Stillwater Public Library encourages, supports, and welcomes teachers and youth leaders who wish to bring groups to visit the library. We ask that you please contact the Youth Services staff WELL IN ADVANCE to discuss dates and times that best suit your needs and our staff availability. The library tries to accommodate all requests by groups for library visits and activities, but without advanced notice, staff, space, materials or equipment may not be available.
Youth Services Staff
Youth services activities include storytimes, book talks, tours, instruction on how to use the library and library research, author readings, book discussion groups, and seasonal reading programs.
For more information, contact:
Youth Services Librarians
I. Group Visits
A. Scheduled Visits
A scheduled group visit may involve a presentation, a tour, or other activity with a staff member. Visits usually last between 30 – 45 minutes, with additional time for children to browse. The nature of the visit, age of the children, and size of the group will determine the timeframe.
The following guidelines apply to scheduled library visits:
• Contact the Youth Services staff in advance to schedule a visit. A lead-time of three weeks is suggested when a presentation or tour is requested.
• Library visits are scheduled during regular library hours unless otherwise arranged with library staff.
• 30 children or less allow groups to have the best possible experience.
• The group leader is expected to remain with their children at all times and is responsible for maintaining discipline and ensuring safety. A child/adult ratio of 10 to 1 is recommended for successful group visits.
• Following any group activity, children are encouraged to explore the library’s resources. Allow adequate time for children to browse and to check out materials. To ensure maximum enjoyment for all users, please review the information about library cards prior to visits.
• The library building is accessible to people with disabilities. If a child requires special assistance, library staff will try to make reasonable accommodations with advance notice.
B. “Drop-In” Visits
Groups are welcome to spontaneously drop in to use the Stillwater Public Library; however group leaders should be aware there may be limited access to library staff, space, materials, and equipment, especially for larger groups. Services and collections have been developed with individual users in mind and the library is unable to make special accommodations for drop-in groups.
C. Librarian Visits to Schools and Youth Groups
Library staff may be available to visit a group for a presentation at their site with advance notice. A lead-time of three weeks is suggested.
II. School Assignments
Staff is better able to assist students with assignments when we receive advanced notice. Teachers and other youth leaders are encouraged to consult with the library’s Youth Services staff prior to creating a library-based assignment.
III. Customized Materials and Special Services
Due to the large number of organizations that the Stillwater Public Library serves, library staff does not ordinarily produce book lists or set aside parts of our collection. Teachers and group leaders are encouraged to contact library staff to assist them in selecting materials or to find existing bibliographies or other resources.
IV. Borrowing Information
A. Library Cards
Many library services require a library card. Children of all ages are eligible for a card. Library cards are free for residents of Washington County and most other Minnesota library cards are valid once registered with the Stillwater Public Library. Non-residents (e.g., residents of Wisconsin) and residents of Lake Elmo may purchase a library card for an annual fee of $60. Washington County public libraries do not issue “teacher/educator” cards, but “Institutional Card” may issued to schools or other organizations as outlined in our Circulation Policy.
B. Important Notes About the Library Card
• To ensure a positive experience for children visiting the library, please make sure each child in the group has a library card with them on the day of the visit. Children are encouraged to visit the library with a parent or guardian before the class visit to register for a library card. (Photo identification and address verification are required.)
• Before the field trip visit, inform parents if children will be applying for a library card, or checking out library materials.
• If a child comes to the library visit without a library card or has outstanding charges on a library account, the child may be limited in they materials they can use.
V. Databases and Research Tools
The Stillwater Public Library provides access to a wide variety of licensed information databases and research tools, subscribed to by the library, and funded for library users by local and state government. Access to these resources is free for library card holders. Resources include online encyclopedias, magazine and newspaper indexes and full-text articles, special reports, primary source materials, images, and much more. These resources may be accessed and searched from computers located within the library building, or accessed remotely by library card holders through the library web site. Many of these resources are designed specifically for students and younger users.