March Peek-A-Box Program

Peek-A-Box Logo, blue polka dot with a stack of books.March Madness has come to town!  Here at the Library we are mad about books!  The books in this month’s Peek-A-Box will include books with the word “book” in the title!  Here is sneak peek at titles!

Book-ends: collected intros and outros by Michael Chabon DB94164

The book of accidents by Chuck Wendig DB104297

A book of bones by John Connolly DB98716

The book of lies by Teri Terry DB92776

The book of longings by Sue Monk Kidd DB99652

The book of lost names by Kristin Harmel DB100408

The book of magic by Alice Hoffman DB105374

The book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall DB87486

The book of separation: a memoir by Tova Mirvis DB90079

The book of summer by Michelle Gable DB89059

The book of two ways by Jodi Picoult DB100856

The book that matters most by Ann Hood DB99035

The book thief by Markus Zusak DB62431

Bookshop by the sea by Denise Hunter DB104897

A bookshop in Berlin: the rediscovered memoir of one woman’s harrowing escape from the Nazis by Francoise Frenkel DB98975

The bookshop of second chances by Jackie Fraser DB103240

The bookshop of yesterdays by Amy Meyerson DB92132

The library book by Susan Orlean DB92869

Peek-a-Box offers patrons who subscribe a monthly box of books and goodies just for them.  Each month patrons in the program will receive a special box filled with books – audio or braille or large print – and goodies centered around a theme. 

Books to borrow and goodies to keep!

If you are interested in subscribing to Peek-a-Box, use this registration form or contact the library at 515.281.1323 and we can help get you subscribed. 

Sign up today!

Roundabout Topics: Eight Fundamentals of Braille Reading

Eight Fundamentals of Braille Reading:Image of three areas moving in a circle around the word "topics".

  • Use 6 fingers (3 on each hand)
  • Use the pads of your fingers NOT the very tips
  • Keep your fingers lined up and firmly together
  • NEVER stop to scrub; always be moving across the braille and not up and down
  • If you need to go back over a word slide your hands back then go back across
  • Keep your palms from dragging on the page or table
  • Use a light touch; lighter the touch the more prevalent the spaces between braille dots become
  • Track back on the same line then drop down to the next line

With daily reading and maintaining the above techniques, building strong braille reading skills is possible. Braille doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you believe your able to improve.

There are different ways to practice braille and they work whether you are reading on a braille display or physical book. Reading silently, following along, and reading aloud are three ways you can practice your braille and all develop additional skills beyond braille. 

Staff member, Leland Smith, will be providing us with a few topics a month stemming from questions he has received from patrons mainly around tech and apps.  His goal is to take the topic and bounce down different avenues of information about it.

NLS’s Patron Corner Program Coming Up On March 13th

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) will host their quarterly Patron Corner on Monday, March 13th at 6:00 pm.

On Monday, March 13, at 7:00 p.m. EST, the NLS Patron Engagement Section will host the next quarterly Patron Corner. The topic is Locally Produced Books – Building a Collection That Is Personal to You. The guest panel will include representatives from the Texas, Utah, Missouri, and Washington State libraries. Tamara Rorie, Head of the Patron Engagement Section, will moderate the panel. The discussion will cover topics such as how libraries select narrators, how libraries select books, and what roles patrons can play in this process.

The Patron Engagement Section at the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress is hosting the quarterly program and will provide an opportunity for patrons to learn more about various services directly from NLS staff. Bring your questions and your thoughts about the NLS collection.

To learn more and join the conversation, visit the Patron Corner page from NLS.

Image of National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled Logo

February Makerspace Monday Recap and What’s Next in March

Makerspace Monday @ The PlaygroundWhew! The braille chocolate molds were delivered to our library just in time for the yummy chocolatey braille bar activity. Guest were able to choose between the uncontracted message “thank you” or have a nice day” in braille.

After the chocolate bars were cooled down in the freezer, we began to mix up a colorful batter of paint, water, glue, and flour and made our very own recipe of plaster that covered a canvas board that turned into a collage of art that included copper wire. Hey, by the way, did you know the Statue of Liberty is made from copper? Yes, this is true!  We topped off our canvas collage with wooden hearts, glitter, and copper wrapped into a shape.

In the month of March, spring is going to be sprung on us soon enough. March winds can only mean one thing, time to make wind chimes! Did you know that when you hang a wind chime outside of your home it promotes calmness, and healing. This would be called the Feng Schui way, Feng means wind and Shui means water. Chinese culture believes that wind and water promote good health and positivity!  

Coming up next month in March

Date: March 13th
Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Activity: Soundful Memory Wire Wind Chimes!
Where: 524 4th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309
Online Registration

If you are unable to join in person, no problem, just complete the online registration form and choose “mail activity kit and video link” directly to your preferred address. 

Please contact Denise Bean at or 515-452-1338 


Tomorrow: March’s The Many Faces of BARD Virtual Program

On Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 6:00pm (central), the Patron Engagement Section of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) will hold its monthly virtual program called The Many Faces of BARD on Zoom.  Join NLS for an hour-long session that will begin with a discussion of BARD on both models of Braille eReader distributed by NLS. The remainder of the time will be spent answering questions about the presentation or other questions related to BARD usage on any of our devices.  The event is free to attend.

To learn more and join the conversation, visit The Many Faces of BARD page from NLS.

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Library News Podcast: March 2023

Join library staff for March’s Library News podcast which features:

  • A recap of the 2023 Iowa Regional Braille Challenge and STEM Fest
  • Top ten most downloaded nonfiction books on BARD
  • Upcoming Makerspace Monday and other youth programming
  • Information about the Library’s participation in the upcoming Des Moines Book Festival
  • Save the date for the Elizabeth Perowsky Workshop and Luncheon
  • And Programs from the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled