October Recap @ The Playground

October has been such a busy time at @ the Playground! We started our adventures off at the Makerspace Monday Virtual Event. Did you know that it takes 700 hundred gallons of water to make one t-shirt, no, really it does! Also, we put on our super hero masks while learning about the 3 Rs of recycling; Reduce, Reuse, and of course, Recycle. Now, wait a minute, let’s not forget about the cool, “No-Sew Designer Tote Bag.” It was a real hit!  

Next, we fasten our seatbelts as we took a ride to the landfill, yep that is correct, the LANDFILL, for our STEM and Stories Saturday. Sarah Borzo from Metro Waste Authority had us dive right into the sounds of all the working equipment at a landfill! We experienced a symphony of sounds, such as; stomping, pumping, whirling, swooshing, not to mention smashing, as we ended to the relaxing sounds of nature. Great care is taken at the landfill, they even plant flowers to attract butterflies and bees. It is so important to recycle, and by recycling, you can become a true “planet saving hero.” This video is a must to watch! Plus, we learned that if you recycle an aluminum can, it only takes 30 days to get it right back on the store shelf again! Wow, now that is super cool stuff! We ended our time together by making a reusable Butterfly feeder!  

Couldn’t make it?  Check out the program recordings

Coming up in November @ the Playground

Makerspace Monday Virtual Event

Date and Time: November 9th 6:30 p.m.
Activity: Art and Music go Hand in Hand with guest Amanda Drish from the Des Moines Symphony

STEM and Stories Saturday Virtual Event

Date and Time: November 21st 6:30 p.m.
Activity: Gratitude Cinnamon Salt Dough Ornaments with guest Ellie Klop from the Summer Reading Program

National Friends of Libraries Week

The Library is spending this week, celebrating its Friends of the Library group as part of the annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week.  We would like to thank our Friends for their continued advocacy, support and financial contributions to the services and programs the library provides.

The Friends of the Library is a vital source of funding for the Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled.  In 2020, the Friends of the Library gave the library $12,000.  Through their fundraising efforts and memberships, they have helped the library provide materials for the library’s 3D printer, print/braille books for our younger readers, new large print titles for the collection, support for the annual Braille Challenge and furniture for our new youth library space.

This year the Friends are excited to offer matching funds for every $20 membership for the first 50 new members. The board is so passionate about increasing our membership that they have made this match possible for anyone who has not been a member in the last 2 years.

Save the Date:

Friends of the Library Virtual Annual Meeting
Thursday, November 12, 2020 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm
The annual meeting will include presentations and business meeting.
Special Presentations By:

  • Karen Keninger, Library Director for the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled
  • Emily Wharton, Director of the Iowa Library for the Blind
  • Peggy Chong, The Blind History Lady

Join us in thanking our Friends of the Library for all their work and support. For information on how to join the Friends of the Iowa and learn more their history, see their website at http://www.iafriendslibraryfortheblind.org/

Library Chat Podcast: October 2020

The Library is excited to announce the first episode in a new podcast called Library Chat. It is in addition to the library’s monthly Library News podcast and Braille Bits podcast.  Check out the library’s Podcast Page for information on all the library’s podcasts and episodes.

 During the Library Chat podcast, we discussed books and other podcasts around different topics. October’s Library Chat will focus on the topic of Halloween. Listen in to hear about spooky books, Halloween traditions and more. We also discussed the podcast Stuff You Should Know: Where Did Trick-Or-Treating Come From? The popular Stuff You Should Know podcast and video series is published by Stuff Media and hosted by Josh Clark and Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant, both writers at HowStuffWorks. The podcast launched in 2008 and covers a variety of topics in the fields of science, history, urban legends and pop culture.

Check out the book list below highlighting the books we discussed during the podcast and other noteworthy spooky titles.

Library Chat:  October 2020 Book List

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson  DB26427  BR11092  LT4028

Dracula by Bram Stoker  DB31689  BR8277

Frankenstein by Mary W. Shelley  DB25835  BR12173  LT5603

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman  DB68027  BR18241

Hallowe’en Party:  a Hercule Poirot mystery by Agatha Christie  DB97649

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury  DB44005  BR10971

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson  DB26179  LT11759

Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving  DB16731  BR08876

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King  DB62402  BR22530  LT4278

Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark by Alvin Schwartz  DB19713

The Shining by Stephen King  DB51373  BR13271  LT4276

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury DB50233  BR12583

Braille Learning Resources and Podcast

Check out the great braille learning resources the library offers and our Braille Bits podcast!

