December Makerspace Monday Recap and What’s Next in January

If you enjoy sugar and sprinkles, well this night was made for you! In celebration of this wonderful time of year it only seemed like the natural fit to pull out our favorite holiday library traditions! While the music filled the air, we were busy as elves mixing scents of cookies while making Cinnamon Salt Dough Ornaments, Sleigh Bells Wreaths, and finally Twirled Wrapped Snowballs. For the families unable to attend you received a package delivered right to your doorstep! Thank you to all that signed up in this past year!

January's Makerspace Monday

Time to get cozy in January! Feeling stressed? Short fused, or just need a boost. If you can say yes to even one of these descriptions on this list, you may want to sign up for the January Makerspace Cozy Workshop. To start off the year 2023 in calm fashion, you will learn techniques that will immediately turn stress and distress into resilience and refresh! Promise.

Date: January 9th, 2023!
Time: 6 – 7:30pm
Activity: “Cozy Workshop Includes – Lotion Bars and Sugar Scrubs!”
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 

Check out the Makerspace Mondays page!

Library Chat Podcast: December 2022

December’s Library Chat Podcast, celebrates one of our library staff members.  Join us as we celebrate staff member, Karen Eis, on her 39th year with the Iowa Department for the Blind and the Library and on her upcoming retirement.  Karen shares with us stories about the library, her role as a reader’s advisor, her work with the library collection and audio production, her favorite books and more.

Did you know? Fun Facts and Information about the Library

We wanted to share some fun facts and information about our library.  Watch for Did You Know posts each month.A book with a question mark on its page with a magnifying glass.

When did the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled program begin?

The free library service was established by Congress when the Pratt-Smoot Act became law in 1931 to provide blind adults with books in an embossed format. This program would become the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS).  The Act was amended in 1934 to include sound recordings (talking books), expanded in 1952 to include children, in 1962 to provide music materials, and again in 1966, to include individuals with physical limitations that prevent reading regular print.  Our library became a regional Library of the National Library Service in 1960.

For more information on the history of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled visit their History Page


Peek-A-Box Logo, blue polka dot with a stack of books.Peek-a-Box is a new program presented to you by the Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled.  Beginning in January, Peek-a-Box will offer patrons, ages 18 years and older, a program to receive 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. 

Patrons who opt for audiobooks will receive a cartridge with 10-20 books dedicated to the theme of the month.  Patrons who choose to get braille or large print will receive 1-3 books.  Braille and large print books will be mailed separately, apart from the Peek-a-Box.  Patrons should return the cartridges and books when finished with them and keep the goodies for themselves.  Books to borrow and goodies to keep!

To kick things off in January, we are starting with the theme All Iowa Reads! 

If you are interested in subscribing to Peek-a-Box, please complete this registration form or contact the library at 515.281.1323 and we can help get you subscribed.  By subscribing to Peek-a-Box, you are subscribing to 12 months of Peek-a-Boxes, but you can cancel your subscription at any time by contacting the library.

Sign up today!

Book Reviews from Deena

Heart shape filled with books on shelvesCheck out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team and continues to generously share book reviews with us during her retirement.  Thank you, Deena!

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles availalbe.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon  CTC3778
Laurus and Sydney fall in love. Laurus is a well-known musician from Denmark. Laurus and Sydney marry, but Laurus goes off to defend Denmark in World War II staying in Europe for several years, for the duration of the war leaving Sydney pregnant During the war, Laurus’s sister, Nina joins the resistance and eventually is caught and sent to a concentration camp. Laurus returns to the U. S. and he and Sydney have several more children. Their son is a troublemaker and is kicked out of a number of boarding schools.
Sydney, like her mother, is more concerned with herself and how she looks to other people than she is her children. Each summer the family spends their time in Maine at Leeway Cottage participating in sailing, parties, and golfing. If you are interested in family sagas spanning from the 1930’s to the 1990’s this is an interesting story.

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans DB70292
James Keir, is a ruthless businessman.  His obituary appears in the newspaper, only they have mixed-up the James Keir’s. As James reads the negative comments on “his” obituary on the Internet, he begins to think about his life and how he would like to be remembered. He decides he must change his ways and make amends to those he has hurt. He asks his secretary to make a list of those he has wronged and goes to visit each person with mixed results.

The 13th Day of Christmas by Jason F. Wright  UDBU01543
Charlee Alexander’s family is down on their luck. They move to a new town for a fresh start. Charlee makes friends with Marva, an 80-year-old widow.  They become the best of friends, talking every day. Charlee is soon diagnosed with a brain tumor just before Christmas.  Marva creates the 13 days of Christmas to give Charlee little gifts each day to lift her spirits. As Charlee gets better Marva becomes ill. When Marva’s life ends Charlee and her brother Zach take over the 13 days of Christmas tradition giving to those who need a lift.