Information updated February 2019

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 and community-building activities.

A spot for everything

“I used to think of it as a drive-through library, where people would only stay long enough to pick up their books,” Librarian Lisa Ebert said. “Now, people can browse through books or magazines, 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 the adult large-print section.

“All the adult fiction and non-fiction are in the addition that was added in December of 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 2018, thanks to a generous donation from the City of Winsted, we were able to add over 100 large-print books to this library, all of which have been checked out at least once already.”

More books than it looks

If a specific book, video, magazine, or audiobook 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 audiobooks 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 smartphone, 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 through March, readers ages 16+ can curl up with a good read while they take part in the annual winter reading program. In 2019, 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 2019 storytime session starts April 30 and goes through May 22. The fall 2019 storytime session starts Sept. 10 and goes through Nov. 20. A new program called “Stay and Play” starts in February, and continues to the beginning of April on 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 storytimes or Stay and Play sessions.

Events at the Library

In 2016, the Winsted Library began offering an adult programming series called Library After Hours, featuring events for people 16 and older. This year, the winter session features a Make and Take Valentines for Your Valentine card-making event, led by local card-maker, Sandy Foss, Thursday, Feb. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The 2019 book sale will be April 8 to 20, with “Fill a Bag For a Buck” Saturday, April 20. 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. “We are already planning the events for Booktoberfest 2019, and are hoping to expand it, even more, this year,” Ebert commented.

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 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.