Way More Than Books at the Winsted Public Library

The Winsted Public Library isn’t just for bookworms. With special programs offered throughout the year, the building at 180 Main Avenue West is bustling with all kinds of entertainment opportunities.

“We have two computers for patrons to use, and we’ve also added a new laptop and iPad in the past few months that are available for use within the library, “ said local librarian Lisa Ebert.

The library was expanded shortly after Christmas 2013, providing an additional 870 square feet for programming. In January 2014, the Winsted Library Board was able to obtain free bookshelves, couches, tables, book carts, and other furniture from Webber Park Library in Minneapolis, which was closing.

“Many of their furnishings were not going to be reused within the Hennepin County system, and they allowed us to take as much as we could haul,” said Winsted Library Board Member Julie Guggemos.

A spot for everything

The library has been rearranged to maximize the additional space.

“I used to think of it as a drive-through library, where people would only stay long enough to pick up their books,” Ebert said. “Now, people can have a cup of coffee, sit on the couch and read, or be on their laptops or other mobile devices, enjoying our free Wi-Fi.”

Near the entrance is a kids’ corner, with picture books and room for children and their parents to sit and read or play with some of the educational toys together. Next to the children’s section are books for middle-grade and teenage readers, followed by young adult fiction.

“All the adult fiction and non-fiction is in the new addition,” Ebert said, explaining that the new expansion in the back is also a quiet study area.

The space allows for a more open arrangement at the library, and more natural light can be seen from the front windows.

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.

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.

With a 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

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 seven 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-March, readers ages 16+ can curl up with a good read while they take part in the annual winter reading program. In 2017, the program started Jan. 1, and runs through March 15.

For the younger crowd, there are winter, spring, and fall storytimes Tuesdays from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and Wednesdays from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m. The spring 2017 storytime starts April 18, and goes through May 24.

Events at the Library

Last year, the Winsted Library began offering a program series called Library After Hours, featuring a coloring and cocoa event, Trivia Tournament Tuesdays, and a dessert social and wine pull.

The 2017 book sale will be April 10-22, with “Fill a Bag For a Buck” Friday, April 14 and Friday, April 21.

The signature fundraiser for the Winsted Library is the annual silent auction during Winsted’s Winter Festival.

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 Getz, Lisa Ebert, Pam Johnson, Julie Guggemos, and Julie Hemmesch. The commission sponsors several library activities during the year.

Library info

Location: 180 Main Avenue West

Contact: (320) 485-3909,, or



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.