102 W 3rd St, Sterling, IL 61081 ∙ (815) 625-1370
Monday - Tuesday: 9AM–8PM ∙ Wednesday - Friday: 9AM–5PM 
Sat: 9AM-1PM    ∙    Sun: Closed

Children's Programs

Illinois' Readers' Choice Awards 2023 -- Make your voice heard about your favorite books! Voting runs from February 15 to March 15!

monarch logoThe Monarch Award: K-3 -- This award was created by the Association of Illinois School Library Educators to encourage children to read critically and become familiar with children's books, authors, and illustrators. In order to vote for your choice for this year's Monarch Award, please read, or have read to you, at least 5 out of the 20 nominees. (Click on this link to see the list of books.) When you would like to vote, please fill out a voting slip to the children's desk. Please only vote if you are in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade.

bluestem-logo.pngThe Bluestem Award: 3-5 -- This award was created by the Association of Illinois School Library Educators to serve children who are ready for books that are more advanced than the Monarch Award books. In order to vote for your choice for this year's Bluestem Award, please read, or have read to you, at least 4 out of the 20 nominees. (Click on this link to see the list of books.) When you would like to vote, please fill out a voting slip to the children's desk. Please only vote if you are in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade.

The Sterling Public Library has all 40 Monarch and Bluestem nominees available for check-out. If our books are checked out, patrons can put these books on hold through the other libraries in our consortium. Please call the library or reach out to Abbigail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you have any questions!

In coordination with Illinois' Readers' Choice Awards, we will have a few special programs during this time:

  • Monday, February 13, 6-6:45pm -- Monarch Storytime (K-3) -- Join us to read some of the 2023 Monarch nominee books, sing songs and rhymes, and do a craft!
  • Monday, March 13, 6-6:45pm -- Monarch Storytime (K-3) -- Join us to read some of the 2023 Monarch nominee books (different from February 13's storytime), sing songs and rhymes, and do a craft!
  • Tuesday, March 14, 2-3pm -- Bluestem Book Club (3-5) -- Join us at the library to talk about which Bluestem books we loved and hated. We will also play games and eat snacks. Feel free to attend whether you have read any of the Bluestem nominees or not; maybe you will find your next favorite book!

Regular Yearlong Programs:

SPL Picture Book Bundles - Similarly to SPL Subscription Book Boxes, staff will choose up to 8 picture books each month to support your child's reading needs and interests. Parents, caregivers, teachers, and any other patron with a library card are welcome to use this service for their unique needs. To sign up, simply fill out this survey

Books will be selected once each month, a notification will be sent to you, and the books will be available for pick up for 3 days. Books will be checked out for the regular amount of time (two weeks). If you would like to receive a Picture Book Bundle monthly, please return your canvas bag to the library with your name on it. If you have any questions please contact the Children's Librarian, Abbigail, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling the library.

Anyone with a library card from Sterling Public Library, Rock Falls Public Library, Dixon Public Library, Milledgeville Public Library, and the local schools may participate in this program, but we ask that the bundles are picked up at and the bags are returned to the Sterling Public Library.  

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Preschool Storytime – Join Ms. Abbigail for storytime every Monday morning from 10-10:45am. We will sing songs and rhymes, read books, play games, and make a craft. These storytimes are geared toward preschoolers, but all ages are welcome. We will have chairs available for the adults accompanying children, and adults are welcome and encouraged to participate in the songs and rhymes with their children. 

Saturday Storytime - Starting in September 2022, we will have a Saturday Storytime at the library from 10-10:30am on the second Saturday of each month. This storytime will be geared towards children preschool through first grade, but all ages are welcome. During this storytime, we will read books, sing songs and rhymes, and play games. As of right now this storytime will not include a craft, but that may change in the future. We are excited to have this storytime available for patrons who work or have other obligations during the week, and we look forward to sharing a fun Saturday morning with you and your family!

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From the Stacks – Children's Librarian, Abbigail, recommends middle grade and picture books in short videos.  Check out our YouTube page.  You can also find all of Abbigail's videos on this page.  Teen Librarian, Beth also makes videos about children's books. 

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Lego Club – Our library volunteer Don runs our Lego club on the first and third Saturday of each month from 10-10:45am. These are duplicate programs; you may register for either date, but not both. It is for school aged children, and registration is required. You can register by calling the library or stopping by the children’s desk. Participants get to create whatever they like, and at the end of each Lego Club meeting, participants display their creations in the display case in the children’s area until the next meeting. The Lego Club schedule for Fall 2022 is now available on the Programming Calendar.