What’s Up at the Rochester Public Library?


Rochester Public LibraryThe Rochester Public Library has so much to offer the city and surrounding area. The library has been committed to keeping you and your family safe during the pandemic. Rochester Mom has compiled a list of programs and information (old and new) that you might find useful for your family. 

Library Card

Let’s start here. To utilize some of the amazing services that the Rochester Public Library offers, you’ll need your library card. You can apply for one from the comfort of your home on your computer or with your smartphone. Once you have a library card you can borrow materials and use online resources. To start the process, check out the library’s website.

Libby App

The library gives you the option of using the Libby App to borrow and read ebooks and audiobooks for free. You must have a valid library card to use the app’s features. Simply download the app from your app store and get to reading!

Walkup Window

Located on the corner of 1st Ave SE and 2nd Street SE
Monday-Sunday, 10 AM-6 PM (Thursdays until 8 PM)
Have you been wondering what the lines outside the library are for? The Walkup Window has been of service to those wanting to check-out items from the library during the pandemic. This service is strictly for picking up items that have been placed on hold. To place an item on hold, use your Libby app or go to the library’s website. You’ll be notified when your items are ready. When you arrive, call the number posted and provide the staff member with your library card information. They will let you know which window to meet them at and confirm your items. Items you have placed on hold remain on hold for 10 days. If you have questions about this service, contact the library.

Library Express

Thurs-Sun 10 am-6 pm
A new service has started at the library! Visitors can now browse, borrow books, and utilize the computers for up to 30 minutes per day. The time limits are needed to manage building capacity, so this service is very limited. The viewing/listening stations, sound booths, study rooms, and play areas remain closed. There is also no seating available. Think of it as a get in, get what you need, and head out, style of service. For more information about Library Express, call 507-328-2300 during virtual hours or visit the library’s website

Special Note: Curbside pickup in the ramp is no longer in service. The staff used for this service are now helping with the Library Express.

Online Magazines

The library offers magazines online. They have over 3,000 titles available for you and your family to borrow. Just use your Libby app or check them out on the library’s website.

Live Virtual Homework Help

Daily 2pm-11pm
Enter your library card information on the library’s website to get started with Brainfuse tutoring and homework help. 


This service has been available since 2012 and it currently visits over 77 different neighborhoods in Rochester and Olmsted County. The Bookmobile houses books and other items you’ve placed on hold and brings them closer to where you live. You must select “Bookmobile” when placing an item on hold. Head to the Bookmobile page to see a list of stops.

Custom Collections

Are you and your kids looking for items from a specific genre or theme? Give the librarians a week’s notice and they’ll get a Custom Collection put together just for you and your family. Fill out the form here.

Book Returns

Currently, both automated and walk-up book returns are available to return your items. 

Summer Playlist

Launched in 2017, the Summer Playlist is a reading and activity program for all ages and abilities. Participation is split up into age groups and prizes are earned as you complete the playlist. Check the website in May for information on Summer Playlist 2021.

Ask A Librarian

Have a question? Ask a Librarian! On the library’s website, you can call, email, text, or chat live with one of the librarians.

There are so many options for you to safely utilize the Rochester Public Library. We hope that you are able to find something that fits your family’s needs. Stay safe, and happy reading!

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Rochester Mom is written by and for moms who live in the Rochester MN area. We strive to connect local moms by sharing personal experiences, fun ideas and useful information as well as promoting local businesses and seeking to connect moms both on and offline.