We love Libraries and Librarians!

As you know, it’s National Library Week!  So we thought this would be a good time to highlight some newer books about libraries and librarians.  There is something for everyone on this list, from romance, to science fiction, to mystery, to biography and true crime.  It was hard to narrow it down.  Who knew libraries and librarians made such excellent settings and characters?

The bodies in the library DB97038 by Marty Wingate

Hayley Burke lands a job as the curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition library at Middlebank House in Bath, England. But when one of her Agatha Christie fan-fiction writers group is found dead in the venerable stacks, Hayley has to catch the killer to save her job.

The giver of stars DB96907 by Jojo Moyes

  1. Alice Van Cleve is still trying to adjust to married life and living in Kentucky after being raised in England. When offered the chance to join a group of women to deliver Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, she jumps at it. But they face dangers.

Her perfect affair DB100847 by Priscilla Oliveras

Responsible Rosa Fernandez has planned her career with precision, finally landing a job as a librarian. But she’s been harboring a secret crush on dreamy Jeremy Taylor, and after one dance with him at her sister’s wedding, Rosa longs to let loose for the first time.

Information hunters: when librarians, soldiers, and spies banded together in World War II Europe DB98976 by Kathy Lee Peiss

A cultural historian recounts the role of book and document collecting during and after World War II as a part of intelligence and national security, military planning, and postwar reconstruction. She profiles the librarians, archivists, and scholars who carried out these missions and describes the forward-reaching impact on American libraries.

The Library of the Unwritten DB96922 by A.J. Hackwith

Claire is Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing of Hell’s library, where stories unfinished by their authors reside. When a hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must capture him with the help of her assistant, Brevity, and demon courier Leto.

Reading behind bars: a true story of literature, law, and life as a prison librarian DB96548 by Jill Grunenwald

A newly minted librarian looks back on her first career stop: working in a prison. Discusses what drew her to the profession, why she chose to take the job, personalities she encountered, examples of both typical days and extraordinary ones, and challenges she faced.

Upright women wanted DB98684 by Sarah Gailey

Esther stows away in the Librarians’ book wagon to escape an arranged marriage with her dead best friend’s former fiancé–a friend with whom she was in love and who was executed for possession of resistance propaganda.

The midnight library DB100906  by Matt Haig

After she attempts suicide, Nora wakes up in a mysterious library. The shelves are full of books, each the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with other books for the other lives you could have lived.

Syria’s secret library: reading and redemption in a town under siege DB97420 by Mike Thomson

An account of a hidden library organized in 2013 in the war-torn town of Daraya, which was besieged early in the Syrian Civil War. The author recounts how the books inside were salvaged and scavenged.

The library book DB92869 by Susan Orlean

The author re-opens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in US history. On April 29, 1986, fire broke out at the Los Angeles Public Library and destroyed or damaged more than a million books. Examines the evolution of public libraries while celebrating their value in society.

Join the Adult Winter Reading Challenge

The Adult Winter Reading Challenge has begun! 

It’s not too late to sign up.  Go to iowablindreads.readsquared.com 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!

Adult Winter Reading Program Starting January 4, 2021!

Start the New Year with a fun challenge!  The Adult Winter Reading Challenge will begin on January 4, 2021.  Go to iowablindreads.readsquared.com to register.  If you read 7500 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.

Here are the top fiction books downloaded from BARD this month that might help get you started.

The return by Nicholas Sparks DB100846

Thick as thieves by Sandra Brown DB100485

Hush by James Patterson and Candice Fox DB99916

The coast-to-coast murders by James Patterson and J.D. Barker DB100857

Choppy Water by Stuart Woods DB100390

The silent wife by Karen Slaughter DB100185

Half Moon Bay by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman DB100241

Cajun justice by James Patterson and Tucker Axum DB100128

Fair warning by Michael Connelly and Peter Giles DB99807

The book of two ways by Jodi Picoult DB100856

The midwife murders by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo DB100127

Our Old Time Radio Show Collections and Special Christmas Episodes

Ever since the Library added cassette books to their collection, old time radio shows have been a part of that collection. The radio shows were a relatively easy way to help the collection grow. The early cassette radio show collection generally had one cassette (one hour) per show title. So naturally, we were worried about this collection when we switched from cassette to digital format. We didn’t want to lose these great collections.  We also wanted to take advantage of the digital format to make listening to these shows more enjoyable. The digital format allows us to add information and organize the shows.  It has become a special project for Audio Librarian Karen to convert these radio shows. With hundreds and hundreds of titles available and tens of thousands of episodes, she’ll be occupied for quite some time.