Code Master

The Code Master Adult Braille Learning System is designed to help teens and adults who are blind or have low vision to learn braille and use it in their daily lives. Code Master breaks the learning of the braille code down into two parts: learning the code and developing the sense of touch needed to read braille tactilely.  Contact the library for more information about Code Master.

Braille Bits Online Course

We will be offering an online Braille Bits course starting on October 30, 2020 at 4:00pm. Braille Bits is designed to teach braille to sighted people who have connections with braille readers. Participants are taught through a combination of visual representation of braille and vocalization of dot positions to instill a better understanding of the braille code. This is an experience geared towards understanding the mechanics of braille without developing the skill to read braille code tactilely and instead focusing on reading visually.  Not only does this course offer a bite size sampling of Braille but you will partner up with a Certified Braillist who will mentor you through, bit by bit. If you are interesting in attending this virtual class, please contact Denise Bean to sign up.

  • Start Date: 10/30/2020
  • Time: 4:00pm – 4:30pm
  • Course Goal: Certificate of the Braille Bits Course Completion, 25 Hours of Training

Denise Bean Certified Braille Transcriber

Braille Bits Podcast

The Braille Bits Podcast corresponds with each Braille Bits lesson.  It features each Braille Bits Lesson and an interview with a special guest to discuss all things braille.  Check out the Braille Bits Lessons and Braille Bits Podcast.







Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to help raise awareness, promote education and research about breast cancer.  Unfortunately, we all probably know someone who has been affected by the disease.  According to http://www.cancer.org, one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life.  Of course this also means that there is a 7 out of 8 chance she will never have the disease.  Breast cancer awareness month hopes to increase the awareness of the need for regular mammograms, self-exams and screenings. Early detection of breast cancer is important to the treatment, as breast cancer is easier to treat in the initial stages.  October is the time to remind your friends and family members to schedule their mammograms!

There are a lot of good resources out there to assist women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and resources to help their friends, families and care givers as well.  Below are just a few of those resources.

Online Resources

National Breast Cancer Foundation

American Cancer Society

Susan G. Komen Greater Iowa

Cancer Support Community

Breast Cancer Now



Bald is better with earrings : A Survivor’s Guide to Getting Through Breast Cancer / Andrea Hutton (eBook)

A Breast Cancer Alphabet (2014) / Madhulika Sikka (DB79029)

Breast cancer surgery and reconstruction:  what’s right for you / Patricia Anstett : with photography by Kathleen Galligan (eBook)

Dr. Susan Love’s breast book (2015) : sixth edition / Susan M. Love, M.D. ; with Elizabeth Love and Karen Lindsey (DB82608)

Had I known : a memoir of survival / Joan Lunden (DB83028)

How not to die : discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease / Michael Greger and Gene Stone (eBook)

John Hopkins Patients’ Guide to Breast Cancer (2010) / Lillie D. Shockney (DB69983)

John Hopkins Patients’ Guide to Breast Cancer (2010) / Lillie D. Shockney (BR18558)

The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book (2012) / Lynne C. Hartmann (DB75600)

Coming Soon: Library Chat Podcast

The Library is excited to announce a new podcast starting this month called Library Chat. This will be in addition to the library’s monthly Library News podcast and Braille Bits podcast.

The first Library Chat podcast will be released the week of October 19, 2020. During the Library Chat podcast, we will discuss books and other podcasts around different topics. October’s Library Chat will focus on the topic of Halloween. Listen in to hear about spooky books, Halloween traditions and more. We will also discuss the podcast Stuff You Should Know: Where Did Trick-Or-Treating Come From? The popular Stuff You Should Know podcast and video series is published by Stuff Media and hosted by Josh Clark and Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant, both writers at HowStuffWorks. The podcast launched in 2008 and covers a variety of topics in the fields of science, history, urban legends and pop culture. If you would like listen to the podcast discussed this month, you can listen to Stuff You Should Know: Where Did Trick-Or-Treating Come From? here.

Just in case your missed our Podcasts 101 Webinar we have posted it to our YouTube channel.  During the webinar library staff discuss what is a podcast, how do you listen to a podcast, where do you find them and what do our library podcasts have to offer.