This Saturday! STEM & Stories Saturday @ The Playground

Join us this Saturday as our special guest from AHeniz57 Pet Rescue and be ready for a tail-wagging surprise!

STEM & Stories Saturday
Date: January 16, 2021 at 10:00am
Setting: ZOOM
Register Here
Upon sign up, you will receive a “free” material kit!

Did you miss Monday’s Makerspace Monday Virtual Event?  Don’t worry, check out the recording. Denise escapes to a topical oasis and makes Coconut Sugar Scrub and Body Soufflé.

Makerspace Mondays are held on the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:30pm.
Register Here
Upon sign up, you will receive a “free” material kit!

To view past programs and for more information about Makerspace Mondays and STEM & Stories Saturdays visit our Mondays and Saturdays Page.

Beyond the Book

Beyond the Book with Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

This month we are going Beyond the Book with Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. (DB74646) The author, Cheryl Strayed, at the age of 26, decides on a whim to make the 1,100 hike up the Pacific Crest Trail by herself after years of devastating personal losses.  She experiences many mishaps and adventures along the way while meeting new people in the locals and fellow hikers she encounters. This was not a “how-to” book about hiking, or an informational book about the Pacific Crest Trail, or even a self-help book.  It is the thoughts of a woman who used her journey to work through her thoughts and emotions about her life up to that point. I thought this book would be a good book to take us into the new year as it can make you think about your own life experiences and how you ultimately handled and reacted to them.  2020 was a hard and interesting year that put us all outside our comfort zones and made us look inwardly at how we handle situations.  This reminded me of Strayed’s journey up the Pacific Crest Trail as she traveled alone with only her own thoughts as company.  This book was made into a movie in 2014 starring Reese Witherspoon.  In my opinion, the book is almost always than its movie and that holds true here.  However, the movie was very well done and I really enjoyed it and would strongly recommend it!

Next time we will go Beyond the Book with The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver (DB98810) A contemporary romance about Lydia and Freddie who had been together for more than a decade when Freddie died in a car accident. Deeply grieving, it takes time for Lydia to take the first steps to move on. But in her dreams, she has another chance at her old life with Freddie. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, a romance seems like the perfect fit! Call the library to request this book!  Once you have read it, call or email with your review or thoughts.  You might hear your words in the next Beyond the Book segment in the March Library News. We would love to hear from you!  Call 515.452.1329 or email

Thanks for reading with us!

Join the Adult Winter Reading Challenge

The Adult Winter Reading Challenge has begun! 

It’s not too late to sign up.  Go to to register. Registration is easy!  You just need to create an account with your name and address and then choose the Adult Winter Reading Challenge to get started. If you read 7,500 minutes between January 4 – February 28, 2021, you will be entered to win a Winter Reading Themed Gift Basket.  You can log your minutes right from that website! Please call Leslie at 515.452.1329 with any questions.

These D-Lists (Digital List Including Special Titles) might help get you started on your path to 7,500 minutes.  Call the library (515-281-1323) to get signed up for one!

Reading Across America – comprised of books about or set in all fifty states

Books to Movies – includes books that have been made into movies

Plants in Name Only – includes books with a kind of plant or flower in the title.

TGAR (The Great American Read) – features the 100 books chosen during the PBS 2018 eight part series. Each cartridge will have ten of the 100 books from the Great American Read list.

VOICE (Voices Of Iowa Connecting Everyone) – features our local narrators and the great audio books they have recorded for our collection.

The Bookmark Series – 50 titles that we think would make a great movie for the Hallmark Channel.

Staff Picks  – filled with our staffs’ all-time favorite books.  As with our staff, there is a wide variety of books included, from true crime stories to romance to mystery to historical fiction.  With a little horror and fantasy thrown in there!

January Youth Programs @ The Playground

In the coming year, the fun has just begun! On January 11th for Makerspace Monday Event, we will be taking a trip to a tropical oasis when we blend, coconut into a sugar scrub and whipped cream soufflé, this is going to be a vacation in a bottle. On January 16th for STEM and Stories Saturday, I can’t wait to meet our heroes from the Heinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport. It is going to be such a furry of a good time.  And our newest program Braille Babies will be on January 16th.

It’s not too late to register for all of these fun programs!

January @ The Playground

Makerspace Monday Virtual Event
Date and Time: January 11th 6:30 p.m.
Activity: Escaping to a tropical oasis – Coconut Sugar Scrub and Body Soufflé
Register Here

STEM and Stories Saturday Virtual Event
Date and Time: January 16th 10:00 a.m.
Activity: Featured Guest from Heniz57 and be ready for a tail-wagging surprise!
Register Here

“NEW” Braille Babies
Date and Time: January 16th 11:00 a.m.
Activity: Activities, Games and More! Making Connections Together!
Ages: 0 to 4 years’ old
Information and Registration Here

If you have any questions please contact Denise Bean, Youth Services Librarian at, (515)452-1338

2021 Iowa Regional Braille Challenge

Braille Challenge LogoThe Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind in North America for students who are blind or visually impaired. Braille Institute developed the Braille Challenge to motivate students to practice and hone their braille literacy skills, which are essential to academic and employment success.

We are offering Regional Braille Challenge testing for students during a remote testing window of February 1, 2021 – February 28, 2021. Contest proctoring can be done individually or as a group in school, home, or other agreed upon setting with a proctor. Online training is available for anyone who will be proctoring.

Any blind or low vision student in grades 1 – 12 who can read and write braille is eligible to participate in the Braille Challenge. All Contestants are divided into five categories and tested on fundamental braille skills such as reading comprehension, spelling, speed and accuracy, proofreading, and charts and graphs.

Let’s make 2021 a record year for students participating in the Iowa Regional Braille Challenge!

Registration is open until January 15, 2021. More information about the Braille Challenge and registration can be found on the Library’s Instructional Materials Center Blog

Braille Challenge T-Shirts

To help us celebrate the Braille Challenge and Braille literacy, we are pleased to work with Raygun this year for the Braille Challenge t-shirt. All proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and future Braille Challenges.

All shirts are crew neck and short-sleeved. The shirts are heather red with white lettering. The front of the t-shirt says in print: #brailleiowa. The back of the t-shirt says the same thing in Braille. All adult sizing is unisex and all shirts are $15.00. T-shirts will be mailed to the address you provide on the order form. Participants of the Braille Challenge will be provided with a t-shirt.

Orders can be placed until February 10, 2021

Shirts are heather red with white lettering. The front of the t-shirt says in print: #brailleiowa. The back of the t-shirt says the same thing in Braille

On Twitter?  Use #brailleiowa