather and so many wonderful, entertaining, and engaging activities happening at Rochester Public Library (RPL) every single week!

As kids, parents, and teachers are getting ready for another school year, staff in Youth Services at RPL are also getting ready for another season of youth events at the library.

The RPL event calendar is the best way to get up-to-date information on programs, but here is a brief run-down, by age, of fall activities, which will be launching the week of September 6th:

Babies & Toddlers (Birth to 3 years)

Beginning September 8th, Thursday mornings will be filled with fun for the youngest library users.

Baby Storytime at 10AM is twenty minutes of stories, rhymes, and songs for babies birth through 18 months.

Toddler Time at 10:30AM is a storytime specially designed for toddlers 18 months to 3 years old.

Together Time from 11AM to 12PM is a brand-new program for parents and children birth through 3 years old. Gather in the auditorium with other families for an hour of hang out and play time.

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years)

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Preschool Storytime will be held on Wednesday mornings at 10AM. Each first Wednesday will be a special Science Storytime with science themed books and activities and also each month we will have an extra-special storytime that will include a visit from a musician, hands-on crafts, or school readiness activities. On September 14, we will have a visit from the Big Red Dog, in partnership with Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester.

School Age (K to 6 grade)


RPL Explorers will be held on Wednesday afternoons at 2:30PM for homeschoolers and again at 4PM. This event is perfect for kids who love to make things, explore ideas, and hang out and mess around. The September theme is robots and themes for future months will be decided by participants.Rochester Public Library, what to do at the library, activities in Rochester MN, kids activities in Rochester MN

School Age (K to 12 grade)

Discover Tuesdays is an open house event from 3:30 to 5PM on Tuesday afternoons. The first Tuesday of every month will be time for Lego®/Game Club and subsequent weeks will be gaming or similar activities as decided by participants.

Homework Help will be offered most school nights from 4PM to 7PM, starting the week of September 12th. Kids can get help with homework from volunteers and staff. Check the RPL event calendar for the most recent schedule.

Families (Kids of all ages)

Family Programs at 6:30PM on Tuesday nights will be a rotation of: storytimes, dance parties, and creation stations. Creation stations will include science activities, art, and other fun.

Saturday Mornings at 10:30AM will include the same rotation of family programs, with occasional special events. In September, we welcome Bob Bovee for an old-time country music family concert on Saturday, September 24th.

Rainbow Family Meet-Up, first Tuesdays 6PM to 7:30PM, is a safe and welcoming meet-up for LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) kids and families. We will be hanging out, playing games, making art, and having fun together.

Tweens (4 to 6 grade)

Monday evenings at 6PM are reserved for kids in grades 4 to 6. In September, the program theme will be: Game On! The fourth Monday of every month will be time for Kids Plan It, which is a meet-up for kids who want to help brainstorm and make decisions about library programs and activities.

3D Youth will be offered once a month on Thursday nights. This hands-on program will allow your tween (or teen) to create an object to be printed on the library’s 3D printer. Registration is required, see the RPL event calendar for the next available date.Rochester Public Library, what to do at the library, activities in Rochester MN, kids activities in Rochester MN

Teens (7 to 12 grade)

Monday afternoons at 4PM will be filled with teen programs. RPL’s Teen Library Council (TLC) meets every fourth Monday to decide on future events for teens. TLC will be taking applications through Sept. 19. The first three Mondays of the month will be filled with teen programs; September’s programs will include activities about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and image transfers.

Second Mondays at 5PM will be Café Fuzz, a time to de-stress by reading to pets, including the adorable Timba, the therapy cat, and Shiner, the therapy dog.

Practice ACTs are scheduled regularly and they fill up fast. Registration is required. New offerings will be announced in the library’s calendar and through PeachJar.

q club, a safe and welcoming meet-up for LGBTQIA teens, is held first and third Thursdays 4PM to 5:30PM.

Zine*O*Cide will be held second and fourth Thursdays 4PM to 6PM. Teens are invited to contribute art, poetry, and other writings to this self-published zine.

3D Youth will be offered once a month on Thursday nights. This hands-on program will allow your teen (or tween) to create an object to be printed on the library’s 3D printer.

Grown Ups

Parents Empower Pride meets the third Tuesday of the month 7PM to 8:30PM. Meet with other parents of LGBTQIA kids and discuss how to support your kids on their journey.

Other Stuff You Want to Know about What the Library Offers

Youth Services has been undergoing a drastic change in our informational book collection. Instead of the Dewey Decimal System, you will now find books shelved using a whole language system called Book Map. Ask a librarian to show you how it works. Quite simply, instead of finding books about dogs in 636.73, you will now find them in JN2 ANIMALS PETS DOGS.

With your library card you have access to many free ebooks as well as online databases to use from home, including online encyclopedias, biographies of many obscure and famous people, and science resources.

Homeschoolers can find booklists and other resources here.

Finally, if you need help finding the right recreational reading for your child, check out our booklists, or stop by the library to get help finding Action 100/IRLA/100 Book Challenge books.

Please let us know if there is anything that the library can do to make your back-to-school transition easier!

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