Cozy Mystery IDB Read – Please join us!

The Cozy Mystery IDB Read has a new time and days!  Starting on Wednesday, February 10th, please join us on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00am-11:00am via conference call to listen to narrator, Judy Fausch, read a cozy mystery.  What is a cozy mystery you ask?  According to Wikipedia, “cozy mysteries, also referred to as ‘cozies’, are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence occur off stage, the detective is an amateur sleuth, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.”  What could be better on a snowy, winter morning than curling up in your favorite chair and listening to a nice, cozy mystery?  If you are interested in joining the call, please call the library at 515.281.1323 and we will give you the conference call information.

Western IDB Read is also still going strong!  Every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00am-11:00am, you can call in and listen to Bob White read a western by Louis L’Amour.  Same conference call number as the Cozy Mystery IDB Read.

Thanks for listening with us!

February Youth Programs @ the Playground

Each month that passes us by, it keeps getting better and better all the time @ the Playground! Please give a round-of-applause for all the guests that visited our Library!

Join us for our February virtual events!  On February 8th for our virtual Makerspace Monday, we will get tangled in string art! This is very special string art, as it has a message on the outside in Braille, all created using NAILS! Also, we will have an added surprise with a featured video giving us a sneak peek into how the String Art was created!
On February 20th at our virtual STEM and Stories Saturday, we will meet a real-life superhero himself, Jake, who is a fireman and EMT [Emergency Medical Team]! He may even teach us a few tips on how to be safe in a fire! Gee, I think I hear the fire truck now, whhaaaaaaa!!
Don’t forget about our new program called Braille Babies on February 20th at 11:00am. In January, we had fun learning about the Braille Cell, letter a, dot 1, as a matter of fact! We sang and talked all about “opposites”! We didn’t want to leave anyone out, grown-ups also learned about a great “Parenting Tip”!

Makerspace Monday Virtual Event
Date and Time: February 8th at 6:30 p.m.
Activity: String Art and Braille
Register Here

STEM and Stories Saturday Virtual Event
Date and Time: February 20th at 10:00 a.m.
Activity: Featured Guest Fireman and EMT, Jake
Register Here

Braille Babies
Date and Time: February 20th at 11:00 a.m.
Activity: Activities, Games, and More! Making Connections Together!
Ages: 0 to 4 years’ old
Information and Registration Here

Hope to see you soon!

Denise Bean, Youth Services Librarian

Library Chat Podcast: January 2021

January’s Library Chat focuses on the New Year and setting goals (or New Year’s resolutions). Members of the Library staff discuss all types of books that have to do with setting goals, personal and professional growth, and more. They also discuss an episode from the podcast Happier With Gretchen Rubin which is co-hosted by one of the popular voices on the subject of happiness, habits, and human nature, she’s the author of several New York Times bestsellers.  The Happier With Gretchen Rubin episode discussed is Podcast 307:  We Reveal Our “21 for 21” Lists.

Check out the book list below highlighting the books we discussed during the podcast.

Library Chat:  January 2021 Book List

The 4 disciplines of execution: achieving your wildly important goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling (Bridges)

The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss (Bridges)

Best self : be you, only better by Mike Bayer  DB94722

Crucial Conversations: tools for talking when stakes are high by Kerry Patterson  DB55247

Everything is negotiable: the 5 tactics to get what you want in life, love, & work by Meg Myers Morgan, PhD  DB93263

The path made clear: discovering your life’s direction and purpose by Oprah Winfrey  DB94349

Pick three: you can have it all (just not every day) by Randi Zuckerberg  DB97701

Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come: one introvert’s year of saying yes by Jessica Pan  DB96264

What would Dolly do? [sound recording] : how to be a diamond in a rhinestone world by Lauren Marino  DB95006

Year of Yes by Shondra Rhimes  DB83604

Titles by Gretchen Rubin

Better Than Before  DB81121  BR20894

The Four Tendencies: the indispensable personality profiles that reveal how to make your life better (and other people’s lives better, too)  DB89131

Happier at Home:  Kiss more, jump more, abandon a project, read Samuel Johnson and my other experiments in the practice of everyday life  DB75542  BR19637

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent A Year Trying To Sing In The Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, And Generally Have More Fun  DB70275  BR18710

Outer Order, Inner Calm: declutter and organize to make more room for happiness  DB94115

Also check out 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.

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!

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