To check out the radio shows the library has available:

  • Go to our Online Catalog
  • Use Advanced Search and select Series in the drop down menu
  • Search for Radio Shows

Christmas Mysteries and Suspense Programs: an Old Time Radio Show Collection   DBC19884

Crime doesn’t pay attention to the calendar. Mysteries, murder and mayhem can happen at any time – including at Christmas time! Old time radio shows would sometimes recognize the calendar and present special episodes around December 25th.  If the show was a mystery or suspense program, that meant a very special episode indeed. Combining the happy season of Christmas with wrong-doing required a light touch.   Some programs used the famous Charles Dickens story The Christmas Carol and its’ three ghosts as the basis for their story. Others were inspired by the story of the Nativity. There are tales of ex-cons going straight and good men going bad. Of course, there are also bad people doing bad things.  With all this detecting going on, you would think someone could solve the mystery of the red-suited intruder who leaves presents everywhere he goes!  There are 29 different shows in this collection with 61 episodes (some shows have more than one Christmas episode). If you like dramatized stories set a Christmas – but with a touch of mystery – this is the collection for you!

Reminder:  the Library will be closed on December 24th and 25th
Happy Holidays!

Latest D-List: Is the Book Better Than the Movie?

We are announcing our latest D-List (Digital List Including Special Titles)!

Is the movie better than the book or is the book better than the movie?  You be the judge with books from our newest D-List.  This list is comprised of books that have been made into movies over the years.  Call the library to request this most recent D-List and we will send you special cartridges filled with books that have been made into good and some not so good movies.

Call (515-281-1323) or email (library@blind.state.ia.us) the library today to request the newest D-List and we will send you special cartridges with those books included.

Past D-Lists are also still available to receive on cartridge.  Just let us know which ones you would like.

  • The Great American Reads – features 100 books from the Great American Read list featured on PBS.
  • VOICE (Voices of Iowa Connecting Everyone) – features the library’s volunteer narrators and the books they have recorded for our collection.
  • Bookmark Series – if you are a fan of Hallmark movies this list is for you.
  • Staff Picks – comprised of 60 books, all filled with our staffs’ all-time favorite books.
  • Plants in Name Only – is a list includes books with a kind of plant or flower in the title.

Using Your Digital Audio Book Player: Sequential Play and Bookshelf Mode

Image of the Natonal Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled digital audio playerOur digital audio book players and cartridges allow the library to download multiple books to each audio cartridge for our patrons.  The library is currently putting 20 books on each patron audio cartridge.  There are two ways to access the books on cartridge: sequential play and bookshelf mode.

Sequential Play

Sequential play will play your books in the order they were downloaded to the cartridge.  To use sequential play feature, put your cartridge into the player and listen to your first book.  At the end of the book, the closing announcements will play; when they are finished, a voice will say “end of book, press play/stop to go to the next book.”  Press the green, rectangle play/stop button and the next book on the cartridge will begin to play.  Repeat this step after each book.

Bookshelf Mode

Bookshelf mode lets you pick what book you want to listen to.  To use bookshelf mode, turn your player on and put in your cartridge.  Next, hold down the green, square “play/stop” button until your player beeps and says “bookshelf”. Once in bookshelf mode, you can use the white, right arrow “fast forward” button and white, left arrow “rewind” button to scroll through the books downloaded to the cartridge.  When you have located the book you would like to read, press the green, square “play/stop” button again and it will start to play the book you have selected.  Repeat this process after you select the titles on the cartridge.

Battery Life of Your Player

When you receive your player or when you are not using it on battery power, plug it in and leave it plugged in as much as possible. This will maintain the battery life of the player.  If you experience problems, call the Library at 515-281-1323 and we will assist resolving the issue.