Information updated February 2020
When the Winsted Library was established in 1976, local patrons came to the library to do things such as checking out books, looking up things in encyclopedias, and reading newspapers.
Today, patrons still check out books, but they also use the two patron computers and free WiFi, attend programs, visit with their friends and neighbors, and get movies to enjoy at home.
With special programs offered throughout the year, the building at 180 Main Avenue West is bustling with all kinds of entertainment opportunities and community-building activities.
A spot for everything
Near the entrance is a kids’ corner, with picture books and room for children and their parents to sit and read or play together with some of the educational toys. Next to the children’s section are books for middle-grade and teenage readers, followed by the adult large-print section.
“All the adult fiction and non-fiction is in the addition that was added in December 2013, when the store that was next door closed,” Ebert said, adding that the back area is also a quieter study area.
With more room for books, the library is able to keep a larger collection on hand. The amount of new material is constant, but old items don’t need to be cycled out as quickly.
“Every year, we focus on building a better collection that reflects what our patrons like to read, in the formats they want,” Ebert explained. “In 2019, thanks to a generous donation from the City of Winsted, we were able to add over 70 new children’s book and CD sets to the collection to be enjoyed by young readers.
More books than it looks
If a specific book, video, magazine, or audio book you’re looking for isn’t on hand in Winsted, the library can often order it through the Pioneerland Library System or MNLink, which serves all of Minnesota.
Patrons can renew or request library materials in person, by phone, on the Pioneerland website, or via e-mail.
To borrow materials from the library, all that’s needed is a Pioneerland Library card. Applications are available at the checkout desk, and the card is ready for use within a few minutes. If patrons live outside of the Pioneerland Library System area, they can still use the Winsted Library simply by registering their library card from their home library system.
With a Pioneerland library card, books and audio books can be checked out up to 28 days, while movies can be checked out for one week. Magazines can be checked out for 14 days.
Books on your phone
For people who like to read or listen to books on their smart phone, Kindle, or tablet, the library offers digital checkouts. The system is called OverDrive, and it can be accessed at pioneerland.lib.overdrive.com.
Patrons are able to borrow up to five titles at a time, and can choose their own due dates from the options provided, which range from 7 to 21 days, at which time the item will automatically disappear from the device.
Free wireless internet
The library also offers two patron computer stations, a copier (10 cents per copy for black-and-white; 25 cents for color), and free wireless internet. Patrons may work on their own laptops as long as they wish during library hours, but computer station time is limited to 30 minutes per patron, per day, if there are other patrons waiting. There is also a laptop and an iPad available for checkout by patrons to use in the library for the day.
Storytime and reading programs
The library offers programs and events for all ages throughout the year.
During the chilly months of January through March, readers ages 16 and older can curl up with a good read while they take part in the annual winter reading program. In 2020, the program started Jan. 1, and runs through March 15.
For the younger crowd, there are Wee Read Storytimes during the spring, and fall months Tuesdays from 9:30 to 10 a.m., and Wednesdays from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m.
The spring 2020 Storytime session starts Tuesday, April 28, and goes through Wednesday, May 20.
The fall 2020 Storytime session starts Tuesday, Sept. 15, and goes through Wednesday, Nov. 18th.
While Storytime takes a break over the winter months, children and their caregivers can attend a program called “Stay and Play,” now in its second year. Stay & Play starts Tuesday, Feb. 18, and continues to Wednesday, April 8. The program takes place Tuesdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and Wednesdays from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Stay and Play features unstructured play, special storytimes, and a chance to socialize with Storytime friends. No registration is needed for any of the Storytime or Stay and Play sessions.
The 2020 Summer Reading Program, “Dig Deeper: Read, Investigate, Discover!”, will start Sunday, June 7, go through the end of July, and is open to children ages 5 and older, teens, and adults.
Events at the library
The 2020 book sale will take place Monday, April 13 through Saturday, April 25 during regular library hours. “Fill a Bag For a Buck” will take place Saturday, April 25. Book donations are accepted year-round, but must be in good condition, and be published within the last three years.
In 2018, the Winsted Library hosted its first Booktoberfest, bringing in local authors for author visits, and having the “World’s Easiest Bookclub” at the library.
Booktoberfest 2020 will feature Minnesota authors Jessie Chandler Saturday, Oct. 3 in the Vollmer Room at Winsted City Hall at 1:30 p.m.; and Chad Lewis Saturday, Oct. 24 in the Winsted Arts Council building at 6:30 p.m.
Other activities will include another “World’s Easiest Bookclub,” daily trivia questions at the library, and a round of Cocktails and Crimes at a place and date yet to be determined.
The signature fundraiser for the Winsted Library is the annual silent auction during Winsted’s Winter Festival. The proceeds of the auction help fund all library programs, as well as the summer and winter reading programs and Storytimes throughout the year.
The Winsted Library Commission
The Winsted Library Commission is very active, striving to make the library a vital resource within the community.
Current members are Kim Hausladen, Rachel Dolly, Lisa Ebert, Pam Johnson, Julie Guggemos, and Julie Fairchild. The commission sponsors several library activities during the year.
Location: 180 Main Avenue West
Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2 to 7 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Fridays, 2 to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon.