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Stuffed animals spend the night at Willmar, Minn., library

Elena Peterson, above, and Rainbow Bear wait for a book to be read during a sleepover at Willmar Public Library. Children ages 2 to 8 left their second-favorite stuffed animals overnight at the library for the event. Tribune photo by Gary Miller

It was Dusty's first sleepover Tuesday. How many more he'll attend is a big question because Dusty is a stuffed dog. His owner, Eleanor Ryder, 8, of Willmar took Dusty with her to the Willmar Public Library.

Ryder and some of the other children wore their pajamas and heard stories and participated in other activities.

Ryder and several other 2-to-8-year-old children brought stuffed animal to hear bedtime stories at the library. It was highly recommended that they bring their second-most-favorite stuffed animal, said Kathy Torkelson, children's librarian.

Torkelson explained that she didn't want any children up all night because their favorite sleeping companion was having fun at the library.

During the night, the stuffed animal had the entire library to themselves.

The library staff promised they would leave tons of fun and exciting books for them to read, stacks of movies to watch and let the critters use the public computers to play games.

The staff promised to use their camera to document what the stuffed animals do after hours. Children may pick up their animals any time today to see what they did while the library was closed.